An opening short story to, I believe, Something Wicked.. is about a creature created from filth and dirt etc. and ends with it sitting on the bottom of a rushing creek, watching the water take away its substance until it no longer exists. There was a comment at the close regarding a question asked of Bradbury - had he been depressed? What brought him to write about such a creature. He replied that when complete, he felt cleansed, refreshed. Words to that effect.
The short story you are looking for is "It", by Theodore Sturgeon. Incidentally, Sturgeon was a writer that Ray Bradbury very much admired.
Ray admired his writing but possibly not so much his behavior in personal situations (this has a #metoo aspect).
Thanks for such a quick response. Not the one. I do remember The Heap and IT. But the story I'm looking for was written by Bradbury and between the story and the start of the book title tale was the comment by Bradbury as mentioned in my original post.
There's "The One Who Waits," about a thing which lives in a well on Mars, but I don't remember any story just like the one you describe.
I guess this will go unresolved. Thanks for trying. If I can ever find the paperback containing the story it may be that it was not titled at all.
I've read everything by Ray Bradbury that's generally available, and some that isn't, and I don't recall anything like this. I hope you find the story, Lloyd, but my bet would be that you're misremembering the author.
At least two short stories and two movies are similar to "It," one being the movie The Blob, which I unfortunately saw recently and the creature was destroyed, but not by water. I won't say more so as not to spoil the ending for anybody. The other movie I saw at a bus station in 1973, and read one of the stories, perhaps both, around 1977, and already I seem to be wrong about where I read "It," (or the one like "It.")
Here is information on the first book where I thought I read one of the stories. Those with stars I don't remember, but don't sound right, and the rest I either remember well, or found summaries and are definitely not either of these stories.
Tomorrow's Children: 18 Tales Of Fantasy And Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov (Editor).
"No Life of Their Own" by Clifford D. Simak *
"The Accountant" by Robert Sheckley *
"Novice" by James M. Schmitz
"Child of Void" by Margaret St. Claire
"When the Bough Breaks" by Lewis Padgett *
"A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber
"Junior Achievement" by William Lee
"Cabin Boy" by Damon Knight *
"The Little Terror" by Will F. Jenkins
"Gilead" by Zenna Henderson
"The Menace From Earth" by Robert Heinlein
"The Wayward Cravat" by Gertrude Friedberg *
"The Father-Thing" by Philip K. Dick
"Star Bright" by Mark Clifton
"All in a Summer Day" by Ray Bradbury
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
"The Place of the Gods" by Stephen Vincent Benet
"The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Asimov
Here is the other one, marked the same way. I was sure that story was in one of these two collections but it doesn't seem to be.
18 Greatest Science Fiction Stories by Lawrence M. Janifer (Editor).
Previously published as Masters' Choice in 1966; reprinted as 18 Greatest Science Fiction Stories in 1971.
Preface by Laurence M. Janifer
"Liar!" by Isaac Asimov *
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury
"The Golem" by Avram Davidson *
"Helen O'Loy" by Lester del Rey
"The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin
"The Dwindling Sphere" by Willard Hawkins *
"Requiem" by Robert A. Heinlein *
"Theory of Rocketry" by C. M. Kornbluth *
"Don't Look Now" by Henry Kuttner
"Seven-Day Terror" by R. A. Lafferty *
"Coming Attraction" by Fritz Leiber *
"Politics" by Murray Leinster *
"Memento Homo" by Walter M. Miller, Jr. *
"The Bright Illusion" by C. L. Moore *
"And Now the News" by Theodore Sturgeon *
"The Custodian" by William Tenn *
The New Accelerator by H. G. Wells
Maybe someone recognizes stories to which I don't remember plots after over 40 years so we can eliminate some of them and save me having to look up plots for them all.
While I was at it, I checked tables of contents for two paperback anthologies I read at the same time, Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow, edited by Ray Bradbury, as people have been SURE a certain story they read was written by Bradbury when it was in fact by another author in a collection Bradbury edited, and Horrors Unknown, edited by Bradbury's old friend Sam Moskowitz. Nothing like it was in either of them, and no other collections I read during that time sounded right.
It was then time to check collections not on my list as I started reading but never finished them, at which time I turned up Monsters, Monsters, Monsters, edited by Helen Hoke. https://www.goodreads.com/book...ers?from_search=true I can state with a reasonable degree of certainty that one of the two stories was "Slime," by J. P. Brennan, either in this anthology or another, as it seems to have been reprinted at least fifty times, though as of now I can't find copies online of either "Slime" or "It" to compare them.
Where I read "It" (which I am pretty sure I did) is still a complete mystery as none of these anthologies from the Locus Index to Science Fiction sound the least familiar:
"It," (nv) Unknown Aug 1940
Alien Cargo, Bluejay 1984
Unknown Worlds, ed. Stanley Schmidt & Martin H. Greenberg, Galahad Books 1988
Things Hunting Men, ed. David Drake, Baen 1988
Back from the Dead, ed. Martin H. Greenberg & Charles G. Waugh, DAW 1991
The Horror Hall of Fame, ed. Robert Silverberg & Martin H. Greenberg, Carroll & Graf 1991
Nursery Crimes, ed. Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg & Martin H. Greenberg, Barnes & Noble 1993
The Frankenstein Omnibus, ed. Peter Haining, Orion 1994
The Ultimate Egoist, North Atlantic Books 1995
In fact, the later publications can be disregarded entirely as where I read "It," as I read both stories no later than 1978.This message has been edited. Last edited by: dandelion,
Thanks for the response. I can assure you that I am not "misremembering" the author. The author's comment following in response to a question regarding why he wrote the story is the anchor. Classic Bradbury.
I have a pretty good memory of perhaps more than I sometimes feel comfortable with. But I am sure of what I read and the author and the response of the author, Bradbury, who stated that he felt "cleansed" after writing the story.
May never find the answer. It is not something that I dwell on.
You were posting while I was still editing my message above so please see it. I put in a good amount of time and effort on this.
Here is a much more complete bibliography for appearances of "It": http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?41269
Here is a list for appearances of "Slime," which I seem to have read in Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum along with my very first Ray Bradbury story, "Homecoming": http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?88069This message has been edited. Last edited by: dandelion,
And the winner is...Richard!
The story is indeed "It" by Theodore Sturgeon. The description of the monster melting in the water is found near the end. It is rather lengthy and I could find no preview giving the entire quote though I searched both Amazon's Sturgeon page and Google Books at length.
I hope you're happy now that I spent hours on this today. The correct story and notes on it can be found, among other places, in The Ultimate Egoist: Volume I: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon. This is Book 1 of 13 in the Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon Series. One of the Forewords is written by Ray Bradbury which should explain any confusion.
Here is a screenshot of part of the story notes which should settle this once and for all.
I think I can take us a step closer to solving the mystery.
Sturgeon's story "It" (sometimes published with an exclamation mark) was collected and anthologized a number of times, including its appearance in THE ULTIMATE EGOIST, the first volume of Sturgeon's complete collected stories.
And one of the three forewords is by ... wait for it ...
Lloyd, if you're still listening, it looks as if that's the book you saw—or possibly the earlier collection in which Sturgeon's note about his "catharsis" originally appeared. The Bradbury introduction originally appeared in WITHOUT SORCERY (1948), Sturgeon's first story collection, and so did Sturgeon's comments on the story. But they were both reprinted in THE ULTIMATE EGOIST.
I should have known—I have the ebook of THE ULTIMATE EGOIST.
So I'm sorry, Lloyd, but you were misremembering the author.
Although I was unable to find the entire passage online, the following has materialized from a mysterious unnamed and perhaps paranormal source and is included here for your edification.
Hey, DouglasSP, you should talk! I was the one who humiliated myself in front of Sturgeon's trustee who happens to be his daughter asking about what you have so eloquently expressed above, before finding most of it myself on Amazon's Sturgeon page! Sturgeon's daughter answered explaining that Sturgeon won awards for the influence of "It" on subsequent films and stories.
Although many of the hours spent yesterday went into finding sources for "It" and the author quote, admittedly much was also spent identifying a similar story I had read, somewhat earlier than I supposed (I thought I read both in 1977-1978 only to find I read the earlier one in 1975, that is the story published later which I read earlier), and to my delight learning I had copies of both stories in books in the convenience and privacy of my own home. I found the International Science Fiction Database was of much more assistance than the Locus Index to Science Fiction which I did not previously know. I spent further time posting on three forums about those stories and a movie of which they reminded me, and then sharing links to anyone I knew who is well into fantasy and horror fiction and films.
I didn't initially post the movie description here as it is OT to Bradbury, but as no one has come up with an answer yet, here goes:
Can anyone identify one or more horror movies I watched around 1973? They were old then, 1950 - 1965. I can't say whether black-and-white or color as the sets on which I saw them were black-and-white and I am not sure whether all the scenes I recall are from the same film.
The one I most want to remember had some features in common with The Blob and with the short stories "It" by Theodore Sturgeon (more like a novella) and "Slime" by J. P. (Joseph Payne) Brennan. I checked film credits for both Sturgeon and Brennan and this film is not an adaptation of either story. I am also quite sure it is not The Blob as I saw much of that recently and the ending in particular is completely different.
In this film, a huge rolling mass of sentient slime attacks a small rural probably Southern American community. This is not humanoid slime but in form more like the Blob but as I recall in appearance more like liver than raspberry preserve. There is something about a cave--I believe the slime originally oozes from there. There might be something about a guy trying to attack it with fire, or someone attacking him mistaking him for the slime monster, as there is a scene of a guy running from the cave screaming on fire from head to foot, who was not the monster but an innocent victim, either a mentally challenged man who hid out in the cave or someone who went there to combat the monster. This greatly upset me as a child. A little boy may or may not have been shot. In one scene, a lady with a distinct rural Southern American twang says how awful and horrible it was that "they shot that little boy," but I don't know whether a boy was actually shot or she just thought one was, or whether he was fatally shot or just wounded.
Naturally for much of the film, the monster is unstoppable. It is chased by military personnel with automatic weapons, tanks, etc. Towards the end it becomes entangled in a barbed wire fence and just sort of falls apart or dries up or is shot to pieces or all of the above. Anyhow, it dies or is destroyed or wherever slime monsters go.
This is terribly bothersome. I carefully examined every anthology listed in the International Speculative Fiction Database containing "It," which I most certainly read during the time I said I did, and this is the only anthology in which I can have read it:
Publication: Weirdies Publication Record # 359199
Editor: Helen Hoke
ISBN: 0-85166-401-6 [978-0-85166-401-9]
Publisher: Franklin Watts
Anthology Title: Weirdies • anthology by Helen Hoke
Contents (view Concise Listing)
Weirdies • interior artwork by Charles Keeping
9 • A Creature Imagined (excerpt) • short fiction by C. S. Lewis
11 • The Cocoon • (1946) • short story by John B. L. Goodwin
35 • The Hair • (1928) • short story by A. J. Alan
47 • The Brown Hand • (1967) • short story by Arthur Conan Doyle (variant of The Story of the Brown Hand 1899) [as by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle]
67 • The Nightmare Lake • (1919) • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
70 • Mrs. Manifold • (1949) • short story by August Derleth [as by Stephen Grendon]
86 • The Ancient Track • (1930) • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
88 • The Monster of Baylock • short story by F. H. Lee
94 • Phase Two (excerpt) • short fiction by John Wyndham
109 • The Night Crawlers • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
110 • The Howler • [Fungi from Yuggoth • 12] • (1932) • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
112 • A Crossbreed • [Eine Kreuzung] • (1933) • short story by Franz Kafka (trans. of Eine Kreuzung 1931)
116 • The Mansions of the Dead • (1965) • poem by Robert Blair
117 • Hallowe'en in a Suburb • (1926) • poem by H. P. Lovecraft
119 • The Quest for Blank Claveringi • (1967) • short story by Patricia Highsmith
138 • Wentworth's Day • (1957) • short story by H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth
153 • The Shark-Man Nanaue • short story by E. M. Nakuina
164 • The Monster (excerpt) • short fiction by Edmund Spenser
167 • The Upper Berth • (1885) • novelette by F. Marion Crawford
192 • What Was It? • (1859) • short story by Fitz-James O'Brien
211 • It • (1940) • novelette by Theodore Sturgeon
In fact, I 100% remember starting to read this anthology but was sure I didn't finish it, so did not list it on my official Book List, and it was not among anthologies I initially checked for where I read the story.
This would be of no consequence whatsoever except that "It" appears at the very end of the book! Usually when I stopped reading an anthology, I would stop on whatever story I couldn't get through and would not skip ahead and read later stories. Perhaps in this case I had some special reason for doing so. If this is a genuine omission from the list, I am sure as hell NOT going back and renumbering 41 or so years' worth of books to count it! Most of these stories I have read in other anthologies. In fact, I read "The Upper Berth" five years ago and have no memory of having read it previously, while I VERY MUCH remember reading "It." Guess I'll just have to run down either a copy of this book or of the last few stories I haven't read so I can count this one. Had this question not come up I'd have gone on blissfully falsely believing I read this story in an anthology I'd finished reading and counted on the list!
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