Friday, July 9, 2010

“Dead of Summer” a previously unpublished Martian vignette by Ray Bradbury

In last week’s post focusing on the new, long-awaited, already-sold-out, expanded, limited, signed, 750-page The Martian Chronicles: The Complete Edition (2009), by Ray Bradbury, I blogged about “The Disease,” one of four tales excised from the manuscript before The Martian Chronicles was first published in 1950. This week, I’m taking a look at another previously unpublished work: “Dead of Summer.”

“Dead of Summer” (2009) is a beautiful, five-sentence vignette. The setting is the Martian month of August and Bradbury sketches a simple but vivid picture of the dead of summer on the Red Planet. Here’s the opening:
IT WAS the time of the burning in the air and the ground, the glassy yellow burning of the wheat fields and the corn meadows and the white burning of the houses and the red burning of the barns. It was the time of the sun…
“Dead of Summer” is the fifth of the "Other Martian Tales" but there is no indication as to when it was originally written.

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