Bradbury's first collection since the quasi-definitive Stories is a very mixed bag, including, along with the charming and the moving stories, some of the author's weakestfrail conceits feebly decked out in the same stylistic knick-knacks Bradbury has been pulling from his well-used trunk for the past 35 years. Storytelling itself is the theme of a number of these short narratives; Bradbury understands that a primary function of fiction is to act as a guidepost back to the emotional richness of childhood and adolescence. In ``On the Orient, North'' a ghost, at the point of dissipation, rejuvenates itself by telling scary winter's tales to a group of children. In ``Banshee'' a screenwriter and a director tell each other disturbing cautionary talesone narrator, to the other's misfortune, is not making it up. The fey souls in ``The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair'' find their relationship cannot withstand a little hard reality. The title story concerns a man who claims to have traveled into the future and declares that there the world's problems have been resolved. He produces documentation of his claims and lives to see the realization of his vision, even though a vision is all it is. The documentation turns out to be fabrications, but the hope it had inspired allows mankind to bring about its own salvation. The fiction creates the truth in this lovely exercise in utopian dreaming. 30,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988 Release date: 05/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
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