cover image The Bradbury Chronicles: 2stories in Honor of Ray Bradbury

The Bradbury Chronicles: 2stories in Honor of Ray Bradbury

. Roc, $19.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-451-45134-7

This latest project by ubiquitous anthologist Greenberg gathers 21 original stories in homage to Ray Bradbury, along with a cloying introduction by co-editor Nolan, a brief appreciation of Bradbury by Isaac Asimov, and a story and a memoir by Bradbury himself. Far too many of these tales are direct sequels to or spin-offs from such Bradbury classics as Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes. James Kisner's ``May 2000: The Tombstones'' is an uninspired rerun of ``Mars Is Heaven!'' and even reliable writers Roberta Lannes and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro offer dull follow-ups to better, older tales. Nor do the lesser-known names excel: Bruce Francis's ``The Inheritance'' is bloated and vague, while Norman Corwin's ``The Muse'' is nothing more than an adoring fan letter to Bradbury. The few entries that rise above the rest do so because the authors have retained their own characteristic styles while invoking the Bradbury canon. Gregory Benford's ``Centigrade 233'' is an effective variation on Fahrenheit 451 , Ed Gorman's ``The Wind from Midnight'' is a touching view of the sad world of carnival freaks, and Charles L. Grant's ``One Life, in an Hourglass'' offers a genuine chill at the end. Though a few tales are worthy salutes to the master, Bradbury's work has inspired many stories superior to those gathered here. (Nov.)