Ray Bradbury

Re-Reading In Lockdown: Jack Finney

As a kid I spent a lot of time sick in my a kind of personal lockdown, where you could see other kids outside through the closed window, so reading became nourishment and conversation. There were certain authors who spoke to me, and I later realised that many of them wrote tales tinged with fantastical […]

Books About Time

It’s surprising that there aren’t more books written about time, and the changing way in which we perceive it. Martin Amis wrote ‘Time’s Arrow’, a reverse-time chronology of moral compromise and Auschwitz, a powerful, bleak, and of necessity ugly read that nevertheless catches the sense of time being ultimately irreversible. Far lighter was Jack Finney’s ‘Time […]

The Great Horror Craze

Back in the 1960s America and Britain went through a massive passion for all things horrific. In fact, it lasted from around 1957 to 1972, according to the new book ‘Monster Mash’ by Mark Voger. It started in America with midnight movie hosts like Zacherley and Vampira (which we didn’t get in the UK) and […]

Time To Drink Some Dandelion Wine

Like many others I was sorry to hear of the death of Ray Bradbury, America’s finest short story writer, and also surprised to hear him written off as ‘a science fiction writer’ in several obituaries. Bradbury was unique in that his stories could not have been written by anyone else. In a time when so […]

A US State Of Mind

When I was a kid I was incredibly influenced by the American mindset. It wasn’t that I saw many Hollywood movies – I saw a few, but largely grew up with English comedies starring annoying idiots like Charlie Drake and Norman Wisdom, who seemed to have a new film out every week. Rather it was […]