Now and Forever
By Ray Bradbury
Published by William Morrow
Copyright © 2007
If you are like me you’ve heard of Ray Bradbury; you’ve seen his name in television credits on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the Twilight Zone, or the Ray Bradbury Theater but you haven’t read many, if any, of his books. Well hopefully we can change that. “Now and Forever” is a book of two beautifully written sci-fi novellas – “Somewhere a Band is Playing” and “Leviathan ‘99”.
“Somewhere a Band is Playing” Presents a utopia of letters and eternal life. Journalist James Cardiff, on the whim of a poets dream, seeks out Summerton, Arizona. It is a town that nobody really knows exists full of happy and contented people, one of whom has been expecting James’ visit. The whole place seems very odd to James. No hospitals, funeral parlors, or big businesses. There is a school but no children. And, there is a graveyard but the gravestones do not have deceased dates. How this all fits together and why James has found this place present wonderful mysteries and the biggest one of all is: will he stay or leave?
“Leviathan ‘99” is Bradbury’s space age take on Moby Dick. It is set in space in the year 2099. It is the story of an obsessed captain and his crew, experienced from the point of view of crew member Ishmael Hunnicut Jones. The captain has had something taken from him by the largest comet ever and he is obsessed with finding it once more, but this meeting is set to have much more dire consequences.
Once more both of these stories are wonderfully written by a master of literature and science fiction and they would be a wonderful way to introduce you to his writings. Once you introduce yourself I’m sure, like me, you’ll be compelled to search out more of Ray Bradbury’s work.