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The Golden Apples of the Sun and Other Stories
Ray Bradbury
Narrated by Michael Prichard, unabridged
Tantor Media, 12.5 hours

Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is one of the greatest SF and fantasy writers of our time. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920, he authored such classics of the genre as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and Farenheit 451 (1953) by his early 30s, and continues to produce important work today.
In 1990, while at a summit meeting in New York, Mikhail Gorbachov made a special trip to visit Bradbury, his "favourite author," whose works he claimed to have read in the original versions. Bradbury is American fantasy's great ambassador.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Where Everything Ends
SF Site Review: The Martian Chronicles
SF Site Review: Masks
SF Site Review:Summer Morning, Summer Night
SF Site Review: Moby Dick: A Screenplay
SF Site Review: Fahrenheit 451
SF Site Review: Dinosaur Tales
SF Site Review: From the Dust Returned
SF Site Review: Dandelion Wine
SF Site Review: Green Shadows, White Whale
SF Site Review: Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines
SF Site Review: Driving Blind
SF Site Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes
SF Site Review: The Illustrated Man

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven Brandt

The Golden Apples of the Sun and Other Stories There are few names in the science fiction and fantasy genre, or in any genre for that matter, that are more prolific than that of Ray Bradbury. Since 1938, Bradbury has entertained millions of fans with his imaginative visions of the future and his nightmarish fantasies. In The Golden Apples of the Sun and Other Stories, Ray Bradbury shows us the full range of his abilities, covering everything from science fiction to fantasy, horror to psychological thriller, and almost everything in between. Originally published in 1953, this latest edition of The Golden Apples of the Sun contains 32 short stories from the master story teller. It would be nearly impossible to detail them all here, but here are some of my favorites:

"The Foghorn": The endless, black reaches of ocean on our planet contain unplumbed depths, and terrifying creatures barely imagined by the minds of men. What would such a creature make of a lighthouse foghorn, reverberating through those dark miles of water year after year? When a leviathan from the deep comes forth to find the source of such a sound, the result can only be disastrous.

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl": Acton confronts the man who has stolen his wife away from him, and exacts his own justice by murdering the man. But his guilty conscience preys upon him in a most unusual manner, and Acton finds himself unable to leave the scene of the crime.

"The Flying Machine": In a tale that reads like something from ancient Chinese mythology, a man creates a flying machine of paper and bamboo. He is thrilled when the emperor himself comes out to witness his triumph, but the emperor has far different ideas about what the invention could mean for the future of his empire.

"The Murderer": In a future that may not be so very distant, mankind has developed all sorts of gadgets to "keep in touch." One man does not find the personal communicators, tracking beacons, and thinking houses that talk to us to be convenient at all, and takes it upon himself to destroy them. He feels he is doing us all a favor, but is it too late for the rest of humanity?

Also included in this far-reaching volume are the stories, "The April Witch," "The Golden Kite," "The Silver Wind," "I See You Never," "Embroidery," "The Big Black and White Game," and many, many others. These stories were first collected and published in 1953, but I find the moral of each story to be just as important to us today, more than fifty years later, as they were when Bradbury first wrote them. You might say they are a bit like golden apples, slowly ripening in the sun, growing sweeter and more flavorful with each passing year.

Michael Prichard is a long-time theater and film actor, and is a veteran audiobook narrator as well, having voiced more than 500 full length novels. I have become comfortably familiar with Prichard's style through his work on the novels of Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. Prichard has a pleasant sounding voice, and his inflection and intonation are always right on the money. He also reads dialogue very well, which is a skill I think some narrators lack. All in all, Michael Prichard always sounds like he is telling the story, not just reading it from a page. I am always eager to try out any audiobook he narrates. This is a nice reproduction of some classic Ray Bradbury material. The Golden Apples of the Sun is a must-read for any fan of science fiction & fantasy.

Copyright © 2010 Steven Brandt

Steven Brandt spends most of his waking hours listening to audiobooks and reviewing them for his blog, Audiobook Heaven. When not reading or reviewing, Steven is usually playing the saxophone for the entertainment and amusement of his family.

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