Friday, October 7, 2011

The Golden Apples of the Sun

Just finished this one, a collection of 22 stories ranging from science fiction to fantasy to mainstream and everything in between. Like all Bradbury it's hard to categorize, with fun little shockers in the tradition of EC Comics alongside stories like deep pools that leave you gasping at their magnificence when you rise back to the surface.

"Well," said the captain, sitting, eyes shut, sighing. "Well, where do we go now, eh, we are we all going?" He felt his men sitting or standing all about him, the terror dead in them, their breathing quiet. "When you've gone a long, long way down to the sun and touched it and lingered and jumped around and streaked away from it, where are you going then? When you go away from the heat and the noonday light and the laziness, where do you go?"

His men waited for him to say it out. They waited for him to gather all of the coolness and the whiteness and the welcome and refreshing climate of the word in his mind, and they saw him settle the word, like a bit of ice cream, in his mouth, rolling it gently.

"There's only one direction in space from here on out," he said at last.

They waited. They waited as the ship moved swiftly into cold darkness away from the light.

"North," murmured the captain. "North."

And they all smiled, as if a wind had come up suddenly in the middle of a hot afternoon.

Where are we all going? Hard to say for sure, but in Bradbury's capable hands, always to good places.

5 comments:

Pericles said...

A great writer. Do kids still read him? He seems an almost forgotten talent.

Atom Kid said...

I love Bradbury's short stories more than his novels. This is a really good collection.

I started reading The Halloween Tree to my kids this week. Lots of great imagery in that book. His stories always remind me of the autumn anyways.

Fred said...

Brian,

Even his lesser stories have a gem or two that jump out at me. Sometimes it takes a while for me to recognize it, but it's always there, if I have the patience to wait for it.

Brian Murphy said...

A great writer. Do kids still read him?

I sure hope so... he's one of the all-time greats.

His stories always remind me of the autumn anyways.

I agree... that might be why I picked it up. I actually just found it in a local used bookstore, same cover as pictured here. The Halloween Tree is worth a re-read each year around this time.

Sometimes it takes a while for me to recognize it, but it's always there, if I have the patience to wait for it.

I agree... Bradbury is generally not one of those slice of life writers, just showing you a head-scratching vignette. Usually there's some moral or point to the story, or else he's showing you something really frightening, or cool.

Thanks for the comments, all.

Taranaich said...

This is one of my favourite Bradbury collections, indeed, one of my favourite short story collections in general. Stupendous.