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Jill

Some of the images found in "Soft Rain" have stuck with me for decades, like the shadow of the children playing ball seared onto the wall of the house. It was one of the more frequently anthologized Bradbury stories in high school literature textbooks.

Danielle

Jill--I had never come across this one (have only read Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury) until Andi suggested I read it. It does have some very powerful imagery. I can see why this would be anthologized!

Andi

Yayyy! I'm glad you liked it. And, as Jill said, many of the images have stayed with me all these years. I especially loved the poem and I think of it often.

Dorothy W.

Both of those stories sound great! And are there stories by Radcliffe? I haven't ever read any, and would love to.

Danielle

Andi--I had no idea what to expect from the story, but I liked it a lot. I really should read more Bradbury! I loved the poem, too. She wrote it around the turn of the century (well--not sure of the actual date but she died in 1933)--it seems so contemporary. I wonder if she was thinking of WWI when she wrote it?
Dorothy--I enjoyed both very much. I really like Mary Shelley--I plan on reading the other two stories in the book as well. I did find a short story by Ann Radcliffe in an anthology at the library called The Haunted Chamber, which I think I will read next weekend. I thought there might be something free online, but there wasn't as far as I could tell. You would think she would have written more short stories, but I can't seem to find more in any books at work.

Melanie

Oh, I love "There will come soft rains". I'm on a Bradbury kick right now and there are so many wonderful stories. I also read this one a long time ago, and it's stuck with me. (along with the other much anthologized "All Summer in a day") This one strangely, somehow, reminds me of the wonderful J.G. Ballard story "The Garden of Time". Do you know that one?

Lisa

I love There Will Come Soft Rains, though I haven't read it in years. Such a haunting, apocalyptic piece of literature. It makes me think of By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet as well.

Danielle

Melanie--I'm not familiar with the Ballard story you mentioned, or the other Bradbury. Are they sci-fi stories? I will have to look for them. It's nice getting suggestions instead of blindly choosing something.
Lisa--It is very descriptive in a way that is not overtly depressing--if that makes any sense. It is sort of what he doesn't tell you that makes you think. He just gives you enough details so you can fill in the picture yourself. I'll check out By the Waters of Babylon--maybe my library will have it in some anthology. Thanks for the suggestion!

Melanie

Yes, the stories I mentioned are both sci-fi-ish ones. I love "All Summer in a Day" so much; it has to one of my favourite stories ever. Read it in Grade 7 first. And the other is very short and eerie.

Ellie Robins

Hi Danielle,

I'm really interested to hear your calls for Hesperus Press to publish some Ann Radcliffe. I studied Radcliffe at university and loved her, but was unaware that she had published any shorter fiction. As you know, here at Hesperus Press we specialise in novellas and short stories, most of our books being of roughly one hundred pages in length. Do you know of the names of any of Radcliffe's shorter works? If so I'd be thrilled to take a look and perhaps make a proposition at the next editorial meeting.

Incidentally, have you read Radcliffe's essay 'On the Supernatural in Fiction'? A really fascinating read, particularly if you've read 'The Mysteries of Udolpho'; works even better if you've also read something very gorey and unpleasant such as Matthew Lewis's 'The Monk'.

Ellie, Hesperus Press

Danielle

Melanie--I am going to write down both titles and look for them. I am finding I am greatly enjoying the stories I've been reading! I am always happy to get more suggestions!
Ellie--I'm not sure how much Radcliffe actually wrote. I was hoping to find more short stories on Project Gutenberg, but they have very little by her. I am reading The Mysteries of Udolpho and enjoying it greatly! I just read a short story by her called "The Haunted Chamber" (which I posted on today--the 24th), which I found in an anthology of women's short stories--that is now out of print, but I managed to borrow a copy from the library. It is about 24 pages long and I really liked it. I'm not sure what other short stories she may have written--perhaps she didn't write many shorter works? She had a book of travel writings, but again I'm not sure how extensive it was. If there are shorter works that are hard to find/out of print, it would be great if Hesperus considered publishing her. I'll have to look for that essay you mention, and I have The Monk and want to read it as well!

Debi

I agree wholeheartedly with you in finding it easier to read a short story here and there instead of trying to conquer a whole anthology at once. I really do enjoy short stories...but I'm finding with the short story peril that I find them even more enjoyable just sort of picking one up at random.

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