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The golden apples of the sun by Ray Bradbury
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The golden apples of the sun (edition 1966)

by Ray Bradbury

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1,388185,481 (3.91)34
Member:jburlinson
Title:The golden apples of the sun
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Rupert Hart-Davis (1966), 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Short stories Best of breed, Sci-fi

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The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Not all of the stories in this collection of Bradbury's short fiction are great, or even that memorable, but one or two of them will stick with me -- I particularly enjoyed 'Embroidery', which was well-structured and had a lovely final paragraph. Perfect, even, almost.

Even if a few of them didn't really get to me, it's worth noting that I received it in the mail just today, and I read it in two sittings. I've been rather wrapped up in video games lately (hey, I just got the news that I got a first for my degree, I deserve the time off! Though this book was actually a gift from a friend in celebration of exactly that) but this pulled me right out of them and kept me turning pages. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
There are twenty two short stories in this collection and it’s probably fair to say that each is, in its own way, a masterpiece. If some seem stronger than others, this is more likely the result of the subject, theme or message of the story having particular resonance with the individual reader. Bradbury is an undoubted master of the short story form but it’s one thing to know it, quite another to witness it.

The opening story is a case in point. ‘The fog horn’ manages, in seven pages, to introduce believable and sympathetic characters, quickly establish and then build on suspense and result in a satisfying climax with just that right, light, artist’s touch of something strange.

These are stories that never leave you, even if you think you have forgotten them, they will return when something, such as the plaintive wail of a fog horn far out at sea, or the sight of a rubbish lorry, or a poster for a dinosaur exhibition, triggers the memory. You’ll smile recollecting how good the story was while shuddering at implications for the characters in the stories.

Other stories might be the subject of much more frequent recollection. Anyone who has walked alone late at night along a deserted street will know how odd the sensation can be, of being the only person in the world (for some reason, I think this is a sensation most usually encountered by dog walkers, possibly because nobody wants to stop and say hello to anyone who might be carrying a plastic bag of poo). There’s a particular sensation when walking the world when everyone is at home behind tightly draws curtains, watching the flickering blue glow in the corner of the room, a mixture of peace and loneliness which, in ‘The Pedestrian’, Bradbury captures perfectly.

Without doubt, the story with the most everyday resonance, at least for anyone who commutes, who owns an electronic device marketed as ‘digital’ or, God help them, ‘smart’ or who has to put up with anyone else who does, is the sublime ‘The Murderer’. Here, Bradbury has given voice to the voiceless millions who have to put up with the vocal tens of millions who have embraced communications technology that would be the stuff of science fiction fifty years ago, of witchcraft two hundred years ago and miraculous in any age and who pollute the air and the airwaves with their ceaseless, senseless bloody babble. In ‘The Murderer’ we meet a man driven to violence by constant inconsequential chatter on public transport and with technology that seeks to anticipate his needs. This constant, banal torrent of intrusion is, Bradbury is quite clear, enough to make anyone reach for the axe rather than the remote.

Bradbury writes stories set in space, on space ships and between planets as well as stories set very much here on Earth, some stories set closer to home than others. Stories set in the past, the present, a different present and the future, close and far. There are stories of great charm to be found here and of tenderness and care, especially in the tenderness and care that the characters can show towards one another. Whatever the setting, Bradbury never lets the landscape, even though it be interstellar space, overwhelm the characters.

These are all strong stories. Some will appear exceptionally so and others still the reader will finish thinking ‘I have just read a classic’. ‘The sound of thunder’ is just such a story. That there can be a story about time travel and that time travel not be the main issue of the story, that the time travel be a means to an end and that end is a prehistoric safari and that still not be the main issue of the story, is staggering. The matter at hand is the way in which people treat one another and the consequences of our actions.

So perfectly are the stories formed that one is not even sorry when they are over, as these are stories that will repay re-reading. Even if the story is the same, the reader will have changed and so will take away something new, again, to remember in an unexpected moment. ( )
  macnabbs | Oct 20, 2012 |
This edition actually contains most of the stories from the collection R Is for Rocket as well as those from the original Golden Apples of the Sun collection, and I had already read the former and so was already familiar with quite a few of these stories, but if you haven't this is a good way to enjoy them all at once. The Golden Apples stories are a bit of a mixed bag, most are pretty interesting but there are a few duds, though none are really bad. The R Is for Rocket stories are a bit more consistent and also more thematically related, and most of them are more science-fiction, while the Golden Apples stories also include some fantasy, suspense, mystery, even a couple of attempts at Confucian allegory set in ancient China ("The Flying Machine" and "The Golden Kite, the Silver Wind").

There are some seminal stories here, such as "A Sound of Thunder", which were really influential in the history of science-fiction (and even perhaps of science, as it introduced what came to be called the "butterfly effect" in chaos theory), and which everyone needs to read in order to get all the pop culture references. Another significant story here, or at least the longest, is "Frost and Fire", which is enormously inventive but not entirely successful. It tells the story of a race of people descended from humans crash-landed on Mercury, who've evolved as a result of the extreme temperatures of the planet's day and night cycle to an extremely fast-paced, eight-day lifespan. They've also evolved racial memory, and the main character decides to try to return to the one remaining crashed spaceship to see if there are any keys to returning to their ancestors longer, more slowly-paced way of life. This is an interesting idea, but it gets bogged down for long stretches in the middle with pointless romantic rivalries and battles with a competing tribe who live in better caves that extend their lifespan an extra few days.

In general, this is a solid collection, with some of Bradbury's best stories, but not one of his best books on the whole. But, like almost everything he wrote, definitely worth at least a read. ( )
  AshRyan | Oct 4, 2012 |
What can one say about another collection of short stories from the Master? It's clear that Bradbury isn't 'just' a SF writer, we have pure art here.... ( )
  TheCrow2 | May 31, 2012 |
Delightful collection of SF and non-SF short stories. Notable "A Sound of Thunder" on which the film "The Butterfly Effect" is based. "Frost and Fire "was my favourite
  Durbies | May 20, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
豊樹, 小笠原Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, Joseph A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
- W. B. Yeats
Dedication
And this one, with love, is for Neva,
daughter of Glinda
the Good Witch of the South
First words
Out there in the cold water, far from land, we waited every night for the coming of the fog, and it came, and we oiled the brass machinery and lit the fog light up in the stone tower. ("The fog horn")
To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o'clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do. ("The pedestrian")
Into the air, over the valleys, under the stars, above a river, a pond, a road, flew Cecy. ("The April witch")
"Oh, the Good Time has come at last -" ("The wilderness")
William Acton rose to his feet. ("The fruit at the bottom of the bowl")
Quotations
"Oh, the sea's full." McDunn puffed his pipe nervously, blinking. He had been nervous all day and hadn't said why. "For all our engines and so-called submarines, it'll be ten thousand centuries before we set foot on the real bottom of the sunken lands, in the fairy kingdoms there, and know real terror. Think of it, it's still the year 300,000 Before Christ down under there. While we've paraded around with trumpets, lopping off each other's countries and heads, they have been living beneath the sea twelve miles deep and cold in a time as old as the beard of a comet."
I saw it all, I knew it all - the million years of waiting alone, for someone to come back who never came back. The million years of isolation at the bottom of the sea, the insanity of time there, while the skies cleared of reptile-birds, the swamps dried on the continental lands, the sloths and saber-tooths had their day and sank in tar pits, and men ran like white ants upon the hills.
"That's life for you," said McDunn. "Someone always waiting for someone who never comes home. Always someone loving some thing more than that thing loves them. And after a while you want to destroy whatever that thing is, so it can't hurt you no more."
TIME SAFARI, INC.
SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST.
YOU NAME THE ANIMAL.
WE TAKE YOU THERE.
YOU SHOOT IT.
Last words
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Book description
This short story collection contains: "The Fog Horn", "The Pedestrian", "The April Witch", "The Wilderness", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl", "Invisible Boy", "The Flying Machine", "The Murderer", "The Golden Kite, the Silver Wind", "I See You Never", "Embroidery", "The Big Black and White Game", "A Sound of Thunder", "The Great Wide World Over There", "Powerhouse", "En la Noche", "Sun and Shadow", "The Meadow", "The Garbage Collector", "The Great Fire", "Hail and Farewell", and "The Golden Apples of the Sun".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380730391, Paperback)

Ray Bradbury is a modern cultural treasure. His disarming simplicity of style underlies a towering body of work unmatched in metaphorical power by any other American storyteller. And here, presented in a new trade edition, are thirty-two of his most famous tales--prime examples of the poignant and mysterious poetry which Bradbury uniquely uncovers in the depths of the human soul, the otherwordly portraits of outrÉ fascination which spring from the canvas of one of the century's great men of imagination. From a lonely coastal lighthouse to a sixty-million-year-old safary, from the pouring rain of Venus to the ominous silence of a murder scene, Ray Bradbury is our sure-handed guide not only to surprising and outrageous manifestations of the future, but also to the wonders of the present that we could never have imagined on our own.Ray Bradbury is a modern cultural treasure. His disarming simplicity of style underlies a towering body of work unmatched in metaphorical power by any other American storyteller. And here, presented in a new trade edition, are thirty-two of his most famous tales--prime examples of the poignant and mysterious poetry which Bradbury uniquely uncovers in the depths of the human soul, the otherwordly portraits of outre fascination which spring from the canvas of one of the centurys great men of imagination. From a lonely coastal lighthouse to a sixty-million-year-old safari, from the pouring rain of Venus to the ominous silence of a murder scene, Ray Bradbury is our sure-handed guide not only to surprising and outrageous manifestations of the future, but also to the wonders of the present that we could never have imagined on our own.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A collection of thiry-two short stories by Ray Bradbury that explore the endless possibilities of what may happen in the present and in the future.

(summary from another edition)

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