Published: July 2012
Where I got it: it arrived in store and picked it up on a whim. Does one really need a reason when the opening story is penned by Neil Gaiman?
For reasons I can’t explain, I don’t read many short stories. Occasionally, a book comes along that makes me question my novel-centric reading choices. Shadow Show is one of those books.
It is definitely a fantastic (in both senses of this word) collection. First, you have authors like Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Robert McCammon, Kelly Link, and oh, Harlan Ellison, all writing pieces inspired by Ray Bradbury. Second, this is not something hastily put together after Bradbury’s death — no, the anthology was conceived before that, and it even includes the introduction by ‘The Teller of Tales’ himself.
The stories themselves are varied, but each of them carries the spirit of Bradbury’s work. Not all of them blew me away, but at least a couple left me awed, made me chuckle, disturbed me, or simply moved me in the way that only good stories can. Here’s a list of favorites:
The Man who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman (you knew this was going to be on the list, didn’t you)
By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill
Children of the Bedtime Machine by Robert McCammon
Light by Mort Castle
The Tattoo by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Earth (A Gift Shop) by Charles Yu
Two Houses by Kelly Link
Weariness by Harlan Ellison
Once again, why don’t I read more short stories? This one gets 5 bottled summers out of 5.