November 16, 2010

Inaugural Blog Tour: Listen To The Echoes – The Ray Bradbury Interviews


Ray Bradbury, Sam Weller and Pixies front-man Frank Black star on today's instalment of the blog tour.

More and more, we find ourselves in awe of the quality, depth and variety of places on the internet talking about books. Thus, we’ve decided to take a year-end look at how those places talked about our titles. (Read the kickoff.) The point is to feature not only the titles we proudly published in 2010, but also some of the great writing about those titles from around the internet. In some cases the writing may only mention our book. In these instances the posts would of course have to be extraordinary.

Sam Weller knows more about my life than I do.”
Ray Bradbury

And Sam Weller has put that knowledge into a great deal of writing about Bradbury, including a great blog on Bradbury and some great MobyLives posts, and of course, his official biography of the sci-fi great, the critically acclaimed The Bradbury Chronicles.

But we’re talking about a different book today. The oral biography Listen To The Echoes is a work in which Weller utilizes the profound depth of his Bradburian knowledge to ask insightful questions of the author on subjects as wide ranging as his literary approach to his encounters with legendary Hollywood stars to his somewhat protean political views.

So we wanted to find a far-reaching blog with broad interests. Add in a personal taste for the thematic and we arrive at a single choice for the blog tour today.

Subliminal Maybe is a unique sort of blog. It combines long form book reviews with…songs. I know. It sounds dubious at first but when you see (and hear) the pairing you will be instantly won over. Pixies’ front-man Frank Black gets the call on the piece reviewing Listen To The Echoes and you can’t hate that choice. The song? “The Cult Of Ray” of course.

Keep in mind that there is a long form review showcased as well.

Simply put Ray Bradbury is the reason I read science fiction.  He isn’t the only writer in the field I read, but his writing best exemplifies what I love about the genre. There are technical masters like Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke – men who might be too smart for their own good. They can tell you kinds of marvelous things about technology and the way things work. Ray has never been quite so concerned with such details, as he says in one interview he doesn’t care how to build a rocket – he just wants to fly. You see even at age ninety and beyond Ray Bradbury is still in many ways a ten year old boy. He never gave up his love for toys or his sense of childlike wonder. Thus the imagination of Ray Bradbury has never been polluted with things that would otherwise limit his gift.

The personality of Subliminal Maybe is what makes it a wonderful site. Blogs can be maintained with a professional attitude or, like in the case of SM, with a personal sense of sharing. Like the very first post in this series, here we have a real person creatively pairing music and literature out of an earnest desire to share.

Up next, we look at blogs through the filter of our celebrated Art Of The Novella series.

Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.