From "one of science fiction's grand masters" (Library Journal), a new reissue of Ray Bradbury's The Toynbee Convector: a collection of twenty-two stories, including the continuing saga of H.G. Well's time traveler and his Toynbee Convector, a ghost on the Orient Express, and a bored man who creates his own genuine Egyptian mummy. The world's only time traveler finally reveals his secret. An old man's memory of World War I conjures ghostly parachutists. An Egyptian mummy turns up in an Illinois cornfield. A lonely Martian prepares to face his doom. From the iconic author of Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, and The Illustrated Man, The Toynbee Convector is a true cause for celebration. The twenty-two classic tales in this special Ray Bradbury collection begin in the familiar rooms and landscapes of our lives, in common thoughts and memories, and then take off into the farthest reaches of the imagination. "The fiction creates the truth in this lovely exercise in utopian dreaming" (Publishers Weekly)--stunning stories that could only come from the brilliant mind of Ray Bradbury.
Most of the stories are the type that we more typically associate with Bradbury – time travel, science fiction, paranormal, horror. A couple of the stories reminded me of Something Wicked This Way Comes, with a lurking evil and a tension that made me want to jump into bed so whatever lurks under there couldn’t grab my ankles.
Some of the stories combine genres. The Love Affair has a lonely Martian willing to face certain doom for the sound of music and the hope of companionship. Colonel Stonesteel’s Genuine Home-made Truly Egyptian Mummy gives us a wonderful young/old generational story combined with adventure, wonder and fright.
One completely delightful surprise was Junior featuring a group of senior citizens with healthy libidos. But for me, the star of this book remains The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair. It’s the story that forced me to look at Bradbury with new eyes and to appreciate his skill at crafting a story that engages, entertains, and kindles the reader’s emotions.
NOTE: Second reading 07January2016