True Review
Current Issue Number 77 Vol.20  March 2011


DAWN TO DUSK: CAUTIONARY TRAVELS, by Ray Bradbury. Gauntlet (, 2011, 344 pp., $55.00. ISBN 978-1934267-13-4

American fantasist Ray Bradbury’s lifelong fascination with traveling circuses and carnivals comes alive with “The Dark Carnival,” a screenplay based on a painting Bradbury purchased from artist friend Joe Mugnaini, of a Renaissance carnival train crossing a broken trestle in 1952.

The author thought of his own short story from Weird Tales Magazine, “The Black Ferris,” from 1948. Eventually the traveling carnival would be developed into the novel, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.

“You Must Never Touch the Cage” is a story based on Bradbury’s trip, years ago as a new writer, to Mexico and the horrors of a very shady traveling circus – and the idea of the flimsy “cage” during a lion taming act.

Another screenplay, “The Catacombs,” is based on the story “The Next in Line.” The story and screenplay are based on a very harrowing Bradbury experience sometime around 1945, on a nightmarish trip to Mexico with a friend, visiting catacombs – and finding it hard to return, because they are so fascinating. But it is also the story of a failing marriage of Marie, a successful writer and her husband Joseph, and her attempts to get out of a very cruel relationship.

“The Black Ferris,” a first draft from 1989, is a teleplay of an original Bradbury short story, composed of much of the storyline from “The Dark Carnival” screen treatment.

Andrew M. Andrews

In This Issue

Soft Apocalpyse Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 Click on the Book Cover for Review Best Sci-Fi of the Year Oscar Wilde & Vampire Murders

Dawn to Dusk Brave New Worlds All Clear Zombie Autopsies Best of Kim Stanley Robinson

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Griftopia Sleight of Hand Immaculate Deception Pump Six

Sympathy for the Devil Atlantis & Othe Places Darkness Holiday Nano Comes to Clifford

Game Changers Armageddon In Retrospect   The Fall of the House of Usher Realms of Fantasy

Next Time In True Review


FLAMING ZEPPELINS: The Adventures of Ned the Seal, by Joe R. Lansdale. Tachyon Publications (, 2010, 285 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-002-5

FLAMING ZEPPELINS is a combination of two short novels, ZEPPELINS WEST (Subterranean Press, 2001) and FLAMING LONDON (Subterranean, 2005). The love of westerns and pulp fiction, comic books and Texas weirdness, come into play. The best campy fiction in all of America? Probably.

Andrew M. Andrews


THE COLLECTED FANTASIES VOL. 5, THE LAST HIEROGLYPH, by Clark Ashton Smith, ed. by Scott Connors and Ron Hilger. Night Shade Books (, 2010, 370 pp., $39.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-032-7

THE COLLECTED FANTASIES is the last of five volumes to collect all of Smith’s tales. Included are works ranging from “The Dark Age” (April 1938) to “The Dart of Rasasfa” (July 1961).

Andrew M. Andrews