MARIONETTES, INC. by Ray Bradbury, dust jacket and interior illustrations by Mark A. Nelson. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2009. 1st edition hardcover.
Length: 120 pages.
In Marionettes, Inc., Ray Bradbury offers his devoted readers something both special and unexpected: a unified view of one small corner of a varied fictional universe. In five stories (one of them original to this collection, plus a rare, previously unpublished screen treatment), Bradbury explores the concept of Robotics and examines its impact on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.
Several of these tales, including “Changeling” and “Punishment Without Crime,” are set in a world in which the eponymous company, Marionettes, Inc., has successfully created incredibly detailed replicas of existing men and women. When these surrogate “people” take their place in the real, often messy realm of human relationships, the results are sometimes tragic, sometimes ironic, and always surprising.
But the true heart of this resonant collection is the classic novella, “I Sing the Body Electric.” In this quintessential Bradbury story, an “electric Grandma” enters the lives of a grieving, newly motherless family, and slowly restores their capacity for wonder and joy. Like the very best of Bradbury’s fiction, it is a magical, deeply felt account of hope, growth, survival, and change, and a moving meditation on what it really means to be human.
Marionettes, Inc is printed in two colors throughout, and features a full-color dust jacket, as well as pen and ink illustrations at the head of each story by Mark A. Nelson.
Trade: 2000 fully cloth-bound hardcover copies.
Table of Contents:
I Sing the Body Electric,
Punishment without Crime,
Wind-up World (previously unpublished),
Murder by Facsimile (screen treatment, previously unpublished).
From Publishers Weekly:
"Cherry-picking the marionette-themed pieces from Bradbury's extensive oeuvre creates a nicely unified tone… The end result is most appealing to Bradbury completists and those who want a good introduction to his work."
Fine in fine dj.