The October Country
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The October Country

by Ray Bradbury
Release date: 1955
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, horror

Welcome to a land Ray Bradbury calls "the Undiscovered Country" of his imagination – that vast territory of ideas, concepts, notions and conceits where the stories you now hold were born. America's premier living author of short fiction, Bradbury has spent many lifetimes in this remarkable place – strolling through empty, shadow-washed fields at midnight; exploring long-forgotten rooms gathering dust behind doors bolted years ago to keep strangers locked out... and secrets locked in. The nights are longer in this country. The cold hours of darkness move like autumn mists deeper and deeper toward winter. But the moonlight reveals great magic here – and a breathtaking vista.

The October Country is many places: a picturesque Mexican village where death is a tourist attraction; a city beneath the city where drowned lovers are silently reunited; a carnival midway where a tiny man's most cherished fantasy can be fulfilled night after night. The October Country's inhabitants live, dream, work, die – and sometimes live again – discovering, often too late, the high price of citizenship. Here a glass jar can hold memories and nightmares; a woman's newborn child can plot murder; and a man's skeleton can war against him. Here there is no escaping the dark stranger who lives upstairs... or the reaper who wields the world. Each of these stories is a wonder, imagined by an acclaimed tale-teller writing from a place shadows. But there is astonishing beauty in these shadows, born from a prose that enchants and enthralls. Ray Bradbury's The October Country is a land of metaphors that can chill like a long-after-midnight wind... as they lift the reader high above a sleeping Earth on the strange wings of Uncle Einar.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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