Bradbury Beyond Apollo

Author: Jonathan R. Eller
The conclusion to the trilogy that began with Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound
Cloth – $34.95
978-0-252-04341-3
eBook – $14.95
978-0-252-05229-3
Publication Date
Cloth: 08/22/2020
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About the Book

Celebrated storyteller, cultural commentator, friend of astronauts, prophet of the Space Age—by the end of the 1960s, Ray Bradbury had attained a level of fame and success rarely achieved by authors, let alone authors of science fiction and fantasy. He had also embarked on a phase of his career that found him exploring new creative outlets while reinterpreting his classic tales for generations of new fans.

Drawing on numerous interviews with Bradbury and privileged access to personal papers and private collections, Jonathan R. Eller examines the often-overlooked second half of Bradbury's working life. As Bradbury's dreams took him into a wider range of nonfiction writing and public lectures, the diminishing time that remained for creative pursuits went toward Hollywood productions like the award-winning series Ray Bradbury Theater. Bradbury developed the Spaceship Earth narration at Disney's EPCOT Center; appeared everywhere from public television to NASA events to comic conventions; published poetry; and mined past triumphs for stage productions that enjoyed mixed success. Distracted from storytelling as he became more famous, Bradbury nonetheless published innovative experiments in autobiography masked as detective novels, the well-received fantasy The Halloween Tree, and the masterful time travel story "The Toynbee Convector." Yet his embrace of celebrity was often at odds with his passion for writing, and the resulting tension continuously pulled at his sense of self.

The revelatory conclusion to the acclaimed three-part biography, Bradbury Beyond Apollo tells the story of an inexhaustible creative force seeking new frontiers.

About the Author

Jonathan R. Eller is a Chancellor's Professor of English, Emeritus, at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and cofounder of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, where he served for ten years as the Bradbury Center’s director. His books Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound were each finalists for the Locus Award in the Nonfiction category.

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Becoming Ray Bradbury coverRay Bradbury Unbound cover

Reviews

"Eller's exhaustive exploration of Bradbury's creative output ties together how the strands of the author's restless imagination created a cohesive body of work with theme and panache. A must-have for Bradbury fans and sf scholars, and the perfect companion to the earlier volumes in the trilogy." --Library Journal

"Eller’s achievement in Bradbury Beyond Apollo and his two previous volumes will stand for years as the most penetrating view into the creative fire that was Bradbury’s mind and talent. It is a work of clear-eyed scholarship and, it must be said, love." --The Emotional Rationalist

"The careful detail of this biography paints a rich portrait of Bradbury as a talented conversationalist and gifted collaborator and allows readers to understand the nuances of his professional relationships." --Science

"A well-crafted biography of a man who inspired 'cosmic awareness in the everyday world.'" --Kirkus

"Bradbury Beyond Apollo satisfyingly closed out a minutely researched and finely realized three-volume biography of Ray Bradbury. " --Locus

"This final volume, published in the centennial years of its subject, is a fitting tribute to an admirable American original." --University Bookman

"An enlightening examination of the last years of Bradbury's remarkable life . . . Essential." --Choice

"Certain to be our generation's definitive life of Bradbury . . . This book makes an effective case for Bradbury's literary and social significance." --Science Fiction Studies

Blurbs

"Jonathan Eller’s final volume of his excellent biography of Ray Bradbury is an elegant and often poetic celebration of our great friend and a great man. Many wonderful memories return, and futures rise up. This book helps Ray follow the advice of Mr. Electrico: Live forever."--Greg Bear

"The third book from Jonathan Eller dealing with the creative life of Ray Bradbury is just as amazing and brilliant and insightful as the previous volumes. My only disappointment is that it's over, and unlike the others, this one carries a sweet and sour coating of finality. As it neared the end of Ray Bradbury's life and creative works, I wept. And that usually takes a knife wound. An insightful roundup of Ray Bradbury's life, inspirations, triumphs, and disappointments makes this one of the best books about an author I've ever read, and I've read a few. It's a triumph."--Joe R. Lansdale

"Jonathan Eller's conclusion to his biographical trilogy tracing the life and work of Ray Bradbury is every bit as terrific as the previous two volumes. Meticulous, informative, critically insightful, entertaining and utterly indispensable, it's just what one expects from our greatest authority on this great American writer."--Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Washington Post

"As with his earlier volumes, Eller makes meticulous use of his detailed research and extraordinary access to materials such as correspondence, manuscripts, and notebooks. The focus here is less on how Bradbury became a major writer, or how he parlayed his early success, than on his status as what Eller quite defensibly calls an American icon."--Gary K. Wolfe, author of Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature

Awards

• Finalist for the Locus Award, Nonfiction category, 2021