Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles

There Will Come Soft Rains-Usher II



          Ray Bradbury's world is that of healthy, small town America. It is also the America of Edgar Allan Poe where only horrors and demons live. In Bradbury's stories the two live side by side and the nostalgic delights of a simpler, easier life can (and do) turn into something very frightening.
          The character of a house is as much a part of that house as the materials from which it is made. The importance of a house's character can be seen by the effect it has on the people who occupy (or have occupied) it. Both of these stories are about houses, their characters, and their destruction.

Usher II

          Of all the houses, castles, mansions and other dwelling places in literature few are as famous as the House of Usher. But the House of Usher never actually existed. Well, not in the sense that one could walk into it and look around, but nevertheless it does exist. Created first in Edgar Allan Poe's imagination, since the story was written it has existed in the minds and imaginations of countless numbers of other people.
          For those of us who love people and places which have never existed except in other people's imaginations and therefore in ours, Usher II presents a terrifying possibility. The main question is, can the worlds of ideas and imagination be eliminated by men who destroy and forbid books?
          All of science fiction owes a debt to Edgar Allan Poe and among contemporary writers few seem as aware of this debt as Ray Bradbury. Most people associate Poe with mystery stories, but the form of his stories, and the effect in both his stories and poems of an unexplained presence of evil have influenced generations of science fiction writers.
other people's imaginations and therefore in ours, Usher Ii presents a terrifying possibility. The main question is, can the worlds of ideas and imagination be elimi- nated by men who destroy and forbid books?
          All of science fiction owes a debt to Edgar Allan Poe and among contemporary writers few seem as aware of this debt as Ray Bradbury. Most people associate Poe with mystery stories, but the form of his stories, and the effect in both his stories and poems of an unexplained presence of evil have influenced generations of science fiction writers.
          Usher II is not only about the work of Poe, but of all the writers who have dealt with tales of terror, fantasy, horror and the future. The particular horror faced in this story is one of our century, namely the mindless bureaucracy which must destroy that which it cannot understand and pigeonhole. At the time the story was first pub- lished in 1950 such a possibility occurring in the Western World seemed very remote, but as this century has progressed the possibility shows alarming signs of turning into a probability.

There Will Come Soft Rains
         For anyone who has ever had to keep a house clean Ray Bradbury has invented the Ideal House. It is completely equipped with mechanisms which provide every service for its occupants from making breakfast to tying shoelaces.   That is, when there is someone in the house with shoelaces to be tied.
          This house, which has been built to serve every need of its occupants and which does so with frightening efficiency, has no way of knowing that the occupants are no longer there. It goes on relentlessly, providing all the necessities and luxuries of everyday life, but it is unable to prevent its own destruction.
          The house in this story, which was also first published in 1950, is one of the dream houses which were being proposed and speculated about in the years immediately following World War II. At the time the media was telling Americans that the advances of technology made during the War were going to be used in peace time to further the American consumer's dream. Even then Bradbury showed us how quickly a dream could turn into a nightmare.
SANDRA LEY

Sandra Ley is the daughter of two remarkable people, Dr. Willy Ley, one of the pioneers of rocketry, and Olga Ley who has been active in many forms of art. Miss Ley is the author of Fashion for Everyone and Sewing (Scribner's) and has just completed an original anthology of science fiction stories for Simon and Schuster entitled Beyond Time.

Before Leonard Nimoy catapulted to fame in the role of Mr. Spock on NBC's "Star Trek" series, he had appeared in over 100 guest roles on various television series. He had also worked in several films including Jean Genet's "The Balcony" with Shelley Winters and Peter Falk, and "Deathwatch." Following the success of "Star Trek," Nimoy went on to star as the versatile Paris in CBS's "Mission: Impossible." As multi-talented as Paris, Nimoy's favorite creative outlets aside from acting and directing are writing and photography. His black and white studies have been shown in various displays and his books You and I and WiIl I Think of You have been published by Celestial Arts.


Two versions of the SINGLE from this album.

ZARELLI 21st Century re-issue on vinyl


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