Some time ago, Ted Grau asked me if I’d take a look at his forthcoming collection of stories, The Nameless Dark, and, if I liked what I read, maybe write a blurb for it. I said sure. I read it, and kept reading it, and liked it very much, indeed. This is what I sent him:
–John Langan, author of The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
For reasons having nothing to do with Ted, the blurb never made it to the printed book. That’s fine: I still got to read his stories, so as far as I’m concerned, I came out on the winning end of things. Ted sent me a copy of the finished book, which was very generous, but he included with it something even more generous, a piece of Ray Bradbury’s stupidly-demolished home (a few fragments of which Ted managed to save before they were carted away).
Talk about being bowled over. I’ve written a little bit about Bradbury’s importance to me as a writer, but there’s much more to say on the subject. For the moment, suffice it to say, one of the nicest compliments my fiction has received came from a reader who compared it to Bradbury’s and T.C. Boyle’s, by which he meant that he never knew what he was going to get when he sat down with one of my stories. For this little piece of his house to arrive felt positively uncanny. It was like something out of a Ray Bradbury story. Of course, some of those end…less than ideally for their protagonists.
Before I open my front door and find myself in the southern California of fifty years ago, however, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ted for his gift publicly, and to share what I wrote for his book with a wider audience. If you don’t have a copy of Ted’s collection, do yourself a favor, and pick it up.