Tag Archives: Ray Bradbury

Mr. Moundshroud and A Thousand Pumpkins

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury  (1967)

Tuesday’s Tale for Halloween    September 29, 2020

Halloween is one month away. If you’ve not read Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, it’s a MUST READ for Halloween fans. This is an adventure story about a group of boys on Halloween night. Tom and his mates must search the Halloween world to find their missing friend Pip, who has been abducted into the Land of the Dead.


At some 160 pages, longer than a typical short story but not quite a novella, you can settle in for a spooky and nostalgic ride. What is so wonderful about this story, aside from all the little horrors along the way, is that we discover some of the oldest Halloween traditions from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mexico, Irish Druids, and much more about the Land of the Dead. Here’s a peek as the boys come upon a haunted house.

“Then the darkness within the house inhaled. A wind sucked through the gaping door. It pulled at the boys, dragging them across the porch. They had to lean back so as not to be snatched into the deep dark hall. They struggled, shouted, clutched the porch rails. But then the wind ceased. Darkness moved within darkness. Inside the house, a long way off, someone was walking toward the door. Whoever it was must have been dressed all in black for they could see nothing but a pale white face drifting on the air.”


At this house they come upon the Halloween Tree …

The pumpkins on the Tree were not mere pumpkins. Each had a face sliced in it. Each face was different. Every eye was a stranger eye. Every nose was a weirder nose. Every mouth smiled hideously in some new way. There must have been a thousand pumpkins on this tree, hung high and on every branch. A thousand smiles. A thousand grimaces. And twice-times-a thousand glares and winks and blinks and leerings of fresh-cut eyes. And as the boys watched, a new thing happened. The pumpkins began to come alive.


Ray Bradbury at his best! Rich language, vivid imagery, and so eerie on our most famous dark autumn night of the year. I loved the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud.

Read the story free at the EnglishOnlineClub.com (Illustrated by Joseph Mugnaini):



Listen to the audio by Ray Bradbury on YouTube.com


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 


Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine    HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

   Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian       The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites



Filed under classic horror stories, dark fantasy, dark literature, fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Halloween, Halloween stories, historical ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror

The African Veldt, Ray Bradbury

The Veldt  by Ray Bradbury

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   May 22, 2018




This is such a fun story. Somewhat like a haunted house story but one that crosses the lines as only Ray Bradbury can do so magnificently. George and Lydia Hadley have purchased a technologically advanced house that will do all the housekeeping and personal keeping for you. Virtual reality beyond anything we’ve seen. Once the Hadley family occupy this house—and are delighted that it can  cook your meals and clean up with ease and speed—things begin to change. The children Peter and Wendy love this house and its powers, especially in the nursery. The walls are glass and can project any landscape  they can dream up. Wouldn’t you love to live in a house that can receive your thoughts and desires and the send out that image? And then create that reality in real time? One day, the children leap beyond strawberry ice cream and hot dogs at the carnival they imagined. They begin to have unfriendly and wild thoughts.

Don’t miss Bradbury’s keen science of psychology here. Family life, secrets, communication, and manipulative kids who love the dangerous and exotic creatures of Africa on the veldtland.




Read the short story here at Veddma.com. My apologies that this story is in black with green text, but it’s the only free copy online:








Listen to the audio (29 minutes), read by Leonard Nimoy. You’ll love it!





If you are a Bradbury fan, HBO cable network is presenting an adaptation of his most famous novel Fahrenheit 451. This aired Saturday, May 19 but  is available On Demand. For repeat airings, check local listings for HBO. https://www.hbo.com/movies/fahrenheit-451


The original film in 1966 starred Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, directed by François Truffaut. Available on Amazon Prime Streaming.

Ray Bradbury is well known and loved for his fantastic imagination, literary prowess, and vision. He has won numerous awards such as Hugo Awards, World Fantasy Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and others. Ray died on June 5, 2012 at the age of 91.

“I use a scientific idea as a platform to leap into the air and never come back.” 


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction. Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”  


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

HorrorNews.net   Fangoria.com   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian      HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


Filed under fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost story blogs, horror, horror blogs, literature, mysteries, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror, weird tales

The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

Last Night of the World  by Ray Bradbury, published in Esquire, 1951

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 23, 2016



What would you do if you knew that this night was the last night of the world? Would you meet it with grace? Bravery? A last indulgence? Panic? Would you examine yourself for a good or bad life?

A married couple are sitting at the dinner table talking.

She asks …  “And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”

He replies … “Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”



In this sci-fi story (I’m not a sci-fi fan but I really liked this story because it provoked deep thinking), people have the same dream on the same date in February about the end of the world. If you were the characters in this story, would you  believe the end was really coming? Or maybe, just maybe you might think it’s the beginning of a time loop … like in a parallel world?  Or maybe it was true that death will strike soon after closing your eyes this night.  What if?




Reading time on this story is 5 minutes. Got 5 minutes and cup o’ joe? Wow, this is a compelling dive into everyone’s greatest fear of knowing you will be the last conscious beings when the world ends on a cold night on February 30. Yes, February 30!


Read the short story here at Esquire.com.

Listen to the audio drama at Behance.net.

Watch the Ray Bradbury Theater on You Tube


FOR THE WRITERS HERE: Lit Reactor.com has Five Ray Bradbury stories that will tell you everything you need to know about writing.




Ray Bradbury, termed the “poet of the pulps,” said in an interview in the Paris Review, The Art of Fiction (2010) that he was “completely library educated. I’ve never been to college … I discovered me in the library.” He died in 2012 at the age of 91. 

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.




Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Follow my blog and join me in reading a short story every other week!

Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

Writing is Survival. Ray Bradbury’s Zen

Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

Book Review and Commentary  February 11, 2016



So, how’s your literary cosmos been lately? Need a boost? Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing was published in 1996, but the wisdom here is timeless. The creative side to writing fiction, the joy, the muse, the long road ahead that Bradbury explores in these chapters will inspire and cheer you.

sparkling bookimages


Bradbury asks, what does writing teach us? “To be alive!” Yeah, and his energy is on every page of this book. Zest, gusto, excitement! He echoes what Stephen King says about writing fast and furious in a heat. Bradbury advises “The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.” No self-conscious writing now; honesty is the key to real stories. He wants us to leap upon the truth.

While Bradbury has written hundreds of stories in some forty years, he states that each tale was a way to finding himself. I really liked this idea because writing is a destination and often times the journey is in the dark. From the tone of this book, Bradbury sounds like he is ruthlessly honest with himself.

The Characters

His suggestions about creating characters are simple: “Find a character, like yourself, who will want something or not want something with all his heart. Give him running orders. Shoot him off. Then follow as fast as you can go. The character in his great love or hate, will rush you through to the end of the story.” Hot diggity! I love this idea. Let go of all the controls and have fun. Have you ever let a character just move and speak on the page without directing? That kind of writing can be so exciting.

The Plot

Plot? Oh my, he’d get a big fat F from most traditional writing teachers for this one: “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action.” This man totally speaks my language since I never plot my novels in the early drafts.

The Muse

And then there’s the Muse. This chapter alone “How to Keep and Feed a Muse” is worth the price of the book. Here the subconscious rules, the mighty intuition. This fantastic storehouse inside us is the source of all creativity. What to feed your muse? Bradbury says to read poetry every day. Dive into books of essays. Don’t be a snob though, help yourself to equal parts trash and treasure. And feed your senses; take long walks and observe and absorb. To keep the Muse you must work regularly, work well, and “stay drunk on writing.” Stay alive!


If you are thinking you have to slant your stories for the commercial market or slant it for high literary kudos, Bradbury say both directions are wrong and thwart the honesty of the writer and the truth of the story. He names it a lie to write in such a way aimed at being rewarded by money in the commercial market. It is also a lie for the “self-conscious literary” writer to quill a few paragraphs a day imitating the flourishes of Virginia Woolf or Jack Kerouac. Free yourself of literary cant and commercial bias.

Bradbury believes that “quantity will make for quality” because quantity gives experience. So what’s his formula?

WORK (Hard work will take on its own rhythms)

RELAXATION (Gives rise to deeper relaxation)

DON’T THINK. (Unthinkingness results in greater creativity)



Available on Amazon.com or your local library.


This book is a keeper for me, a book to read once a year to energize and awaken. Bradbury has a thought that is probably a good mantra for any writer …

“To fail is to give up.”

Take a read of  this at The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction, Interview with Ray Bradbury






Visit the RayBradbury.com website.







Next on my list, I’m reviewing Jack Grapes’ “Method Writing” which focuses on finding the writer’s deep inner voice and activating the creative process to empower your writing. Can’t wait!


images-1My Recommended List of the Best Writing Books I’ve Read.


On Writing Fiction, A Memoir of the Craft by

Stephen King (read book review here)



Writing Fiction, A Guide to Narrative Craft, by Janet Burroway. All the basics of how to write: the writing process, show vs. tell, characterization, fictional atmosphere and place, story structure and plot, point of view, theme, and revision.
Story, Robert McKee
Story Trumps Structure, Steven James
The Fire in Fiction, Donald Maass
The Art of Fiction, John Gardner (I reread this book once a year, it’s that good)
Making Shapely Fiction, Jerome Stern
The Art of Character, David Corbett
Getting into Character, Brandilyn Collins
The Secret Miracle, the Novelist’s Handbook, edited by Daniel Alarcon
Becoming a Writer, Dorothea Brande
The Faith of a Writer, Life, Craft, Art, Joyce Carole Oates
If You Want to Write, Brenda Ueland
Reading like a Writer, Francine Prose
Elements of Style, Strunk & White

Best Editing Books for Writers:
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne & Dave King
A Dash of Style, Noah Lukeman
The Grammar Bible, Michael Strumpf & Auriel Douglas
Line by Line, Claire Kehrwald Cook
The Careful Writer, Theodore M. Bernstein
Chicago Manual of Style

Comments welcome!




Filed under Book Reviews, fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, psychological horror, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers