Tuesday, 13 October 2015

GREAT GHOSTS OF THE SHELVES #22 - Tracing the Dark Carnival

Dark Carnival was Ray Bradbury's first  book, comprised of some twenty-seven tales, and published by the legendary Arkham House in 1947. While Bradbury would become famous as an SF author, he had always written more than just science fiction, and the early stories collected in Dark Carnival showcase Bradbury's dark side in a brilliant collection of eerie fantasies and imaginative horror tales. Now then, the tales in Dark Carnival have had a long and tangled publishing history (as alluded to last week), which I shall attempt to unravel here. Here are the details of the first edition -

(Arkham House 1947 US)
  1. The Homecoming
  2. Skeleton
  3. The Jar
  4. The Lake
  5. The Maiden
  6. The Tombstone
  7. The Smiling People
  8. The Emissary
  9. The Traveler
  10. The Small Assassin
  11. The Crowd
  12. Reunion
  13. The Handler
  14. The Coffin
  15. Interim
  16. Jack-in-the-Box
  17. The Scythe
  18. Let's Play 'Poison'
  19. Uncle Einar
  20. The Wind
  21. The Night
  22. There Was An Old Woman
  23. The Dead Man
  24. The Man Upstairs
  25. The Night Sets
  26. The Cistern
  27. The Next In Line
Next the anthology was reprinted in the UK by Hamish Hamilton, with new cover art from Michael Ayrton. However this edition dropped seven of the stories and also rearranged the running order.

(Hamish Hamilton 1948 UK)
  1. The Crowd
  2. The Emissary
  3. The Jar
  4. The Lake
  5. The Man Upstairs
  6. The Night
  7. Skeleton
  8. The Small Assassin
  9. There Was An Old Woman
  10. Uncle Einar
  11. The Tombstone
  12. The Next In Line
  13. The Wind
  14. The Cistern
  15. Homecoming (former The Homecoming)
  16. The Dead Man
  17. Let's Play 'Poison'
  18. The Handler
  19. The Smiling People
  20. The Traveler
This edition only includes twenty of the original stories. The missing tales were -
  1. The Maiden
  2. The Night Sets
  3. The Scythe
  4. Reunion
  5. Interim
  6. Jack-in-the-Box
Several years later, fifteen of the tales in the original Dark Carnival were reprinted, some in a revised form, in a later collection entitled The October Country. This was published in the US by Ballantine Books in 1955,  with cover art and interior illustrations by Joe Mugnaini. The October Country also included four additional tales, which had previously appeared in other places, but fitted in nicely to the autumnal feel of this collection. 

(Ballantine 1955 USA)
  1. The Crowd  (DC)
  2. The Emissary (DC)
  3. The Jar  (DC)
  4. The Lake  (DC)
  5. The Man Upstairs (DC)
  6. The Scythe (DC)
  7. Skeleton (DC)
  8. The Small Assassin  (DC)
  9. There Was An Old Woman (DC)
  10. Uncle Einar (DC)
  11. The Dwarf  (OC)
  12. The Next in Line  (DC)
  13. The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse (OC)
  14. The Wind (DC)
  15. The Cistern (DC)
  16. Homecoming (DC)
  17. The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone (OC)
  18. Touched With Fire (OC)
  19. Jack-in-the-Box (DC)
(OC) = new stories added to The October Country (1955)
(DC) = stories from Dark Carnvial (1947)

The October Country was also printed in the UK by Rupert Hard Davis Ltd. in 1956, again with a cover by Joe Mugnaini, a variant of the US edition, but with the stories in a different order.

(Rupert Hard Davis Ltd. 1956 UK)
  1. The Dwarf (OC)
  2. The Next in Line (DC)
  3. The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse (OC)
  4. Skeleton (DC)
  5. The Jar  (DC)
  6. The Lake  (DC)
  7. The Emissary (DC)
  8. Touched With Fire (OC)
  9. The Small Assassin (DC)
  10. The Crowd (DC)
  11. Jack-in-the-Box (DC)
  12. The Scythe (DC)
  13. Uncle Einar (DC)
  14. The Wind (DC)
  15. The Man Upstairs (DC)
  16. There Was An Old Woman (DC)
  17. The Cistern (DC)
  18. Homecoming (DC)
  19. The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone (OC)
Right then, pay close attention, because this is where it gets complicated! The first paperback edition from Ballantine in 1956 reprinted all nineteen stories, and used the running order from the UK hardback. And this remained the format for subsequent paperback editions in the US. Furthermore Rupert Hard Davis Ltd. reissued The October Country as a hardback several times down the decades, retaining the same contents. 

However the UK paperback editions somewhat confusingly slimmed down the book, whittling down the story count to thirteen. And there was to be another significant change too - for only twelve tales from The October Country would be included, and the thirteenth tale would be The Traveler from Dark Carnival. This new line-up of thirteen stories first appeared in the 1961 paperback edition from Ace UK, but later was adopted for other editions from the New English Library (in 1970 and 1975), and Panther (1976 and 1984). 

THE OCTOBER COUNTRY - UK Paperback Edition
(Ace UK 1961)
  1. The Dwarf  (DC) (OC)
  2. The Watchful Poker Chip of H.Matisse (OC)
  3. The Skeleton (DC) (OC)
  4. The Jar (DC) (OC)
  5. The Traveler (DC)
  6. The Emissary (DC) (OC)
  7. Touched with Fire (OC)
  8. The Scythe (DC) (OC)
  9. Uncle Einar (DC) (OC)
  10. The Wind (DC) (OC)
  11. There was an Old Woman (DC) (OC)
  12. The Homecoming (DC) (OC)
  13. The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone (OC)
However it was a regular publishing convention that large books of short stories like this would often be broken up into two separate volumes for the paperback release. And while they often appeared marked as Such-And-Such Volume 1 and 2, it was not uncommon for publishers to retain the original title for the first half but publish the second with an entirely new title.

So then, in the UK, the missing tales would get a separate volume of their own, one  that was not billed as The October Country Vol. II. Instead the rest of the stories would appear in a paperback entitled The Small Assassin. However in this case, as there were only seven stories left over, it was decided to make up the shortfall with a selection of tales from Dark Carnival that have not made it into earlier versions of The October Country.

(Ace UK 1962)
  1. The Small Assassin (DC) (OC)
  2. The Next In Line (DC) (OC)
  3. The Lake (DC) (OC)
  4. The Crowd (DC) (OC)
  5. Jack-In-The-Box (DC) (OC)
  6. The Man Upstairs (DC) (OC)
  7. The Cistern (DC) (OC)
  8. The Tombstone (DC) 
  9. The Smiling People (DC)
  10. The Handler (DC)
  11. Let’s Play “Poison” (DC)
  12. The Night (DC)
  13. The Dead Man (DC)
The Small Assassin was reprinted in paperback by Four Square in 1964 and 1965, then again by the New English Library in 1970 and 1973, by Panther in 1976, and again by Pather/Granda in 1984. The last edition was by Grafton in 1986. So then, all but five stories from the original Dark Carnival were printed in The October Country and Small Assassin UK paperbacks. For the record, the uncollected tales were -
  1. The Maiden
  2. Reunion
  3. The Coffin
  4. Interim
  5. The Night Sets
Now for years, Bradbury forbade a reprinting of Dark Carnival, because he had revised many of the stories for The October Country. However he relented in 2001 and allowed a limited edition to be done. This luxury reprint was limited to 750 copies and featured four new stories and an afterword by Clive Barker. And even more limited edition of 52 copies was produced that was lettered, leather-bound and trayed. This version was signed by both Bradbury and Barker, came a CD of an audio interview with Bradbury, and with a chapbook contained an extra tale - Time Intervening 

(Gauntlet Press 2001 US)
  1. Jack-in-the-Box
  2. Let's Play 'Poison'
  3. Reunion
  4. Skeleton
  5. The Cistern
  6. The Coffin
  7. The Crowd
  8. The Dead Man
  9. The Emissary
  10. The Handler
  11. The Jar
  12. The Lake
  13. The Maiden
  14. The Man Upstairs
  15. The Next In Line
  16. The Night
  17. The Night Sets
  18. The Scythe
  19. The Small Assassin
  20. The Smiling People
  21. The Tombstone
  22. The Traveler
  23. The Wind
  24. There Was An Old Woman
  25. Uncle Einar
  26. Editors Notes - essay by Donn Alright
  27. Dark Carnival Revisited - essay by Ray Bradbury
  28. Dark Carnival: A History - essay by Jon Eller
  29. The Last Unknown: An Afterword by Clive Barker
  30. The Sea Shell*
  31. The Watchers*
  32. Bang! You're Dead!*
  33. The Poems*
  34. The Homecoming
  35. Interim
* new stories added in this edition

However previously the Gauntlet Press also published a limited edition of The October Country too in 1997 for its 40th anniversary. This was limited to 500 copies, with a deluxe leather-bound edition of 52 copies. There were no new stories added to this edition, so I shall spare you all another listing!

And finally, and for the sake of completeness, Bradbury was to write few more tales concerning the strange and monstrous Elliot Family who feature in three tales first published in Dark Carnival, which would appear in his collections The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953), The Toynbee Convector (1988). In 2001, all the Elliot Family tales were collected into a single volume entitled From the Dust Returned and woven into a novel format. It was published by William Morrow/Harper Collins and appropriately enough featured a cover by Charles Addams. 
  1. The April Witch (from The Golden Apples of the Sun 1953)
  2. Homecoming (from Dark Carnival)
  3. West of October (from The Toynbee Convector 1988) 
  4. On the Orient North (from The Toynbee Convector 1988) 
  5. Uncle Einar (from Dark Carnival)
  6. The Traveler (from Dark Carnival)
  7. From the Dust Returned (originally only published in The Magazine of Fantasy &Science Fiction, September 1994) 

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