And I finally got to speak to Merche. She called from Rio to make contact and ask if I could get Bloomsbury to send her some copies of the new books - the hardback of Tales of Terror from the Black Ship, and the paperback of Uncle Montague. She is also going to make contact with Adriana Sardinha from Rocco and liaise with her about a possible bookshop event to promote the Portuguese edition of Uncle Montague. I'm really looking forward to it.
I bought a compilation of Ray Bradbury stories when we were in London. The dismally dull cover hides work of genius. There is no other writer quite like him. He tells stories that are more like modern folk tales than sci-fi. He is like Kafka: a genre in himself. If you have never read Bradbury, go and buy something - though he is shockingly underpublished for someone who is so often mentioned as a major inspiration. He is a writer's writer.
But don't let that put you off.
There are some great stories in here. The Fog Horn is fantastic. And there are a couple with children as the main protagonists - the creepy Fever Dream, and the wonderful Hail and Farewell about a boy who does not grow up - that I may try out on my son and see what he makes of them. He just writes so well. I love this line from The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse:
Garvey and his wife had lived enormously alone for twenty years.