The Mad Wizards of Mars

“The Mad Wizards of Mars”

168.2 this is the year 2120,] The date is inconsistent with a later allusion to books being outlawed “a century ago, in the year 2067…” This inconsistency appears in the Maclean’s first printing and the F&SF reprint; it was corrected in Derleth’s Beyond Space and Time by changing the date of the Mars mission to 2167. For The Illustrated Man, Bradbury kept the date of the mission at 2120 but re-dated Earth’s book-burning era to 2020.

168.18 Tales of Mystery and Imagination,] The Maclean’s first printing styled all titles, regardless of genre, in quotation marks. But in the context of the story, each title represents a futuristic book-length edition, and in all subsequent republications supervised by Bradbury all titles in the story’s two “catalog” recitations of books were correctly styled in italics. The present edition also italicizes all title allusions in these two lists and corrects erroneous titles, but otherwise follows the original Maclean’s text in its entirety. Corrected titles are identified in textual notes.

168.20–24 Rappaccini’s Daughter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne…The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth, by H.P. Lovecraft.] For Beyond Space and Time, editor August Derleth apparently persuaded Bradbury to change the titles (but not the authors) in four instances: Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse; Bierce’s Can Such Things Be?; The Empty House, by Algernon Blackwood; and The Outsider and Others, by H. P. Lovecraft. The Outsider and Others was the first Lovecraft title published by Derleth for his Arkham House imprint, and he would have considered it a better allusion than The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The F&SF text retains Bradbury’s original titles for these authors, as do all subsequent Bradbury story collections containing this story.

168.23–24 The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth,] The original Maclean’s printing reads The Horror at Innsmouth, perhaps an unintentional conflation of Lovecraft’s The Horror at Redhook and The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The error was corrected (perhaps by Boucher) to reflect the original 1936 Lovecraft title in the F&SF version of “The Exiles,” but for The Illustrated Man Bradbury revised to The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth, the title of the 1944 first paperback edition of this Lovecraft work; this reading remains in all subsequent Bradbury collections containing “The Exiles.” Clearly, Bradbury’s final intention for the Lovecraft title surfaced very early on—during the summer of 1950, less than a year after the Maclean’s first printing, he was lightly revising “The Exiles” for The Illustrated Man. Of the two correct forms, The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth is more reliably Bradbury’s, and is emended into the present edition.

169.3 the castle] Bradbury changed Poe’s Usheresque castle headquarters to L. Frank Baum’s Emerald City in all subsequent published versions of the story.

169.16–17 Othello, Lear,] these allusions remain in the Beyond Space and Time anthology text, but are replaced by an allusion to Puck in F&SF and all subsequent versions of the story.

169.20–169.21 Mr. Ambrose Bierce,…flame.] At Tony Boucher’s suggestion, Bradbury revised Bierce’s characterization for the F&SF reprint: “Mr. Ambrose Bierce, sitting very idly there, lighting matches and watching them burn down, whistling under his breath, now and then laughing to himself.” A few lines later, also in revision, Bierce will “merrily” glance up from the flame. This revised characterization is not in Beyond Space and Time, but it remained in subsequent versions of the text.

169.22 Mr. Hawthorne now,”] After discussing the Hawthorne visit with Tony Boucher, Bradbury decided to replace the Poe-Hawthorne episode with a Poe-Dickens encounter in the F&SF version. Hawthorne remained in Beyond Space and Time, but the Dickens revisions replace the original reading in all subsequent versions.

170.20–21 “…guts?” ¶ Poe swayed, faintly drunk] The passage is unchanged in Beyond Space and Time, but in F&SF and subsequent versions, Poe’s characterization becomes more manic, as seen in this expanded passage: “‘…guts? It should be quite a war. I shall sit on the sidelines and be the scorekeeper. So many Earthmen boiled in oil, so many Mss. Found in Bottles burnt, so many Earth Men stabbed with needles, so many Red deaths put to flight by a battery of hypodermic syringes—ha!’ ¶ Poe swayed angrily, faintly drunk…”

170.32 Blackwood.] Algernon Blackwood joins Poe and Bierce at this point in all versions except Beyond Space and Time, where Arthur Machen becomes the third spirit.

170.34–35 said Mr. Bierce. ¶ They] For the F&SF reprint, Bradbury added a whimsical encounter with H. P. Lovecraft as Poe, Bierce and Blackwood make their way to visit Dickens (an F&SF substitution for Hawthorne). Bradbury was not satisfied with this long 600-word parody of Lovecraft and deleted it from all further versions. Bradbury retained the Dickens encounter, which provided similar humorous relief.

171.33–173.29 Mr. Hawthorne…“I will help you.”] With the exception of Beyond Space and Time, the Hawthorne passage was replaced by an encounter with Charles Dickens in all subsequent versions of the tale.

173.8 in the year 2067,] Beginning with The Illustrated Man version of the story, the date inconsistency at this point is corrected by changing the date of the great Book Burning to 2020. See also note at 164.5 (this is the year 2120).

173.30 They hurried along] To this point in the Maclean’s first printing, Poe has been accompanied by Ambrose Bierce and Algernon Blackwood. In Beyond Space and Time, Bierce and Arthur Machen had been Poe’s lieutenants. In the F&SF version and all subsequent texts, Bierce and Blackwood are replaced at this point by Machen and A. E. Coppard. The armies of Othello and Macbeth also disappear from the marshalling forces of fantasy in the F&SF revisions.

174.15 Hawthorne brooded] In the F&SF and subsequent texts, Hawthorne’s long reverie is transferred to Coppard.

174.35 wondered Hawthorne,] These lines are given to Poe in the F&SF revisions.

175.8–16 “Has Dickens…everyone.] In the Maclean’s first printing, Dickens is scoffed as a dabbler in fantasy whose works (except for A Christmas Carol) have survived on Earth. The F&SF revisions bring Dickens into the fantasy fold, and this superseded reference to the original characterization of Dickens was deleted.

176.5 murmured Hawthorne.] These lines are given to Blackwood in the F&SF revisions.

177.17 The Willows,] In Derleth’s Beyond Space and Time, Blackwood’s famous tale is replaced by the broader scope of The Lost Valley [and Other Stories] (1910).

177.17–18 Behold the Dreamer,] The Maclean’s first printing erroneously typeset the title of this 1939 Walter de la Mare anthology as two works, “Behold” and “The Dreamer.” The F&SF version sustained the error; the Beyond Space and Time anthology text partially corrected the allusion to Behold, the Dreamer, but the Illustrated Man text (set from the heavily revised F&SF version) restores the full error. The correct title, lacking only the final exclamation point, finally appears in the R Is for Rocket version (1966), and remains in subsequent Bradbury collections. The final punctuation has been added for the present edition.

178.20 Usher, I think it was.] In the F&SF revisions, Poe’s House of Usher is replaced by Baum’s Emerald City as the center of the fantasy authors’ last stand on Mars.