The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum welcomes THE BLACKENING OF FLESH

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum (RBEM) last night as part of Waukegan’s ZombieWauk 2018. The 8th Annual ZombieWauk is a Halloween-themed edition of Waukegan’s monthly festival of the arts, or ArtWauk, which happens the third Saturday of every month. The museum, at 13 North Genesee Street in Bradbury’s hometown of Waukegan, Illinois, will feature exhibits that explore themes of space travel, freedom of expression, comics and more.


Something awesome this way comes…

Before the event, fellow author Justin Hamelin and I grabbed a bite at (where else?) Green Town Tavern (110 S. Genesee Street). Green Town, of course, was Bradbury’s fictional moniker for Waukegan, which features heavily in his novels DANDELION WINE and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. Zombies started pouring in looking for brains while I finished my fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich, which is really something you ought to try at least once.

The evening began with RBEM Committee member Irene Edgar reading a passage from Bradbury’s 1972 novel, THE HALLOWEEN TREE, in which a group of eight boys look for their missing friend, Pipkin. Their search takes them on a journey across time and space as they discover the origins of Halloween. While Edgar read in one corner of the room, Orty Ortwein was the “writer in the window”, putting words on the page (or screen) in a museum celebrating the art of writing and imagination.

I then read several selections, including the first chapter of THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, a nostalgic novel set in my own Green Town, “Brickton, Illinois”, which is a stand-in of sorts for my childhood home of Park Ridge. I also read a few flash pieces from 44 LIES BY 22 AUTHORS and a good chunk of “Center Stage Sideshow” in SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS. Fans of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES will not miss the inspiration in that one.

Rondo Hatton Award™-winning writer Justin Hamelin headlined the evening, giving those gathered a preview of his upcoming short story collection with a reading of “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire”, and also a bit of “Sick Love Potion” from his debut collection, THICKER THAN BLOOD. Hamelin wrapped up by fielding a questions from the audience, and the evening wrapped up with mingling, chatting, and more than a couple new fans forged from the crowd.

The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum is still in its infancy, but has big plans to grow in the space at 13 North Genesee Street, and maybe even someday to Bradbury’s childhood library a block away. Support RBEM by visiting their home on the web or the museum itself–and if you can, donate, volunteer your time, or just spread the word about this worthy cause endorsed by Bradbury’s daughters and fans of his work around the world.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.

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