“Fever Dream” by Ray BradburyNovember 1, 2010
The Book: “Fever Dream” by Ray Bradbury. Originally published in the September, 1948 edition of Weird Tales. The story was read in A Medicine for Melancholy printed in 1963 by Bantum Books.
The Setting: A present, small town America.
The Story: A very sick boy is taken over by germs.
The Science: I read once that 90% of the cells in the human body belong to non-human microbes. That’s a lot. And the idea of some sort of spontaneous (r)evolution wherein the microbes gang up and take over is interesting, but not really plausible, given what I know about such things. Sure, some little organisms can change the behavior of the carrier, but this story implies a great deal more coordination and intention than that.
The Reaction: A nice short story, with a nice idea, and a chilling ending. I feel like I’m hitting Bradbury at his stride just now.
The Cover: Well, I suppose a medicine for melancholy would be whimsical, and this cover has whimsy, in that old fashioned clip art sort of way. But I’m not delighted overall, and am downright confused about that naked lady. It’s like the cover designer had 15 minutes to put it together.
Next Up: “Pillar of Fire” by Ray Bradbury.