Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman presents three stories about transformation.  He says Angela Carter was the first to discover the strange “screwed up” quality in fairy tales that makes them as mesmerizing for adults as for children.  “The Company of Wolves” is her haunting retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.”  It was made into a film by Neil Jordan some years ago, and is read here by Rita Wolf.

Gaiman’s own “Adventure Tale,” originally published in McSweeney’s, is more playful.  A dutiful son inquires about a queer family relic, and hears a mind-bending tale from his sedate mother.  “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” creator John Cameron Mitchell is the reader.

Next, Gaiman’s touching and unsettling tribute to a sci-fi master, “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury.”  The story’s aphasic narrator tries to hang on to the words of the brilliant creator of such works as “The Martian Chronicles” and “Farenheit 451,” as well as short stories, including “The Veldt” and “The Pedestrian,” both previously featured on SHORTS.

The story was a 90th birthday present for Bradbury, who was a friend of Gaiman’s, and is read by “True Blood” star Denis O’Hare.

Neil Gaiman did a special in-studio reading of his story “March Tale.”

It was part of a crowd-sourced fiction project that he did in conjunction with Blackberry, asking people to write in response to questions he posed on Twitter.   The result was “Calendar Tales,” a story for each month of the year.  In this one, a genteel lady has a dangerous and romantic past.


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