Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band Is Playing & Leviathan 99 (review: 3/5)

Ray Bradbury‘s latest, Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band Is Playing & Leviathan ’99, gathers a pair of unpublished novellas that he’s been brewing for a couple decades. The first story, “Somewhere a Band Is Playing,” revisits the usual Bradburyan perfect-yet-eery small-town America, in the form of a writer’s colony where there are no children. “Leviathan ’99” is a sci-fi reimagining of Moby Dick, with fanatics chasing a comet instead of a whale. They’re good stories if you can snag it from a library and just want to burn an hour or two. He’ll always give you a few great sentences, and he can pack some dense ideas in light prose. But there is no way I’d buy it at the $24.95 sticker price. It seems absurdly high for an 8×6 hardback that barely makes 200 pages. Like I noticed in his previous Farewell Summer, the publisher beefs up a fairly thin book with extra line-spacing, which probably annoys me more than it should.