I Sing the Body Electric (short story collection)

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I Sing the Body Electric!
Ray Bradbury - I Sing the Body Electric - book cover.jpg
cover of the first edition
Author Ray Bradbury
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction short stories
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 305 pp.
ISBN ISBN 0-394-42985-0 (reprint)
OCLC 20058318

I Sing the Body Electric! is a 1969 collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury. The book takes its name from an included short story of the same title, which took the title from a poem by Walt Whitman published in his collection Leaves of Grass.


The collection includes these stories:

  • "The Kilimanjaro Device"
  • "The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place"
  • "Tomorrow's Child"
  • "The Women"
  • "The Inspired Chicken Motel"
  • "Downwind from Gettysburg"
  • "Yes, We'll Gather at the River"
  • "The Cold Wind and the Warm"
  • "Night Call, Collect"
  • "The Haunting of the New"
  • "I Sing the Body Electric!": a child, Agatha, is unwilling to accept an Electrical Grandmother as a surrogate for her dead mother, until the Grandmother demonstrates her own immortality.[1]
  • "The Tombling Day"
  • "Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine"
  • "Heavy-Set"
  • "The Man in the Rorschach Shirt"
  • "Henry the Ninth"
  • "The Lost City of Mars"
  • "Christus Apollo"


Joanna Russ reviewed the collection favorably, saying "This is third-rate Bradbury, mostly. It is silly. It totally perverts the quotation from Whitman which it uses in its title. It is very good." Russ noted that Bradbury "presents almost everything either in lyrical catalogue or dramatically, and while the lyrical catalogues sometimes fall flat, the dramatic dialogue hardly ever does. This gives his work tremendous immediate presence."[2] The New York Times also received Body Electric favorably, saying "Whatever the premise, the author retains an enthusiasm for both the natural world and the supernatural that sends a tingle of excitement through even the flimsiest conceit."[3]


The title story, "I Sing the Body Electric!", was adapted into a 1962 Twilight Zone episode of the same name, with Bradbury as writer of the teleplay.[citation needed] It was also adapted as a 1982 television movie, The Electric Grandmother, starring Maureen Stapleton.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Twilight Zone: I Sing the Body Electric[dead link]
  2. ^ "Books", F&SF, July 1970, p. 46.
  3. ^ "Reader's Report," The New York Times Book Review, December 28, 1969.


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