- The Fog Horn
"The Fog Horn" is a 1951
science fiction short storyby Ray Bradbury, and the first in his collection " The Golden Apples of the Sun". The story was the basis for the 1953 film " The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms".
The plot follows Johnny, the protagonist and narrator, and his boss, McDunn, who are putting in a night's work at a remote
lighthouse. The lighthouse's resonating fog hornattracts a sea monster who destroys the place. This was actually the third time the monster had visited the lighthouse. He had been attracted by the same fog horn on the same night the two earlier years. McDunn attributes the monster's actions to feelings of unrequited love for the lighthouse, whose fog horn sounds exactly like the wailings of the sea monster himself. The fog horn tricks the monster into thinking he has found another of his kind, one who acts as though the monster did not even exist. When the horn is turned off, the monster destroys the lighthouse in anger. Both workers survive the incident, and within a year the lighthouse is rebuilt, this time with concrete reinforcements. The protagonist mentions that he has since been married with a home and a new job, while McDunn is now the building's new master.
The original title of the story was "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". It was published in "The Saturday Evening Post". Meanwhile a film with similar theme of prehistoric sea monster was being shot under the shooting title of "Monster from Beneath the Sea". Later producers who wished to share Bradbury's reputation and popularity, bought the right of Bradbury's story and changed the film's title. Bradbury then changed the title of his story to "The Fog Horn". The monster of the film was based on the illustration of "The Saturday Evening Post". [Jeff Rovin. "The Encyclopedia of Monsters". New York:Facts on File, 1989.]
Bradbury says that the idea for the story came from seeing the ruins of a demolished roller coaster on a Los Angeles-area beach. The tracks suggested a dinosaur skeleton. He credits this story with earning him the attention of
John Huston, who engaged Bradbury to write the screenplay for the 1956 film version of "Moby Dick".
*isfdb title|id=64798|title=The Fog Horn
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