Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Martian Chronicles (Voyager Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

The strange and wonderful tale of man's experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions, The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity's repeated attempts to colonize the red planet.


Compare
Ads Banner

The strange and wonderful tale of man's experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions, The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity's repeated attempts to colonize the red planet.

30 review for The Martian Chronicles (Voyager Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    RIDDLE ME A MARTIAN RIDDLE A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like a human, kills humans, replaces humans, wants to be accepted and loved by a human? Answer: A Martian! A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like an animal except that's unfair to animals, kills others of its kind, wages war on its own kind, and destroys its own planet? Answer: A Human! A Riddle: What is built like a succession of linked stories, feels at times RIDDLE ME A MARTIAN RIDDLE ۞ A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like a human, kills humans, replaces humans, wants to be accepted and loved by a human? Answer: A Martian! ۞ A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like an animal except that's unfair to animals, kills others of its kind, wages war on its own kind, and destroys its own planet? Answer: A Human! ۞ A Riddle: What is built like a succession of linked stories, feels at times like a play by Brecht, feels at times like a mournful and elegiac ode to the dying of small towns, is a wise tale of human nature, is written with melancholy and sighs, is quietly sinister, is gently tragic, yet is also a science fiction novel? Answer: The Martian Chronicles! ۞ A Riddle: What is a ball of blue fire, a transcended entity, a being that lives in God's grace, a model of wisdom and goodness, and a terrifying symbol of the unknowable? What is meek and shall inherit their earth - but has lost the inclination? Answer: A Martian! ۞ A Riddle: What should have stayed on its own planet? What does not belong on Mars? What persists in persisting? What flees from home? What destroys that home? What flees back to that destruction? What eradicates much of what it comes into contact? What is a hopeless fool? What has a little - just a little - hope for it yet? Answer: A Human! ۞ A Riddle: What is science fiction as parable? What creates a series of haunting and haunted tableaux onto which we can project our own desires and fears? What transcends genre trappings? What is a landscape of forgotten plans and failed goals? What is like a waking dream? What is a journey that begins in death and ends with a small, fragile chance that all is not lost? What is like tears painted on a page? What is witty and sardonic and tender and angry and, finally, full of its own strange and painfully human soulfulness? Answer: The Martian Chronicles!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things." This brilliant collection of science fiction short stories combines elements of humour and tragedy to show us how much man must learn, as such a very dim view of human society is evoked in these pages. Before he enters the world of the Martian, he has a lot of developing to do. Bradbury suggests that Martian culture has transcended its human counterpart; the Martians have accepted an almost animalistic ethos in which they live "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things." This brilliant collection of science fiction short stories combines elements of humour and tragedy to show us how much man must learn, as such a very dim view of human society is evoked in these pages. Before he enters the world of the Martian, he has a lot of developing to do. Bradbury suggests that Martian culture has transcended its human counterpart; the Martians have accepted an almost animalistic ethos in which they live for the simple sake of existence. They do not question religion or science; they blend the two together in a display of cultural harmony. However, the brutish man is too limited to do this and as a result has lost all sense of himself. The image of the Martian way of life is captured in the serene beauty of their cities, which is juxtaposed against the humans incessant trespassing on foreign soil. He is the invader, the unwelcome guest. For centuries man has dreamed about going to Mars. He has finally achieved this monumental feat, and when he arrived, he expected to be greeted as a hero: he expected to be greeted with open arms by the Martians. But, alas, the Martians have a very different opinion to the aliens that invaded their planet. They have a funny and very realistic response to the intruders. They raise their laser pistols and get ready to fire. The humans could not comprehend that perhaps the aliens may be different to themselves; they didn’t consider that their so-called expeditions could be received so negatively. "It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all." Indeed, the children (man) did not stop to think about what he was doing: he simply rushed in and expected the best. He ignorantly presumed that he wouldn’t be received as a threat and an invader that needed to be fought off. Time and time again man repeats his mistakes, and, for me, this formed the main motif of this collection of short stories. Humanity never learns. The repeated expeditions into the unknown only ended in disaster, first for the humans and then eventually for the Martian people. In these stories Bradbury questions human existence and the futility of its explorations. They each carry a powerful moral message. By drawing the parallel between human and Martian culture, Bradbury captures how flawed human aspirations are. Humans will never be fulfilled and complete. They are harboured by a perpetual longing to have more than what they need. The continuous visits to Mars symbolise this. Earth is not enough for man, he wants Mars too in his folly. Bradbury’s stories suggest that he needs to take a step back before he ruins something beautiful. This is a great collection of science fiction stories that, together, speak louder than they do alone. Whilst each is individual, they are, of course, meant to be read as a collection. This provides a comment of the nature of man, and a highly entertaining reading experience. These are some of Ray Bradbury’s finest short stories, don’t miss them!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things." The Martian Chronicles, a perfect example of what I'd call a 'quintessential Bradbury' - fragmentary, at times disjointed, occasionally crossing the line into the realm of surreal, full of his trademark nostalgia and sadness, this account of the failed American Dream approach to the exploration of the ultimate frontier never stops fascinating me and drawing me in with its inexplicable charm. (Side note: as a person of Russian "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things." The Martian Chronicles, a perfect example of what I'd call a 'quintessential Bradbury' - fragmentary, at times disjointed, occasionally crossing the line into the realm of surreal, full of his trademark nostalgia and sadness, this account of the failed American Dream approach to the exploration of the ultimate frontier never stops fascinating me and drawing me in with its inexplicable charm. (Side note: as a person of Russian descent, I reserve the right to run-on long-winded sentences in the best tradition of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky of which my literature-teacher mother clearly approves). It is such a multifaceted tale! It is a condemnation of the dear to the human heart way of 'exploration' and colonization - that is, coming to a place new to us and attempting to turn it into a carbon copy of 'home', of the place where we come from, of the place that gives us comfort - and all else be damned. It is an ode to the beauty of the strange and un-understood alienness. It is a criticism of the American Dream which was written in the heyday of this 'Dream'. It is a thinly veiled cautionary tale about the perils of science when misapplied. It is all of the above and none of the above, with everything masterfully interwoven to create a unique unforgettable reading experience.'Who wants to see the Future, who ever does? A man can face the Past, but to think - the pillars crumbled, you say? And the sea empty, and the canals dry, and the maidens dead, and the flowers withered?' The Martian was silent, but then he looked ahead. 'But there they are. I see them. Isn't that enough for me? They wait for me now, no matter what you say.'The story, for those who somehow are not familiar with it, is simple. In the far future of 1999, rocket ships from Earth start coming to Mars. The Martians - the enigmatic, serene, telepathic race - sense the disturbances. Eventually they die off, and the colonization in the American Dream style begins, until the nuclear war on Earth interferes. But the narrative is not quite this linear. It is made of separate, rather stand-alone short stories that often read as interludes, some straightforward, some surreal, but all of them quite haunting, memorable, and thought-provoking. Bradbury is (was, actually - I still can't believe he's dead) a master of writing peaceful, nostalgic sadness that feels upliftingly purifying. His writing is poetic and lyrical, often dreamlike, with almost a musical quality to it. He often straddles the line between cautionary and moralistic, but mostly succeeds at not crossing over to the unpleasantly preachy side. He is exceptionally good at writing amazing short fiction - since this is what this book essentially is, a collection of interlinked short stories. He manages to create a memorable, beautifully flowing, sophisticated story without a steadily progressing plot, without a main or even a major character, without even a consistent setting."Night are night for every year and every year, for no reason at all, the woman comes out and looks at the sky, her hands up, for a long moment, looking at the green burning of Earth, not knowing why she looks, and then she goes back and throws a stick on the fire, and the wind comes up and the dead sea goes on being dead." ================================= Now, as an aside, I heard this book described as 'not really a science fiction book but a speculative fiction book' quite a few times, almost apologetically, as though science fiction is something to be ashamed of. I understand that this book is essentially a crossover phenomenon which appeals to sci-fi fans and 'general public' alike, and describing it as something else besides sci-fi can help generate a wider audience and a broader appeal. But hey, I realized that I don't want to be the person falling into this trap - the trap of dismissing sci-fi as something that is not literary enough, something of interior quality, something to be apologetic about. Bradbury, Le Guin, Miéville, Lem (insert your own favorite acclaimed sci-fi author here) are NOT great writers that...ahem...just happen to write sci-fi but maybe not quite really. They are excellent sci-fi writers, and that's how I recommend their books, even at the threat of losing potential audience. After all, Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles was not only one of the first books that I checked out of the 'adult' library, but also the book which cemented my love for science fiction, first fueled by Poul Anderson's Call Me Joe. The Martian Chronicles is an excellent book, the one that I will continue to re-read every few years or so. It deserves ALL the stars. "The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Poetic science fiction. Being set in the future and involving space travel, Mars and futuristic technology makes this fit into the science fiction genre, but Bradbury is a writer of literature. This is beautiful writing and Bradbury is an artist with a mastery of the language. Mars could be another dimension, or fairy land, it does not really matter, Bradbury has concocted an alternate reality to explore psychological ethos. If Heinlein is the science fiction ideologist / sociologist, and Clarke Poetic science fiction. Being set in the future and involving space travel, Mars and futuristic technology makes this fit into the science fiction genre, but Bradbury is a writer of literature. This is beautiful writing and Bradbury is an artist with a mastery of the language. Mars could be another dimension, or fairy land, it does not really matter, Bradbury has concocted an alternate reality to explore psychological ethos. If Heinlein is the science fiction ideologist / sociologist, and Clarke the science fiction anthropologist, and Asimov the science fiction theologist; then Bradbury is the science fiction psychologist. But there is no doubt that this is more fantasy than SF; Bradbury tickles and cajoles and playfully steps around all technology and goes right to a more spiritual, psychological narrative - a dreamlike, absurdist voice, a whispered incantation. Martian Chronicles is a chronological set of short stories tied together around the theme of Earth colonization of Mars, but it is really about the human psyche and a study of what is best and worst about us. SF must read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    The Martian Chronicles is a book I have heard about for years, but ended up passing it by in lieu of other Ray Bradbury classics (do you need to qualify them by saying “classic”? I think that goes without saying). I have now finally read it and it is amazing. I continue to be impressed with Bradbury’s writing style – and his style is very well defined. I am pretty sure he is so integrated into how and what he writes, I could probably guess that a book is written by Bradbury after just a few The Martian Chronicles is a book I have heard about for years, but ended up passing it by in lieu of other Ray Bradbury classics (do you need to qualify them by saying “classic”? I think that goes without saying). I have now finally read it and it is amazing. I continue to be impressed with Bradbury’s writing style – and his style is very well defined. I am pretty sure he is so integrated into how and what he writes, I could probably guess that a book is written by Bradbury after just a few paragraphs (and that is not me bragging on my ability to figure out who wrote something, it is just that obvious that it is Bradbury). When I went into this I thought, “Martian Chronicles = Sci-Fi”. That is very wrong! This book felt much more like his Magical Realism titles I have read. While most of the book takes place on Mars, the content is not about space travel, and aliens, and cool technology. It is about the human condition, perception vs reality, misuse of natural resources, man seeing himself as an island, etc. It is a commentary on people and the tendency for our hopes to be destroyed by our inability to truly see the best and right course of action. Generally it is very dark – there is a little ray of hope to it, but the overall feel is if we don’t get our s#!t together, we are doomed. So, if you are looking for sci-fi and want nothing less than space battles and cool spaceships, this is not the book for you. If you are a fan of other Bradbury, cautionary tales, and speculative fiction, this is right up you alley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    A magnificent experience wherein we discover that the inhabitants of the fourth planet in the Milky Way are identical in the trifles of the everyday as the resident in the 3rd planet. Then some collective idea pops out of nowhere--a fine symbol of apocalypse and annihilation--& scares the living shit outta everyone. I know I haven't read much sci-fi in the past, but I know that to top this one will be VERY tough. "Martian Chronicles" surpasses, in some ways, that which Bradbury tried, and A magnificent experience wherein we discover that the inhabitants of the fourth planet in the Milky Way are identical in the trifles of the everyday as the resident in the 3rd planet. Then some collective idea pops out of nowhere--a fine symbol of apocalypse and annihilation--& scares the living shit outta everyone. I know I haven't read much sci-fi in the past, but I know that to top this one will be VERY tough. "Martian Chronicles" surpasses, in some ways, that which Bradbury tried, and admits to imitating with this collection of short stories (the crazy masterpiece, "Winesburg, Ohio" by Sherwood Anderson). The fear that permeates in these pages-- a horror novel more than a sci-fi one (well, early sci-fi is mostly always horrific)-- is un-peggable, untraceable, and just completely... yep, Martian. It is eerie at a supreme level... truly heightened emotions in this 50's version of our future. The Chronicles turn Voltairesque, then it all becomes a western as fixed and terrible as anything by Cormac McCarthy full of guns and violence, then takes a Tarantino turn of events, robots and-- It's all one powerful and unique oxymoron. Bradbury writes just the perfectly extra adjective in many of his sentences. Maybe one extra more than needed. Et voila-- amazingness! It's tidily overindulgent and superfluously concise... A Terrific, Terrible Wonder!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    There once were a people whose children played in the sunshine, on a magnificent place, they laughed and sang....then the first rocket ship came...They laughed not as much some even cried now, but always resumed their merriment , still another rocket ship landed soon after, the children became uneasy... then the third rocket appeared the children went silent... a fourth ship followed and found no more people. So these brilliant beings vanished with the wind into the blue mountains some said, or There once were a people whose children played in the sunshine, on a magnificent place, they laughed and sang....then the first rocket ship came...They laughed not as much some even cried now, but always resumed their merriment , still another rocket ship landed soon after, the children became uneasy... then the third rocket appeared the children went silent... a fourth ship followed and found no more people. So these brilliant beings vanished with the wind into the blue mountains some said, or in the bright raw deserts, maybe the long lonely canals they hide, floating on boats through the endless violet waterways crisscrossing the planet. The strangers began building their own cities, destroying the dead ones , the ancient structures collapsing to the ground, dusty things to be seen by the invaders, but wistfully beautiful, however any new civilization brought to this world can never escape the old hates, war troubles on Earth. The ghosts of the natives are never forgotten though, all the spoilers feel the haunting presence of them, and deep in their hearts the conquerors, tens of millions of miles away from home, believe this... they do not belong here, looking up at the unreal twin moons drifting by . Nonetheless this is paradise, free for the taking a fortune can be made and so many hundreds of thousands arrive, the air is thin yet the harvest is good for those brave enough to come. The wicked numerous for certain, indeed, establish quickly, the know how long learned just like on the former Blue Planet, works everywhere, prosperity commences ... Ray Bradbury's classic... elegantly sad tales of life on Mars, his predictions haven't been accurate, we've yet to land on the Red Planet but someday this will occur for better or worse , that is for historians to write about, for me the poetic, melancholic, quite nostalgic narrative is more important, the author was a master in his unearthly prose; capturing also the essence of our own third planet or hopefully this will not be true, time the final judge.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Ray Bradbury has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite authors. He’s the LeBron of writing. The G.O.A.T. And Scott Brick has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite audiobook narrators. He is the Tom Brady of narrating. Also, G.O.A.T. So what happens when you mix the two together? Something magical. There isn’t even a word or an amazingly alliterative animalistic acronym to describe what happens. But, man, if you want to take your Bradbury experience to Ray Bradbury has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite authors. He’s the LeBron of writing. The G.O.A.T. And Scott Brick has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite audiobook narrators. He is the Tom Brady of narrating. Also, G.O.A.T. So what happens when you mix the two together? Something magical. There isn’t even a word or an amazingly alliterative animalistic acronym to describe what happens. But, man, if you want to take your Bradbury experience to the next level, let Scott Brick read his books to you. It’s just beautiful. The Martian Chronicles is something I just jumped into. I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t read the synopsis. I didn’t Wikipedia it. I just dove right on into the celestial waters and listened to it for a few days. I could read Bradbury describe the weather or what it feels like to watch paint dry or how to change a car battery or how to fry an egg and I would savor every bit of it. This guy writes poetry and stretches it out into a novel (or in this case several short stories that kinda mesh together into a novel). It would be tough to call this science fiction. I mean it takes place on Mars, there are Martians, there is time travel, but all of those things exist in Ray’s stories to paint something much more metaphoric and brilliant than rockets and aliens. Each story on its own is just a delight to read, and when you tie everything together it just creates a wonderful book that is fun to read, but it also makes you stop and think and consider life and humanity and deeper stuff like that. I had a blast listening to this, and I couldn’t recommend it more to you. Find the audiobook if you can. Read everything this guy has written. That’s what I’m gonna do.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    I enjoyed this short story collection a lot more than the famous, Fahrenheit 451. I believe Ray Bradbury has an exceptional talent writing short stories. I am not a fan of short stories in general, however, I was totally absorbed and fascinated by this book. I was expecting the stories to be something different than what i read, something more Science Fiction. Yes, it does have a bit of space travel, some alien encounters, some "hi-tech"technologies but they are totally not the point of these I enjoyed this short story collection a lot more than the famous, Fahrenheit 451. I believe Ray Bradbury has an exceptional talent writing short stories. I am not a fan of short stories in general, however, I was totally absorbed and fascinated by this book. I was expecting the stories to be something different than what i read, something more Science Fiction. Yes, it does have a bit of space travel, some alien encounters, some "hi-tech"technologies but they are totally not the point of these stories. I guess the main idea I got can be summarized by the following quote: “We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” The martian Chronicles are stories about destruction, in many forms caused by what humanity has worse: war, censorship, ignorance, disrespect for other cultures, greed, fear etc. The stories are beautiful, fascinating but very disturbing and scary in the same time. It made me meditate on the future of humanity and for long we will be able to survive as a race, doing what we are doing. Will we be condemned to destruction? I leave you with some quotes below: “There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.” “I'm not anyone, I'm just myself; whatever I am, I am something, and now I'm something you can't help.” “They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressure; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.” “Ignorance is fatal.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet.I listened to this book, and my version features an introduction by Bradbury, wherein. we hear that Bradbury met Aldous Huxley, who read this book and insisted Bradbury was a poet. That makes sense to me, especially if you consider passages such as this: “There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his “We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet.I listened to this book, and my version features an introduction by Bradbury, wherein. we hear that Bradbury met Aldous Huxley, who read this book and insisted Bradbury was a poet. That makes sense to me, especially if you consider passages such as this: “There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.” This book is less conventional novel than a series of lyrical vignettes stitched together to give us a sense of why a variety of Earth people might have come to Mars. The need to escape endless war, racism, environmental destruction. To Go Back to the Garden and begin again. The thing is, we are who we are, to a certain extent. Can we ever change? I was in therapy once and the guy asked me (the unhappy one): So move to Santa Fe, what would be different for you, how could you be happy there? I saw his point. Over time, in a new place, in a new relationship, I would probably be the same old me, unless I worked very hard to be different. I have changed, thankfully, in some ways. But can human beings as a species do that? Can we eschew capitalism and rapacious materialism and embrace the arts and care about each other and save the planet? It really looks doubtful. This book is shelved as science fiction, because Mars and space travel, I guess, but calling it speculative fiction would be closer to it. As in his autobiographical book Dandelion Wine, there is a streak of nostalgic despair in Bradbury, a hankering to go back to the days of his Waukegan, Illinois boyhood. He understands the hopefulness in some of his characters’ desires to go back to the times when some people seemed to appreciate the arts, when machines were feared more than revered. One can see how this 1950 book was embraced by the late sixties counter-culture movements. “Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground. Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky.” “They knew how to live with nature and get along with nature. They didn't try too hard to be all men and no animal.” Bradbury says this book was written after reading Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, and was initially a kind of attempt to recast that small town feel on Mars. And it’s there, in the focus on every day characters, in the sad nostalgia and sense of loss. But what actually happens, in Bradbury’s move to Mars? “The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke. And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness, their mouths fringed with nails so they resembled steel-toothed carnivores, spitting them into their swift hands as they hammered up frame cottages and scuttled over roofs with shingles to blot out the eerie stars, and fit green shades to pull against the night.” There’s a kind of admiration of Mankind in this passage, a kind of hopefulness in man’s determination, but there’s also a kind of dystopian despair. Rather than making a New World in the way of communes and cooperation, there’s a sense in which we would destroy Mars in the same way we destroyed Earth. When I first read this fifty years ago I thought this book was sweet, fanciful, both a romantic call to Tune In and Drop Out of conventional society and a dark warning of the Apocalypse. But today it reads to me like a sad elegy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    Wow. Just...wow. Why have I never read this before? Ray Bradbury has written an amazing, lyrical, spooky-as-hell set of pieces that all add up to something much more. Some are very brief, mere sketches of events. Others are full-length short stories. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  12. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I found this Maudlin and Melancholia. I can very well see this is a beloved classic. I will have to admit that I got this confused. I thought this would be part of the John Carter of Mars, but that, I now realize, was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and not Ray Bradbury. I kept expecting it to tie into that story and of course, it never did. I did feel like this was never going to end. It felt very long. It is a collection of short stories on the colonization of Mars. Each story is about I found this Maudlin and Melancholia. I can very well see this is a beloved classic. I will have to admit that I got this confused. I thought this would be part of the John Carter of Mars, but that, I now realize, was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and not Ray Bradbury. I kept expecting it to tie into that story and of course, it never did. I did feel like this was never going to end. It felt very long. It is a collection of short stories on the colonization of Mars. Each story is about different people and situations. The tone reminded me of an episode of the Twilight Zone or something. Everything just felt like a downer. Maybe I'm in the wrong place for this, but it was not my favorite read of the year by any means. I'm glad I read it and I did enjoy the language and Ray's ability to set a mood and a tone. He asks the reader to really consider and ponder pieces of life. I see how much people love this and I am a huge fantasy fan. Still, I feel a little disappointed in this story. It's very well written and there are fine moments in this. I think I'm a little to down for this right now. I just wanted something to give hope and pick up and it didn't really happen for me. I'm glad it means so much to so many people. I'm glad I read this an I will read more Ray Bradbury. I just didn't really get this story though, I have to admit.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    Since Ray Bradbury passed away (about a month ago at the time of writing) it occurred to me to reread his books that I have read before, and read the others that I have missed. After rereading Something Wicked This Way Comes last month I thought I'd read Fahrenheit 451 but as it turned out The Reddit SF Book Club chose The Martian Chronicles as book of the month (July 2012) so in order to keep up with the Joneses here we are! How about that for a useless intro? This book is a fix-up novel which Since Ray Bradbury passed away (about a month ago at the time of writing) it occurred to me to reread his books that I have read before, and read the others that I have missed. After rereading Something Wicked This Way Comes last month I thought I'd read Fahrenheit 451 but as it turned out The Reddit SF Book Club chose The Martian Chronicles as book of the month (July 2012) so in order to keep up with the Joneses here we are! How about that for a useless intro? This book is a fix-up novel which is something between an anthology and a novel, and it benefits from both of its sibling formats. The stories are interrelated with only a few recurring characters but read together the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. It is also worth noting that while the table of contents look as if there are almost 30 stories in the book, quite a few of these are not really stories in themselves but brief passages that lead to the next story or provide background information to move the major story arc of the book forward. In general the book tells the story of the colonization of Mars, which in a sense is a little bit like the reverse of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds in that we invade Mars and they fight back in their quiet ways only to meet the same fate as their counterparts in Wells' book. The major difference is that there is no interplanetary war and it is only the first part of the Chronicles. I just want to make a few notes on the main stories, the brief interludes are also great but too short my noting purposes. Ylla (February 1999/2030*) A Martian woman dreams (or have a premonition) of an Earthman's arrival. The actual First Contact does not go well. The Summer Night (August 1999/2030) Name that tune! suddenly an Earth song becomes a hit on Mars but none of the Martians can name it because they pick it up telepathically. The song's lyrics remind me of Stairway to Heaven a bit. The Earth Men (August 1999/2030) This one starts off as a comical First Contact story, with the Earthmen not getting the rock star welcome they expected. It soon becomes rather tragic and ends on a dark melancholy note. Wonderful story. The Third Expedition (April 2000/2031) A little creepy in a nice sort of way, reminds me a little of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. No point noting especially that it is a great story because they all are in this book. And the Moon Be Still as Bright (June 2001/2032) Us Earthlings do have a tendency to ruin everything we touch with our inconsiderate and uncouth ways. Love that teeth knocking ending! The Settlers (August 2001/2032) most men felt the great illness in them even before the rocket fired into space. And this disease was called The Loneliness, because when you saw your hometown dwindle the size of your fist and then lemon-size and then pin-size and vanish in the fire-wake, you felt you had never been born, there was no town, you were nowhere, with space all around, nothing familiar, only other strange men. I just love this passage, so evocative! The Green Morning (December 2001/2032) Miraculous bit of terraforming. Night Meeting (August 2002/2033) A sort of meeting in The Twilight Zone, feels like a ghost story but is not one. More of a time traveling tale but who is doing the time traveling? The Musicians (April 2003/2034) Damn kids using Martian bones as xylophones! Way in the Middle of the Air (June 2003/2034) A wonderful heartfelt story about the Black Americans who have had enough of being lorded over and just want to emigrate to Mars. Usher II (April 2005/2036) This really does read like a Poe story, or a cross between Fahrenheit 451 and Theatre of Blood (old Vincent Price movie). The Martian (September 2005/2036) Poor little Martian boy. One of the best stories herein. The Watchers (November 2005/2036) En masse de-colonization. The Silent Towns (December 2005/2036) A comical story about the last man in the world and the girl he is almost fated to marry. LOL! The Long Years (April 2026/2057) I like the robo-family. There Will Come Soft Rains (August 4, 2026/2057) I am not sure if this story is in the public domain (though I doubt it) but the full text seems to get posted online a lot. The first time I read it was as a standalone and I did not really appreciate it. For me reading this story out of the context of The Martian Chronicles does not quite work because I did not know what led up to the abandonment of the automated house at the centre of the story. Now having read the preceding chapters this story has stronger impact. This is Bradbury at his poetic best. The Million-Year Picnic (October 2026/2057) Nice optimistic ending. I am useless at deciphering themes but it seems that there is a subtext that we as a species have a nasty tendency to ruin everything, but we are not completely hopeless if we would only try harder to live in harmony with each other and with nature. Fantastic from beginning to end, and effortless 5 stars. Note: * A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years (thus running from 2030 to 2057) (from Wikipedia)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Ray Bradbury's writing is literally flawless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    4 1/2 If you want to read a great review of The Martian Chronicles, skip this one and go directly to mark monday’s. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. If you’re still here, I will try to keep you entertained for a while by talking about myself, about my reading (and not reading) Ray Bradbury and other SF, about Ray Bradbury himself and his writing, and even a little (near the end) about this book. (view spoiler)[For references, see bottom of review. (hide spoiler)] Me the SF fan This summer I 4 1/2 If you want to read a great review of The Martian Chronicles, skip this one and go directly to mark monday’s. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. If you’re still here, I will try to keep you entertained for a while by talking about myself, about my reading (and not reading) Ray Bradbury and other SF, about Ray Bradbury himself and his writing, and even a little (near the end) about this book. (view spoiler)[For references, see bottom of review. (hide spoiler)] Me the SF fan This summer I decided to re-read the Martian Chronicles (MC). But guess what? It wasn’t a re-read. Nope. Seems, I now believe, that what I’ve been thinking were vague memories of MC must have been vague memories of some other story connected with Mars in some way. (view spoiler)[See “Oh yes …” at the bottom. (hide spoiler)] I’d always thought of myself as a science fiction fan. Yet, since joining Goodreads a few years ago, hooking up with an ever-growing number of friends, and finding an ever-growing number of SF novels that yes certainly I’ve heard of this probably read it long ago well maybe not but … … I’ve come to realize that, like most things in my life, I do not have now, and never have had, a real fan’s deep knowledge of SF. I’m just not that kind of person. My interests are wide (I like to think and hope) but my knowledge in any area is shallow (I generally have to admit). Thus with sf. I was reading it as a pre-teen, then as a teen, was a member of an sf book club, subscribed to Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF - the magazine) … then as I transitioned from high school to college, it gradually got left behind for other reading interests, more interesting to a young person beginning to learn about real life. Ray Bradbury Ray Bradbury was born in 1920 in Waukegan Illinois. Until he was thirteen his family lived there and in Tucson, moving “back and forth” between the two places (Wiki). In 1934 they move to Los Angeles. Bradbury never went to college, due to lack of money. Other than his public school education, he spent major portions of his young life reading in libraries, both in Waukegan and in the LA area. He has said I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school. (Paris)And what did Bradley read in these thousands of hours spent in libraries? Science Fiction by Clarke, Asimov, Van Vogt, Heinlein – but his greatest loves in this genre were Jules Verne and H.G. Wells; writers such as Steinbeck, Sherwood Anderson, Huxley, Thomas Wolfe, Thomas Mann; women writers like Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Edith Wharton; and poetry – Shakespeare, Hopkins, Frost, Yeats. MC was published three years after Bradbury “graduated”. By this time (1950) his first book (Dark Carnival, a short story collection) had been published in 1947 by Arkham House. Bradbury had also published almost 150 short stories in such magazines as Weird Tales, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Planet Stories. His first three stories (unpaid) were published in 1938, two of them prior to his eighteenth birthday. He continued writing during the war years (his bad eyesight prevented him from serving), with 11 stories published in 1943, 19 in ‘44 and 13 in ‘45. From 1946 until the end of the ‘40s between 17 and 20 stories were published yearly. In the second half of the 1940s Bradbury had several stories appear in mainstream magazines: Mademoiselle, Charm, Seventeen, Colliers, Harpers, The New Yorker, and Macleans. (view spoiler)[(The first three were women’s and girls’ magazines, Macleans was a Canadian news magazine, and the other three were very well-known “culture” magazines, two of them (Colliers and Harpers) founded in the nineteenth century. Most of these magazines are still being published. (hide spoiler)] Bradbury’s fiction (my version) Following is a list of Bradbury’s books that I knew well (by reputation) at the time in my life when I was sailing away from contact with the shores of SF. 1950. Bradbury’s first novel. 1951, short story collection 1953 short story collection The title is of course from W. B. Yeats' poem "The Song of Wandering Aengus" (1899): “Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.” The 1953 classic. 1955 collection of macabre short stories 1957 “fix-up” novel. (see following section for “fix-up” novels) 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes Ray Bradbury Fantasy/horror. Stephen King was fifteen. King has stated "without Ray Bradbury, there is no Stephen King." 1969 book of short stories The title of the book (and a short story within) is from the poem of the same name in Walt Whitman’s magnum opus Leaves of Grass. Of course Bradley didn’t stop writing in 1969. I just lost touch. After letting my F&SF subscription lapse in the 60s sometime, I saw (in the 90s!) that it was still being published, and resubscribed for a few years. I was surprised to see Bradbury stories still appearing in the mag. When he died in 2012 he had published 27 novels, around fifty collections of his hundreds of short stories, over 20 plays, dozens of teleplays and screenplays (including the screenplay for John Huston’s 1956 movie Moby Dick) and several children’s book. The Chronicles of Mars The Martian Chronicles (1950) was Bradbury’s second published book. If one wants to be technical, it is a “fix-up” novel. According to Wiki, a “fix-up” novel is “a novel created from short fiction that may or may not have been initially related or previously published.” Wiki has a little story about how the book came about, which makes this clear. In 1949, Bradbury and his wife were expecting their first child. He took a Greyhound bus to New York and checked into a room at the YMCA for fifty cents a night. He took his short stories to a dozen publishers and no one wanted them. … Bradbury had dinner with an editor at Doubleday. When Bradbury recounted that everyone wanted a novel and he didn't have one, the editor … asked if the short stories might be tied together into a book length collection. The title was the editor's idea: … "The Martian Chronicles." Bradbury liked the idea and recalled making notes in 1944 to do a book set on Mars. That evening, he stayed up all night at the YMCA and typed out an outline. He took it to the Doubleday editor the next morning, who read it and wrote Bradbury a check for (view spoiler)[ here Wiki says “ten thousand dollars”; but the interview cited as the source of the story (ref. Paris) says “seven hundred fifty dollars” – maybe the Wiki writer thought they’d be cute by adjusting it for inflation? (hide spoiler)] When Bradbury returned to Los Angeles, he connected all the short stories and that became The Martian Chronicles. MC has 26 chapters. Each has a name preceded by a date. For example, the first chapter is “January 1999 : Rocket Summer” and the last is “October 2026 : The Million Year Picnic”. Of these chapters, the copyrights of five (in my edition) are credited to magazine publishers, thus presumably are essentially unedited versions of short stories previously published by Bradbury (1948-1950). Two other chapters are revised versions of previous stories. Altogether these account for about half the Chronicles (by page count). These seven stories have been masterfully worked into a history of man’s colonization of Mars, a satirical story with shifting moods ranging from elegiac, to poignant, to terrifying, to depressing – illustrating mankind’s human, all too human nature. The chronicles are filled with characters who voice the varying human outlooks on everything from interaction with the natives (yes, there are natives), to the idea of remaking Mars in the image of the earth. Beyond this I don’t want to go. It would spoil things for new readers. It’s a short work, which I recommend to almost everyone. *** Oh yes … that Martian story … My memories of the story I had thought was part of the Chronicles were pretty clear, albeit scant. I felt it had been about a lone man lost and wandering on Mars. So I started hunting through collections of SF short fiction that I still had from long ago. It didn’t take too long to find it, in a book of short stories by A.E. Van Vogt called Destination Universe. When I saw the title The Enchanted Village I knew I had it. It was a story about a man shipwrecked in the Martian desert when the expedition rocket from earth crashes, leaving him as the only survivor. He finds a technologically marvelous, deserted village which seems able to be commanded to produce whatever beings in the village desire. The story draws out the man’s increasingly desperate attempts to make the village understand what he needs. Finally he succeeds … though not quite as he anticipated. Great story. No wonder I kept pieces of it packed in my neurons for half a century and more! References Bradbury’s Wiki article (_Wiki_) Bradbury’s bibliography on Wiki (_ biblio_) 2010 Paris Review interview with Bradbury (_Paris_)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Char

    The Martian Chronicles is an amazing collection of interconnected stories about Mars. Human missions to Mars, religious missions to Mars, nervous breakdowns on Mars, etc... Even though some of the tales are outdated by today's views, the underlying values and messages remain the same; they are timeless. Some of the stories have been released previously, and some have been changed over the years. I discovered, thanks to Wiki, that one tale having to do with race relations, was not included in this The Martian Chronicles is an amazing collection of interconnected stories about Mars. Human missions to Mars, religious missions to Mars, nervous breakdowns on Mars, etc... Even though some of the tales are outdated by today's views, the underlying values and messages remain the same; they are timeless. Some of the stories have been released previously, and some have been changed over the years. I discovered, thanks to Wiki, that one tale having to do with race relations, was not included in this collection at all. I'm not sure it really matters, but just know that this anthology is NOT the same as it was upon its original release. There's not much new I can add to what's already been said about The Martian Chronicles. Ray Bradbury's writing is so simple, yet so evocative-he can get across in just a few words what it takes me paragraphs to say. His observations on human nature are spot on and even though these stories were written back in the 40's and 50's, most of them are still relevant today. Classics are classics for a reason and this one is truly special. My highest recommendation!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    4.5 stars “I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?” I’m basically a noob when it comes to science fiction. Other than one Sci-fi book I dared (and enjoyed) a few years ago and a sampling of alien creature-features, I haven’t 4.5 stars “I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?” I’m basically a noob when it comes to science fiction. Other than one Sci-fi book I dared (and enjoyed) a few years ago and a sampling of alien creature-features, I haven’t explored much inside this complex genre. Enter a book like this, a classic by an author who has given man several other timeless warnings. At first I worried it’d be difficult to get into since it seemed too out there, too surreal, but it didn’t take long to grab my interest and shake off my annoyance that the visitors were being given such a hard time. It’s a pet peeve of mine when characters aren’t believed. All made sense soon enough, so have a small amount of patience and all will be rewarded. When the final page is closed, what echoes and stands out is how beautifully unique this work is. It’s clever and much more layered than it starts. There is not only one central story or one central theme, but a showcase of journeys and stories throughout different ages. As time passes, more worsens and less progresses. Clearly it should be the other way around, but Bradbury’s heart seemed to be in dystopian and twisted futuristic fiction that shows man ruins societies and worlds he tries to improve. Pacing is no struggle at all once the beginning has eroded away. Each small story that shows a different view and time piece flies by, all leaving an impression without boring me. Sometimes I had to pause between pieces to mentally fathom the emotional jabbing. There is no one larger-than-life lesson or story here, for the pieces are too varied and artistic to come together where it would only fit into one mere puzzle. I think what impressed me most is how the surreal feel and epic imagery with the talented writing made me picture certain scenes so clearly. The slow movements of the faces and the turning heads with the wine pouring over the lips was downright creepy. The tragic face-changing finale of a particular tragic figure wanting to fit in and be loved is not forgettable. The haunting ending with the reflections – all shiver inducing stuff. ‘The Martian Chronicles’ was such a strange beauty of a book. I shall not forget it. Varied and tragic, clever and haunting, it definitely deserves the classic stamp. Oh, and how nifty was that mini tribute to Edgar Allen Poe in one of the timelines? May the books never be burned. “All down the way the pursued and the pursuing, the dream and the dreamers, the quarry and the hounds. All down the way the sudden revealment, the flash of familiar eyes, the cry of an old, old name. Everyone leaping forward as, like an image reflected from ten thousand mirrors, ten thousand eyes, the running dream came and went, a different face to those ahead, those behind, those yet to be met, those unseen... And here they all are now, at the boat, wanting the dream for their own.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    George

    How wonderful, strange and poetic this book was.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I vividly remember reading this book. I was in 8th grade and I read it in Mrs. Zimmerman's class. She was this bizarre ageless woman who wore her jet-black hair in a crusty bee-hive and had gobs of pastel green eye shadow on her eyelids. She also had a rusty voice-like an ex-smoker, and spoke really slowly. She could have been a character in Martian Chronicles. I still kind of wonder if she was human. Anyway, I read this book over and over. There was something so pristine about the world that I vividly remember reading this book. I was in 8th grade and I read it in Mrs. Zimmerman's class. She was this bizarre ageless woman who wore her jet-black hair in a crusty bee-hive and had gobs of pastel green eye shadow on her eyelids. She also had a rusty voice-like an ex-smoker, and spoke really slowly. She could have been a character in Martian Chronicles. I still kind of wonder if she was human. Anyway, I read this book over and over. There was something so pristine about the world that Bradbury creates, and also incredibly odd and mysterious. As a writer, he kind of reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe. Another thing about Bradbury, I heard him speak once in college and he said that he wrote this book from the UCLA library (he wasn't a student there), he just liked to hide out in the basement. He was super eccentric. I liked him immediately.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Urges

    4.5 The Martian Chronicles is a connected collection of awe- and fear-inspired stories about Martian and human existence. Wonder glazes the sky with sparks and lines of light, while dread permeates as an undercurrent. There is a touch of racism in one story. Seriously, what’s up with all the watermelon references? But if you manage to ignore that and see it as a “product of its time,” then you will find a rather marvelous collection of short stories. I’m still taking off half a point because, you 4.5 The Martian Chronicles is a connected collection of awe- and fear-inspired stories about Martian and human existence. Wonder glazes the sky with sparks and lines of light, while dread permeates as an undercurrent. There is a touch of racism in one story. Seriously, what’s up with all the watermelon references? But if you manage to ignore that and see it as a “product of its time,” then you will find a rather marvelous collection of short stories. I’m still taking off half a point because, you know, don’t be ignorant or racist. Other than that, this is beautiful.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Budd

    The Martian Chronicles is a book in a class all by itself. It is a work of visionary science fiction, a Winesbergian short story cycle, and a mythopoeic masterpiece. Ray Bradbury has created and peopled a Martian landscape that neither NASA nor the most brilliant science fiction writers of the future will ever supplant. Mars, to me, will always be Bradbury’s Mars. This unique book is a collection of short stories connected by a series of vignettes which link the stories, advance the plot, and The Martian Chronicles is a book in a class all by itself. It is a work of visionary science fiction, a Winesbergian short story cycle, and a mythopoeic masterpiece. Ray Bradbury has created and peopled a Martian landscape that neither NASA nor the most brilliant science fiction writers of the future will ever supplant. Mars, to me, will always be Bradbury’s Mars. This unique book is a collection of short stories connected by a series of vignettes which link the stories, advance the plot, and set the mood. The first two establish a balance that is carefully and seemingly effortlessly maintained throughout the book. “Rocket Summer” and “The Summer Night” depict Earth and Mars respectively. The people of Earth are beginning the next chapter in the history of their species as they set off to explore and colonize a new world, while the people of Mars are at the end of their story. As with so much science fiction, The Martian Chronicles says more about humans than aliens. The people who leave Earth to start new lives on Mars are trying to escape from “politics, the atom bomb, war, pressure groups, prejudice, laws” (132). This is the true subject of the book. The Martians mainly serve as a counterpoint. A notable pattern is that the few humans who are sympathetic to the Martians and their way of life represent the best of our species and our civilization, while the rest represent us at our violent and ignorant worst. The Only Hot Dog Stand on Mars The story of the fourth expedition to Mars, “—And the Moon Be Still as Bright,” establishes the theme of the book by presenting the two attitudes people take toward Mars. Spender feels reverence for the “dead, dreaming world” (49). He wants his crew mates to be quiet and respectful, but instead they get loud and drunk. He is especially ashamed of Biggs, a vulgar man who wantonly throws his empty wine bottles in the Martian canal, mocks the dead city, and then throws up all over the mosaics of the cobbled street. Another crewman, Sam Parkill, is just as bad as Biggs. He shoots out the crystal windows of the beautiful Martian city for target practice. Later, in “The Off Season,” he will use fragments of broken glass to adorn the hot dog stand he builds on Mars. Spender predicted as much. In a conversation with Captain Wilder he laments the way people destroy cultures they don’t understand. He tells the captain that the only reason no one ever built a hot dog stand at the Egyptian temple of Karnak is that the location would not have made it profitable. Parkhill would later decide that a hot dog stand on Mars would be very profitable. Dark They Were . . . The evils of colonialism and the evils of racism often go hand in hand. In speaking to the captain of the destruction humans will do to the remains of the Martian civilization, Spender references Cortez and his conquest of Mexico. He also tells the story of visiting Mexico with his family when he was a boy. Just as he was ashamed of his crew mates for their crass behavior, so was he was ashamed of his father, mother, and sister in Mexico. His father acted “loud and big” (65). His mother disliked the people’s dark skin. And his sister would not talk to anyone. Bradbury’s Martians are also brown-skinned and it is no coincidence that among those who are sympathetic to the Martians are people of color: In “—And the Moon Be Still as Bright,” Cheroke, who is part Native American, is able to relate to the Martians. “If there’s a Martian around,” says Cheroke, “I’m all for him” (59). In “Night Meeting,” Tomás Gomez, whose name and complexion suggest his Mexican ancestry, meets a Martian, and instead of seeking dominance over the native, he seeks understanding. Bradbury makes a subtle statement against racism with these characters, but he also makes more direct statements. In “The Off Season,” when Parkhill encounters a Martian and threatens to give him “the disease,” it’s impossible not to think of the Native Americans who were given smallpox-infected blankets. In “Way in the Middle of the Air,” the black residents of the Jim Crow south pool their resources to buy rockets so they can finally be free from racism. A Klansman watches the exodus helplessly, clinging to his illusion of racial superiority. . . . and Golden Eyed My favorite story in the volume is “Ylla.” This is the story of the first expedition to Mars, but the beauty of the story is in its depiction of the Martian way of life before the arrival of humans. The Martian people have brown skin and golden eyes. They are telepathic. Sometimes they wear masks of different colors, masks with different expressions. Their planet is a desert with dead empty seas and ancient cities that look like bone. Their civilization has been dying for a long time, but it is dying naturally and the Martian people live serenely among the ruins of their former glory. Ylla and her husband live in a house of crystal pillars and crystal walls. Mist rains down from the pillars to cool the hot Martian day. Golden fruits grow from the crystal walls. Ylla harvests the fruits. Cool streams wind through the house. Ylla cleans the house with magnetic dust and cooks meat in silver lava on a fire table. She sleeps on a bed of fog that melts as the sun rises. Her husband, Yll, reads a book of ancient times. He reads of battles where men fought using “metal insects and electric spiders” (2). He passes his hand over the hieroglyphs and the metal book sings its tales. When the first Earth men arrive, he greets them wearing an expressionless silver mask and wielding a weapon that shoots “golden bees” (11). Insect imagery is used elsewhere in The Martian Chronicles. In “The Earth Men,” children play with golden spider toys. The woman who greets the Earth Men is described as “quick as an insect” with a voice that was “metallic and sharp” (18). And the Martian Tomás Gomez meets in “Night Meeting” rides “a machine like a jade-green insect, a praying mantis” with “six legs” and “multifaceted eyes” (81). Bradbury’s Mars is wonderfully strange and beautiful. I want to read the same ten thousand year old book of Martian philosophy that Spender finds in the moonlit ruins. I want to decipher the black and gold hieroglyphs hand-painted on the thin silver pages. I want to swim in the canals after the wine trees have filled them with green wine. I want to fly through the blue Martian sky, cradled in a white canopy with green ribbons, borne aloft by a flame bird. I want to see the blue-sailed sand ships and the two Martian moons shining on white towers that look like chess pieces. (My copy of The Martian Chronicles is the Grand Master Edition with Michael Whelan’s cover art. Whelan’s painting wraps around the paperback, depicting a red Mars with bright blue canals and a bright blue sky overheard. The moons are barely visible. Two Martians with bronze skin and golden hair sit by a canal overlooking a bone-white city. One removes his mask and looks up at the sky where a comet, or perhaps a rocket from Earth, descends into the mountains. The artwork enhances the text and complements the image of Mars that exists in my imagination.) Smart Houses, Dumb People The Martian civilization had been dying for thousands of years, a death with dignity. Earth civilization, in contrast, was committing violent suicide. So many of the people who want to go to Mars are trying to escape something. The taxpayer, in the story of the same name, wants to escape the prospect of war. The black people in “Way in the Middle of the Air,” want to escape prejudice. Stendahl, in “Usher II,” wants to escape, or if not escape, get revenge against, the political correctness that led first to censorship and finally to book burning. But there was no escape. The book burners came to Mars. Prejudice came too, although the victims of it were Martians. And the war that the colonists hoped to escape was so devastating that the explosions could be seen from Mars. When I first read this book, the dates of the stories were still far enough in the future to seem futuristic. And the technology in “There Will Come Soft Rains” was still science fiction. It’s almost amusing to think that most of the technology that powers the house in that story already exists. I say it’s almost amusing because there’s nothing amusing about this story and there’s nothing amusing about Bradbury’s predictions coming true, for he predicts, not only smart houses, but also a war that decimates Earth. “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a powerful cautionary tale and I believe it is all the more powerful now that its futuristic house is science fact rather than science fiction. It is a reminder of what can happen when progress in science and technology outpaces moral progress. In his praise of the Martian civilization, Spender tells Captain Wilder: “They knew how to live with nature and get along with nature. They didn’t try too hard to be all men and no animal” (66). This can be seen in Ylla’s house. Fruit grows from the crystal walls. A stream trickles through the rooms. A fine mist rains down from the pillars. And the house itself turns, “flower-like” (2) to face the sun. In contrast, the human house is automated by technology. “Somewhere in the walls, relays clicked, memory tapes glided under electric eyes” (167). The two houses symbolize two different approaches to living in the world. One is natural. The other is artificial. The house in “There Will Come Soft Rains” is a travesty of human desires. It does everything for its occupants. It cooks their meals, cleans their messes, and amuses their children. It reminds them of their appointments in the morning and reads them poetry at night. But it does all this for people who no longer exist, people who were so advanced technologically that they could build houses to meet all their needs but were so morally backwards that they destroyed themselves through war. The Last Woman on Mars This is a novel of dreams, nostalgia, and loneliness. It begins with Ylla’s dream of the first Earth man. The dream is strange but pleasant. Especially pleasant because Ylla is lonely. She’s a married woman, but her husband has grown distant. He rarely takes her to entertainments anymore. He reads his books. She tends her house. Everything is lovely, but loveliness is no substitute for love. Only one other story features a woman character: Genevieve from “The Silent Towns.” She may be the last woman on Mars. Walter may be the last man. Everyone else returned to Earth when the war started. Walter was lonely even before everyone left for earth and now he is lonelier still, so when he finds Genevieve he is elated. But not for long. Genevieve is crass and obnoxious. When Walter first sees her, she is in a beauty salon eating a box of cream chocolates. When he prepares a romantic dinner with her, she complains about the filet mignon and wants to watch a Clark Gable film over and over again. While Walter was left behind accidentally, Genevieve stayed behind on purpose so she could gorge herself on candy and perfume and movies. Genevieve is a caricature of what the American consumer has become and she makes a striking contrast to the sensitive and elegant Ylla. Bradbury’s trademark nostalgia is featured in “The Third Expedition” where the astronauts land on Mars, but find themselves in what appears to be a small town in Ohio. It’s the kind of small town that feels familiar to the men, whether they come from Grinnell, Iowa or Green Bluff, Illinois. The houses and furniture and music remind them all of their childhood homes. In “The Long Years,” another man left behind on Mars after the other colonists returned to Earth must find a way to bear his profound loneliness. Hathaway was another member of the fourth expedition. He settled on Mars with his wife and children. When his old friend Captain Wilder arrives on Mars, the secret of how Hathaway coped with twenty years of loneliness is revealed. But the most moving tale of loneliness is about a Martian. This poor soul is alone. For all he knows, he could be the last Martian on Mars. Like everyone else, he needs love and home and family. So he takes on the appearance of an old couple’s deceased son. LaFarge knows that the being he is calling his son cannot really be his son and he muses about the Martian’s predicament. “Who is this, he thought, in need of love as much as we? Who is he and what is he that, out of loneliness, he comes into the alien camp and assumes the voice and face of memory and stands among us, accepted and happy at last” (124)? “The Martian” also reinforces Bradbury’s message about racism. Despite all the differences between humans and Martians, we are more alike than different. We all need love. A Dead, Dreaming World Whatever the Martians had, it was beautiful. We know it was beautiful because even half dead it’s still beautiful. Where once there had been festivals with slim boats and canals of lavender wine, where once, four thousand years ago, there had been carnival lights and fire flowers and love-making, there was now a desert with the ruins of ancient towers that shine like silver under the light of two moons. There were now sand ships that sailed the empty Martian seas, their blue sails “like blue ghosts, like blue smoke” (136). But the beauty of the Martian civilization is not only aesthetic. It is spiritual and philosophical as well. As Spender eulogizes the dead civilization of Mars, he also criticizes the civilization of Earth. On Mars, art wasn’t separate from everyday life. Religion wasn’t separate from science. Spender laments how humans have segregated art from life and replaced religion with the theories of Darwin, Huxley, and Freud. Spender’s critique is Bradbury’s critique. It is both a lamentation and an invitation. Bradbury laments what human greed has done to the Earth, to civilization, and to the hearts and souls of men and women. He laments the subordination of art and religion to a science and technology which purport to make our lives better but leave us emptier than ever. He laments the war that will destroy us all because of the hate we bear toward one another. But he also invites us to change our direction and change our fate. The Martian civilization that Spender so admires also faced a crisis. “Man had become too much man and not enough animal on Mars too” (67). But the Martians found a solution. They learned to love life for life’s sake. And so can we. Bradbury offers hope for the human race in the final story, “The Million-Year Picnic.” The Martian Chronicles is a beautiful book. Its message is gentle but powerful. And it’s the most literary and philosophical of all the Bradbury novels and stories I’ve read. My appreciation for it has grown with every rereading. Bradbury’s writing style is often called ‘lyrical’ and nowhere is that adjective more appropriate than here. But more than his lyricism, it is his storytelling that I love. He’s like an oral storyteller. When I read Bradbury, all I hear is Bradbury’s voice, not the voice of his creations, but his voice, the storyteller’s voice. That’s where the beauty is ~ in his storytelling. The poetic descriptions, the metaphors, the mellifluous sentences, are music to my ears, but the stories are what touch my heart.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    4 and a half stars. My husband ruined reading Ray Bradbury for me when he showed me this video : www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IxOS4VzKM . Now I can’t pick up any of his books without that ditty getting stuck in my head, and if you click the (not really safe for work) link, the same thing will happen to you. You’re welcome. I found “The Martian Chronicles”, “The Illustrated Man” and “October Country” at my favorite used bookstore, all the same edition, all in perfect condition. When that happens I 4 and a half stars. My husband ruined reading Ray Bradbury for me when he showed me this video : www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IxOS4VzKM . Now I can’t pick up any of his books without that ditty getting stuck in my head, and if you click the (not really safe for work) link, the same thing will happen to you. You’re welcome. I found “The Martian Chronicles”, “The Illustrated Man” and “October Country” at my favorite used bookstore, all the same edition, all in perfect condition. When that happens I often wonder who had the heart to sell these books off… while simultaneously being very grateful because I now have them on my shelf. It’s a complicated feeling. Having only read "Fahrenheit 451" (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I wasn’t really sure what Bradbury’s other work would be like, but I had a feeling I’d like it because I have always enjoyed golden age sci-fi (I am a bit of a sucker for nostalgia), and the clean and evocative prose that Bradbury is often praised for. This book is a collection of related vignettes chronicling the colonization of Mars by humans in the 21st century and it is poetic, nostalgic and heartbreaking. It is a very quietly thought-provoking book, even when there is what we normally think of as “action” taking place. It’s all about subtle things happening under the surface – in a very 1950’s way, I suppose. Thoughts about loneliness, grief, colonialism and faith are explored through the story of humanity’s settlement on the Red Planet. Would moving to a whole new planet fix the problems we have left behind on Earth? Or would we take the dark side of human nature along with us everywhere? Bradbury’s longing for a simpler, better time – that probably never existed outside of his prodigious imagination – is what these settlers are trying to capture by setting up shop away from the threat of the atom bomb, from racism, from environmental decay… From all those things that made life on Earth feel intolerable. The wish for a better world is universal and timeless, so no matter how dated some elements of those stories can seem to a modern eye, their spirit still resonates very strongly. Sure, his Martians are a lot like Midwest Americans from the 50’s, but I don’t think that can be chalked up to a lack of imagination. Rather, I think it’s Bradbury’s way of saying that if there is life on other planets, why should we assume the beings there would be that different from us? Maybe we are much, much more alike than we can imagine… Lyrical, sad, haunting and lovely. No other works of this genre that I have read so far feels quite the way this one does. A must-read for sci-fi fans and fans of good writing in general.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    What a marvellous book. As I mentioned in a comment when I started reading it, I have read this before, I'm guesstimating mid/late 70s, and also (for some reason) have a fond remembrance of the 1980 Rock Hudson TV series. Well as a book it certainly lived up to my expectations. I don't normally say much about the contents or stories of books I review as I leave that up to the back cover or others to read themselves, but I will say this about The Martian Chronicles (or Silver Locusts); it is a What a marvellous book. As I mentioned in a comment when I started reading it, I have read this before, I'm guesstimating mid/late 70s, and also (for some reason) have a fond remembrance of the 1980 Rock Hudson TV series. Well as a book it certainly lived up to my expectations. I don't normally say much about the contents or stories of books I review as I leave that up to the back cover or others to read themselves, but I will say this about The Martian Chronicles (or Silver Locusts); it is a wonderful 1940s and 50s social commentary and as such it is like looking back into history (given the dates of when the book is set, most of it is now set in the past anyway). The racial bigotry that existed during the time comes across very clearly in the book, as well as how Bradbury viewed mans ability for self destruction and disregard of the environment. All things that are still unfortunately very visible in todays world. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can see me reading it again (sooner than 40 years time I'm thinking). I've now read 2 Bradbury books in the last 6 months and know why as a teenager I read an awful lot more, I think as well as my challenges that should also be a focus of my reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys SF, it is not "hard" or military or opera or any of the other genres, it's just a very good book, well written, enjoy !

  24. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    . I've seen this referred to as a masterpiece of science fiction, but it's less about the science and more about the faults and failures of humanity, in this case Americans. He delivers a sharp slap to the face of American racial prejudice, aggressive colonization, wastefulness and disregard of the environment. I think Bradbury would be shocked to see the same conditions existing in the 21st century. He would also be shocked to see we haven't sent any humans to Mars yet. This is a collection of . I've seen this referred to as a masterpiece of science fiction, but it's less about the science and more about the faults and failures of humanity, in this case Americans. He delivers a sharp slap to the face of American racial prejudice, aggressive colonization, wastefulness and disregard of the environment. I think Bradbury would be shocked to see the same conditions existing in the 21st century. He would also be shocked to see we haven't sent any humans to Mars yet. This is a collection of short stories that taken as a whole has the appearance of a novel. It very much reminds me of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, which he credits with influencing the structure of Chronicles. I'm sure many readers have avoided The Martian Chronicles because it is mid-twentith century science fiction, but Bradbury rises above the cliches' of the genre to offer a view of who we are and what we need to change before introducing ourselves to future "Martians".

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    I wish there were more books that told a story though many short stories the way this book does (or just more that I were privy to). I would have never thought that I would enjoy this book more than Bradbury’s most famous book, Fahrenheit 451. I guess that book is more widely read because it is focused for children and they apparently read more. Everyone should read The Martian Chronicles, not just those who like science fiction.

  26. 4 out of 5

    William

    I read this so very long ago, decades, almost into the Martian past, the past of the book. It's part of me in ways I feel, but can see only in glimpses. Bradbury was my father in so many ways, along with Heinlein and Clarke and Asimov. And my dreams are coloured by theirs. Exquisite.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and

    UPDATE This recent study published in Science*, gives some reason to the imagined Dead Sea of Mars, by Ray Bradbury. (NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. NASA/GSFC) Prologue Back in the late nineties I was a member of The Planetary Society. I used to receive, at home, their magazine. I always took notice of that name: Ray Bradbury, among the long list of other UPDATE This recent study published in Science*, gives some reason to the imagined Dead Sea of Mars, by Ray Bradbury. (NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. NASA/GSFC) Prologue Back in the late nineties I was a member of The Planetary Society. I used to receive, at home, their magazine. I always took notice of that name: Ray Bradbury, among the long list of other famous names as board of directors and Advisory Council members: Carl Sagan (co -founder), Bruce Murray, David Brin, Arthur Clarke …. Maybe I knew one day I would read the Martian Chronicles. And now I had the chance. For some time I still held in my mind the names of the missions (to Mars) and the photos of TPS magazines: Pathfinder and Sojourner roving through the Mars dust and rocks …and then I’ve started reading this idealization of a planet. Bradbury told this story once. He was in San Diego, back in 2001, at Point Loma Nazarene University. He was lecturing about the “hygiene of writing”. He told the students: Christopher Isherwood told him: Aldous Huxley wanted to meet with him; they met and Huxley told Bradbury “you are a poet”. Bradbury got delighted. In an interview he explained how, when he was 29 years old, he went to New York: a journey of 4 days and nights by Greyhound, to get his short stories published. The Martian Chronicles were a collection of separate short stories, but they got together in a tapestry that is the present book (first published in 1950). The Martian Chronicles The book is a collection of short stories that cover the period of about 60 years of Mars colonization by men, starting in 1999. A place with Blue Mountains,… golden fruits and houses with crystal columns. People (Martians) with gold yellow eyes and brown skin, capable of telepathy (of understanding other languages)… who read on metallic books with salient hieroglyphs. That’s truly poetic. Planet Mars has a Dead Sea…and violet water canals…and twin white Moons. Children play with golden spiders. Poetic as well the conversation between Lady Ttt and Mr Iiii and Mr Aaa….on planet Tyrr. From their planet they see Earth as green. But not so poetic for commander Williams,and his men, who conclude later that he’s been visiting a madhouse, and that Martians think “we’re crazy”. This was a story of hallucinations. In another story there’s a character who would like to organize Mars in a way it would resemble Earth;he,himself and fellow men conclude there’s a collective hypnosis: a woman thinking she’s still living on planet earth; a crew member thinks he meets his brother;… and Marylyn. In the end 16 men are dead. Yes, planet Mars harbors a dead civilization. Hathaway, a geologist, concludes: “by the look of their cities it was a beautiful, gracious and philosophical people”. Martians fuse Art and life: not like Americans. When Benjamin Driscoll arrived to Mars there were no trees: he wanted to see a green Mars; the air-like-the-Andes was not satisfactory. By year 2002, 90,000 people arrived …rockets arrived like grasshoppers. Someone says: I must forget earth; I have a lot of fun with the weather here: day hot as hell, and the night cold. Martians look like blue spheres. Stone is having a conversation with a priest. Stone had been saved in an avalanche of stones, by the blue lights; the priest says: that proves they have a soul: there’s compassion: they’re not animals. “What kind of Christ they adore?”. A Martian explains: “it’s been 10,000 years… we have abandoned our bodies…we live in happiness, we live in the grace of God…we once were humans, with bodies like you…we live in the mountains and the wind…we have abandoned material life”. (…) And yet in Red City the Martians killed a man. November 2005 news: there’s war on earth. We need to get back. It’s still our homeland. Sam got a territory from the Martians the size of half of Mars. He receives a message from Earth: the Australian continent exploded, London and LA were bombed. Hathaway, a former State governor, says Earth science went ahead of us: wars killed Earth. The governor wants to start a new life on Mars. Hathaway and family are fishing in the Mars canals; and the kids want so badly to see a Martian. Father tells them to look at the image reflected on the waters. Martians are earthlings. The Bradbury chronicles tell little about Martians, but a lot about humans. *https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/article... Great interview by Sam Weller Ray Bradbury, The Art of Fiction No. 203 in: https://www.theparisreview.org/interv... https://www.google.pt/amp/s/amp.thegu...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” ― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles For the last couple years I've been dipping into some of my favorite books as a kid. Re-reading Bradbury's Martian Chronicles as an adult, like earlier reads of The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, was totally worth it. Each read of Bradbury elevates him in my mind. As an adult, I see the stories in bigger terms. Less about big "s" Space or Mars or martians, and more about race, colonialism, “We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” ― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles For the last couple years I've been dipping into some of my favorite books as a kid. Re-reading Bradbury's Martian Chronicles as an adult, like earlier reads of The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, was totally worth it. Each read of Bradbury elevates him in my mind. As an adult, I see the stories in bigger terms. Less about big "s" Space or Mars or martians, and more about race, colonialism, environmentalism, war, loneliness, isolation, family, death. It feels more relevant today than it did when I read it 30-years ago, and more relevant perhaps than it did when it was originally published (some stories over 70-years ago). Obviously, a lot of this is because of my experiences during the last 30 years, and some of these stories were VERY relevant when first published. I'm thinking of "Way in the Middle of the Air", published in 1950. Bradbury's take on race and racism was sharp and clean. The story carried a punch. Anyway, Bradbury is/was a literary light and treasure.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Werner

    Note, Nov. 2, 3017: I edited this just now to correct a minor typo. Though the 16 stories that comprise this collection are fitted into a super-imposed chronological framework, and are joined by some short units of bridging material, they were originally composed as stand-alones, not part of any larger unity. Bradbury was primarily a writer of short fiction, the main medium for his characteristic supernatural and science fiction in the era when he started writing; this book simply collects most Note, Nov. 2, 3017: I edited this just now to correct a minor typo. Though the 16 stories that comprise this collection are fitted into a super-imposed chronological framework, and are joined by some short units of bridging material, they were originally composed as stand-alones, not part of any larger unity. Bradbury was primarily a writer of short fiction, the main medium for his characteristic supernatural and science fiction in the era when he started writing; this book simply collects most of the stories he composed in the 1940s set on, or related to, Mars. Several of them have totally conflicting or contradictory premises and features, and they vary wildly in tone and effect. (They're uneven in quality as well, as noted below.) But that said, there are certain recurrent themes that bind them. Bradbury envisioned Mars colonization as a kind of re-enactment of the settling of the American frontier, a new New World with the same pitfalls and the same potential promise. He also was haunted, as were most post-World War II SF writers working in the long shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by the threat of nuclear war, and that concern is reflected in a number of the stories. Some reviewers, both on and off of Goodreads, have faulted Bradbury for a drastic lack of scientific accuracy in his portrayal of Mars, which he pictures as much more hospitable to humanoid life than it actually is. (His ascription to his Martians of psi powers --the possibility of which, to say the least, is undemonstrated-- also doesn't please hard SF purists.) To a degree, those criticisms miss the point, however: Bradbury isn't trying to write scientifically accurate, hard SF, and failing at it; rather, he's writing from the standpoint of the genre's "soft" tradition (of which he was always an exponent, even in the days when the U.S. pulp SF ghetto was rigidly dominated by the hard school). He simply posited the kind of Mars he wanted for the kind of stories he wanted to tell, knowing full well that it was fictional and invented; if we take his "Mars" on those terms, the stories work as he intended. Criticism has also been directed at these stories on the grounds of an alleged anti-American agenda. His space explorers/colonists are all Americans; they invade and occupy Mars, inadvertently bringing disease germs that virtually annihilate the native Martians, who are portrayed in "Ylla" as an aesthetic, artistic race. "Way in the Middle of the Air" is openly critical of white racism in the segregated U.S. South of the 1940s. And several of the stories posit a nuclear war on Earth, with the penultimate story, "There Will Come Soft Rains," graphically portraying the wanton total destruction of life and negation of human science and achievement that such a war would entail. These features, however, do not add up to or prove a root-and-branch essential hostility to America and its values. (Bradbury is actually a product of a small-town America that he often evokes with an affectionate nostalgia that's obviously genuine.) The parallel between the fate of Bradbury's Martians and our Indians is real and historically grounded; you can't re-tell American frontier history without facing it --and at least here, the Martians die only of unintentionally-borne disease; they aren't victims of deliberate genocide. (It could also be questioned whether the portrayal of Martian attitudes is intended as glowingly positive --Yll, as his wife recognizes, is a cold-blooded xenophobe and murderer.) But the promise of the frontier as a place of new beginnings, new possibilities and a second chance is also evoked here; one could view that as a positive take on the meaning of the American experience. Criticism of the treatment by some Americans of blacks (who are also Americans) isn't in itself anti-American; it echoes the sentiment of the song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," where it says, "God mend thine every flaw." And to view nuclear war as immoral idiocy is not a position of disloyalty to America or American principles, unless we assume that mass genocide and mass suicide have always been intrinsic American ideals (they haven't). "Usher II" expresses a libertarian cultural attitude that's arguably quintessentially American; and "The Million-Year Picnic" brings a family of American nuclear war survivors to Mars as agents of a new beginning, where they finally have a chance "get it right." There are certainly merited criticisms that can be made of several of these stories. The only one with any religious message, "Fire Balloons," is simply a wooden preaching of the "gospel" according to Gnosticism: "salvation" through evolving away from icky physicality. (The apostles Paul and John, judging from their letters, would have puked over it. :-)) The conclusion (not the climax) of "Mars Is Heaven!" is supposed to be dramatically effective, but doesn't make sense in the context. IMO, the poorest story in the group is "The Silent Towns," which showcases the sexism of Bradbury's generation at its worst; it has no message, except ridicule of overweight females and an attempt to generate "humor" at their expense. Overall, though, I liked this collection; obviously, some stories are better than others, but I thought that most worked artistically. For me, Bradbury's style is a plus; it's lyrical and evocative, and full of appeals to all of the senses. My favorites in the group are "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "Way in the Middle of the Air," which I think are masterpieces. (Either would have been better selections for the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, IMO, than "Mars Is Heaven!").

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    There's not a lot more to add to all the positive reviews already here. I too found this book thought provoking, provocative, profound. It's an inspiring piece of work; there is a reason why this is a classic. Some people criticize the science. However, Mr. Bradbury himself admitted that this was more a work of Fantasy than Sci-Fi. Who am I to argue? The book concerns the colonization of Mars and the implications on both Humans and, yes, Martians. At this stage in time, I suppose it reads more There's not a lot more to add to all the positive reviews already here. I too found this book thought provoking, provocative, profound. It's an inspiring piece of work; there is a reason why this is a classic. Some people criticize the science. However, Mr. Bradbury himself admitted that this was more a work of Fantasy than Sci-Fi. Who am I to argue? The book concerns the colonization of Mars and the implications on both Humans and, yes, Martians. At this stage in time, I suppose it reads more like an “alternate history” book, considering some of the dates involved. The prose is lyrical, and haunting at times, i.e. typical for the author. Whilst essentially a series of short stories strung together, it actually flows pretty good, and everybody should enjoy peeling away the layers of meaning. It's more than just an adventure, it's a chronicle, of what makes us tick. Am I reading too much into it? Perhaps. Read it. Own it. You should. P.S. 1 - Again: cover art by Michael Whelan. Fantastic stuff! P.S. 2 - Review transferred from my Amazon account - slightly edited

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.