The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

My Copy: 9780553278224

Mr. Bradbury’s done excellent work, and I keep coming back to The Martian Chronicles when I just wanna read something short for the hell of it. Bradbury has a few miniature, practically stand-alone stories placed between arching stories, but the common thread is simple: humans can leave Earth and–like it or not–they’re going to Mars, and they’re going to colonize.

Each story has it’s own unique flavor, from the first story where Ylla, a Martian, has vivid dreams about meeting men from Earth, to the last story where a human family finds the last Martians. Different themes come from these stories, such as xenophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, the purpose of exploration, censorship, the threat of nuclear war, memory, dreams, etc. This tiny book is full of tremendous possibilities.

Of all the stories and characters in the book, I found myself sympathetic to Spender from the Fourth Expedition (“June 2001: And the Moon Still Be As Bright”). I don’t want to spoil what happens, and the events that stem from this story, but when things to wrong and Spender has a talk with the captain, let’s just say that he spoke right to my conscience. My biggest beef with the human race and our history is well simplified in the point he brings up in his short discussion.

I feel much of the stories hit on Spender’s observations pretty well.

The Martian Chronicles has something for everyone, and is vivid yet vague enough that you can get a good picture for yourself of the landscape and events. It’s worth a look and not a very long book, but full of interesting speculation as far as what if we went to Mars, met Martians in different ways, and then colonized it…what would result? Great book.

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