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The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles (1950)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,410229308 (4.04)594
  1. 261
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (jpers36, moietmoi)
  2. 81
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (bertilak)
    bertilak: Bradbury has said that Winesburg, Ohio was one of the inspirations for The Martian Chronicles (grotesque characters in Ohio versus on Mars).
  3. 60
    Kaleidoscope by Ray Bradbury (rionka)
    rionka: a lot of pictures from the same world. or from the world we have in our heads.
  4. 20
    Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (lewbs)
    lewbs: Borges admired The Martian Chronicles. The two books have much in common.
  5. 20
    Girl in Landscape by Jonathan Lethem (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Visions of humans colonizing planets with declining civilizations
  6. 21
    Desolation Road by Ian McDonald (Sethgsamuel)
  7. 10
    The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein (fulner)
    fulner: A trip from Luna to Mars then off to the Asteroid Belt to mine. The Sapce Family Stone has fantastic story telling. Emotial respnose. REAL MATH! and a story that keeps you truning pages. Highly recommended.
  8. 11
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (mike_frank)
    mike_frank: Similar story telling, short stories tying together a grander story arch.
  9. 11
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (andomck)
    andomck: Both books are about colonization. One is from the perspective of colonizer, the other the colonized.
1950s (34)
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» See also 594 mentions

English (206)  Spanish (8)  Danish (4)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Romanian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (228)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
A series of slightly interconnected stories about the colonization of Mars. The first stories are about Martians and their society and are the most imaginative. Once Earthlings -- and in these stories they are all Americans- colonize Mars things become less interesting. The Americans basically turn Mars into small town America in the 1950s. While travel between Mars and Earth seems a fairly rapid process - "we'll be there by tonight, finish packing" - they still communicate via telephone and hand written letters. The first stories have Martians and Earthlings interacting, disastrously. One story has them both existing on Mars in different times on the space-time continuum. Most of the stories occur after most of the Martians have died from small pox brought by the first humans. These stories were written in the late 1940s, early 1950s, so the technology and gender roles are dated. The Martians have some cool technology, the Earthling have rockets and robots. All the women are housewives or spinsters.
I enjoy reading Bradbury - he writes well and he always leaves you thinking about what you would do in those situations or he's reminded you of your childhood. This book made me a little sad that such a good author couldn't imagine a future with wonderful inventions or more for women to do than prepare dinner for their families. ( )
2 vote VioletBramble | Dec 19, 2018 |
I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I've read this book. No one else can write a short story quite like Bradbury. He has a dark insight into the worst part of humanity, and he can chill you to the bone in a mere two pages. There's a succinct quality to his work. In a single sentence, he can reveal human nature in a way that other writers struggle to do with 500 page tomes. There's a streak of horror in his work as well, and what makes it truly terrifying is that the thing he makes you fear is us. ( )
1 vote Zoes_Human | Nov 3, 2018 |
Possibly my favourite Bradbury work, this is a seriously transcendent piece of literature, that had a disproportionate impact on my writing and critical faculties. It's not perfect, certainly, int its elements of Bradbury's usual flaws as a writer and in its occasional sledgehammer subtlety yet... that's to request something of the book which it is not, which is surely bad criticism. This is wonderful. ( )
1 vote therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
I hadn’t known this before I started reading it, but The Martian Chronicles is sort of a cross between an anthology and a novel. It’s a series of related short stories, told in sequential order and more-or-less forming a larger novel-like picture when read together. Each story focuses on different characters for the most part, but there are a few characters who show up and/or get mentioned in more than one story. Most of it is set on Mars, a populated planet that, in the beginning, hasn’t yet had contact with Earth.

The book starts off with some of the weirdest first contact stories I’ve ever encountered. At this point, I was really enjoying the book. It was a little disturbing, a little creepy, and at one point very funny. (I guffawed when the second expedition ended up in a Martian insane asylum. Then it went back toward the side of disturbing when they were all shot.)

Once we got past the first contact stories, things didn’t feel as unique or interesting to me and I started to lose interest, although there were a few stories that did capture my interest again. That’s hardly Bradbury’s fault, since I’m sure his stories were all new and fresh when they were first published, but that was my reaction. As is common in the older science fiction classics, this one paints a very bleak view of humanity and almost all the characters seemed a bit bizarre to me.

There was one thing that didn’t make sense to me at all, which I’ll have to put in spoiler tags: I didn’t understand why all the humans who had colonized Mars rushed back to Earth when it was clear Earth was about to destroy itself in a war, even to the point of taking all their children with them. I would expect the opposite to happen – for people on Mars to be glad they’d gotten off Earth while they could and to stay right where they were. If it had been me, I might have tried to get nearly-empty rockets sent back to Earth to rescue loved ones and others, but I wouldn’t have gone back myself to die with them. Especially if most of my family was already on Mars with me, which seemed to be the case with many of the people by that point.

So this was an interesting book, and I really liked some parts of it, but other parts didn’t hold my attention as well. I’m going to give it 3.5 stars and round down to 3 on Goodreads. ( )
3 vote YouKneeK | Oct 6, 2018 |
There many things I like about this book and there many things I dislike. I believe I like the vignette format and I like Ray Bradbury's writing but the lack of faith in humanity bothers me. Some of it is very beautiful and some of it is very disappointing. Since women seem to not have characters in this future, the portrayal of women contributes to my unshakeable dissatisfaction. Four stars anyway... When it works it works. ( )
1 vote CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradbury, RayAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borges, Jorge LuisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambon, JacquesTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
豊樹, 小笠原Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoye, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoyle, FredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knight, DamonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehnig, Hans-JoachimEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marinker, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, Joseph A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robillot, HenriTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scalzi, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snow, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viskupic, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watson, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"It is good to renew one's wonder," said the philosopher. "Space travel has again made children of us all."
For My Wife Marguerite
with all my love
First words
One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.
"No matter how we touch Mars, we'll never touch it. And then we'll get mad at it, and you know what we'll do? We'll rip it up, rip the skin off, and change it to fit ourselves."
They blended religion and art and science because, at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.
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 pressures; 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.
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Disambiguation notice
US title: The Martian Chronicles

UK title: The Silver Locusts

(according to Worldcat.org)
PLEASE DO NOT COMBINE with Martian Chronicles or Lions of Fashion!!
the Danish language edition of The Lions of Fashion has been combined with The Martian Chronicles .

Thank you!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553278223, Mass Market Paperback)

From "Rocket Summer" to "The Million-Year Picnic," Ray Bradbury's stories of the colonization of Mars form an eerie mesh of past and future. Written in the 1940s, the chronicles drip with nostalgic atmosphere--shady porches with tinkling pitchers of lemonade, grandfather clocks, chintz-covered sofas. But longing for this comfortable past proves dangerous in every way to Bradbury's characters--the golden-eyed Martians as well as the humans. Starting in the far-flung future of 1999, expedition after expedition leaves Earth to investigate Mars. The Martians guard their mysteries well, but they are decimated by the diseases that arrive with the rockets. Colonists appear, most with ideas no more lofty than starting a hot-dog stand, and with no respect for the culture they've displaced.

Bradbury's quiet exploration of a future that looks so much like the past is sprinkled with lighter material. In "The Silent Towns," the last man on Mars hears the phone ring and ends up on a comical blind date. But in most of these stories, Bradbury holds up a mirror to humanity that reflects a shameful treatment of "the other," yielding, time after time, a harvest of loneliness and isolation. Yet the collection ends with hope for renewal, as a colonist family turns away from the demise of the Earth towards a new future on Mars. Bradbury is a master fantasist and The Martian Chronicles are an unforgettable work of art. --Blaise Selby

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:10 -0400)

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The tranquility of Mars is disrupted by the earthmen who have come to conquer space, colonize the planet, and escape a doomed earth.

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