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The Martian Chronicles (The Silver Locusts)…
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The Martian Chronicles (The Silver Locusts) (original 1950; edition 1981)

by Ray Bradbury

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12,247225306 (4.04)585
Member:raak
Title:The Martian Chronicles (The Silver Locusts)
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Collins (1981), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (Author) (1950)

  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
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (andomck)
    andomck: Both books are about colonization. One is from the perspective of colonizer, the other the colonized.
  7. 21
    Desolation Road by Ian McDonald (Sethgsamuel)
  8. 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.
  9. 11
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (mike_frank)
    mike_frank: Similar story telling, short stories tying together a grander story arch.
1950s (33)
Read (105)
Elevenses (268)
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» See also 585 mentions

English (203)  Spanish (8)  Danish (4)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Romanian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (224)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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. ( )
2 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. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
I’m not sure if this was a re-read or not, if I read it before, it must have been 30 or 40 years ago and I have no recollection of the book at all. I doubt I would have appreciated the book at all if I had read it.

Entitled The Martian Chronicles, it follows the events of the first humans to reach Mars and the consequences of that event. The title suggests a continuous story, but in fact the book is a series of linked short stories and vignettes that follow in chronological order after the first man lands on Mars. With two exceptions, the entire sequence is set on Mars; both are set on Earth, the first deals with the entire African-American population emigrating to Mars, the second is set after WWIII and is about a robotic house. The first is the most overtly racist story in the collection; and is the only story to deal with non-white humans. Admittedly, the collection was first published in 1951, but that story left a bad taste in my mouth.

What struck me was that the reaching of Mars and it’s subsequent colonisation was a thinly-disguised colonisation of the Americas, along with 99.99% of the Martian population succumbing fatally to chickenpox. I couldn’t tell whether the stories were satirising small town America or not; the colonists and explorers all seemed to bring that mentality with them. Part of this may have been the Cold War background in which the book was written (the last stories deal with WWIII).

Read the book for the wonderful language if you can tolerate the 1950s attitudes. Women are domestic ornaments, non-whites just don’t feature apart from that one story, and the Martians stand in for Native Americans.
2 vote Maddz | Sep 22, 2018 |
Probablemente, mi libro favorito de todos los tiempos.
Una absoluta obra maestra de la literatura. No te vayas de este mundo sin leerlo ;)

Lee aquí mi reseña completa. ( )
  LuisBermer | Sep 2, 2018 |
Although I have read some independent short stories by Bradbury, this is my first collection. Although they are all set on Mars, they are not a continuous story. Once I realized I should not be trying to find any continuity between the stories, I relaxed and just enjoyed them individually.

The initial story, Rocket Summer, was very interesting in the unexpected way the Martians dealt with the coming of the Americans. Much as I would expect we would deal with aliens alighting on our own shores. A little like looking into a mirror. I particularly liked "And the Moon Be Still as Bright", as well. I found myself understanding Spender, who finds himself at odds with his own people and goes to very extreme means to attempt to save Mars from the damage he knows will follow. "Usher II" is another captivating story, with the threads of Poe references that run through it and the very recognizable voice of Bradbury regarding both censorship and the delight of revenge.

My favorite chronicle, however, is "There Will Come Soft Rains." The title comes from the Sara Teasdale poem quoted below:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.


This poem has always been a personally meaningful one for me, it begins so softly and quietly and then reveals itself to be a commentary on all that is horrible and violent and destructive of mankind. It says so much so succinctly, and both Teasdale, in her poem, and Bradbury, in his collection of stories, are making the same point about man's foolishness and transience. The story and the poem seem to be of one piece to me. As for Bradbury and his style, I especially loved some of the imagery in the story, like the cleaning mice robots coming out of the walls to clean the house that is devoid of life.

Despite the fact that most of these stories are far from upbeat or joyous, they are also not entirely devoid of hope or promise. In the end mankind is hanging by a thread, but he is hanging. The question will be has he learned enough to do anything different on Mars than he did on Earth. Bradbury seemed to think the jury was out on that one...and if you look around you, it would seem it still is. ( )
1 vote phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
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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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Epigraph
"It is good to renew one's wonder," said the philosopher. "Space travel has again made children of us all."
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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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