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The Martian Chronicles (1950)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,155269303 (4.04)647
Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the red planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars--and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world with its ancient, dying race and vast, red-gold deserts cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever.… (more)
  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
    Girl in Landscape by Jonathan Lethem (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Visions of humans colonizing planets with declining civilizations
  5. 20
    Chocky by John Wyndham (zanbai)
  6. 20
    Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (lewbs)
    lewbs: Borges admired The Martian Chronicles. The two books have much in common.
  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. 10
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (mike_frank)
    mike_frank: Similar story telling, short stories tying together a grander story arch.
  9. 21
    Desolation Road by Ian McDonald (Sethgsamuel)
  10. 12
    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 (21)
Read (105)
Elevenses (302)
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» See also 647 mentions

English (242)  Spanish (11)  Danish (4)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Romanian (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
Superb imagery and an intriguing concept, however, I would have like to have seen the story fleshed out more. ( )
  youngheart80 | Jun 15, 2021 |
I laughed, I was confused, I wanted more from some stories and less from others. This book is actually a series of short stories about colonization of Mars. The stories are mostly funny, usually in a misunderstanding kind of way. Some stories reminded me of Twilight Zone episodes, while others of romantic comedies. Considering when this was written, it’s held up amazingly well. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
Civilizations are born, they live, and then they die. Empires are raised, and then, in due time they are razed. From tall and glorious to a ruined and smoldering heap, these man-made inventions seem to all meet the same fate at some point. In-fighting, war, greed, hubris... all seem to be the usual symptoms and the pronouncement of death is nigh.

Bradbury shows us in this wonderfully dark and revealing collection of vignettes the repercussions of planet-leaping and technologically drunk humans and their deadly dance with war. Beautifully written in his usual poetic prose, it was a joy immersing myself in this brilliant book. ( )
  ProfessorEX | Apr 15, 2021 |
So interesting to read this book now in the 3rd decade of the 21st C. This is a series of meditations on what it means to be a colonizer and the colonized. It is also a meditation on American disposable culture and the worldview that everything needs to be useful rather than simply exist for the sake of existing. It is a consideration of the human conceit that everything that is is for our consumption. Thus, it considers that black heart of sexism, racism, and anti-environmentalism and the fears of being left behind and dying alone. The stories contained herein are not always easy to read. But they are certainly worth reading - especially now after being forced to reckon with anti-black racism in the aftermath of George Floyd and the encroachment of humans on to the last vestiges of habitat for other life on Earth. An encroachment that likely produced the COVID pandemic. What are we doing to ourselves and to our planet? Using Mars as his canvas, Bradbury was asking these questions almost a century ago in the 1950s. It appears he was not that optimistic that humanity would come out on the other side unscathed. ( )
  Neil_Luvs_Books | Apr 7, 2021 |
I had no expectations of this book but from the very first sentences I could see it is remarkable. Usually, I crank up the speed of audiobooks, but this time I played it as slow as recorded to let the words sink in and linger. And I'll surely do it again when I come back to it.

This book is beautifully written. The author can conjure an atmosphere with only one sentence, some phrases dance on a verge of poetry, and it's so easy to get carried away by the emotions. The short stories present a wide palette of genres - from philosophical contemplations, through satire and drama, to horror and grotesque. Sometimes they feel more like a Monthy Python sketch than anything else, and sometimes they tackle serious problems with all the respect they deserve. The author delivers across this spectrum with astounding grace.

Science in this book is often whimsical and feels retro, which shouldn't surprise anyone reading the book published in 1950. Luckily, there is much more fiction than science in this book, and some stories feel closer to magical realism than science-fiction. However, it touches on subjects that are very real: racial discrimination, colonialism, environmental issues, industrialization, and war. One can easily feel the memories of a recent II World War, the disillusionment of the American Dream, and the looming atomic threat of a Cold War, but the observations of the author are valid and maybe even more important than ever.

The author explores human psychology and morality that seem to be running wilder in the alien environment of Mars. The picture of humanity is rather unappealing, exposing its greed, vanity, ignorance, violence, and short-sightedness. Nevertheless, the author never gave up on us, always leaving a ray of hope that we can still make a different choice and do better.

I enjoyed this audiobook immensely. The excellent narration of Mark Boyett adds an extra dimension to the masterful prose of Ray Bradbury. Full 5 out of 5 with no hesitation! ( )
  sperzdechly | Feb 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.Cover artistsecondary 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
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
US title: The Martian Chronicles

UK title: The Silver Locusts

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Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the red planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars--and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world with its ancient, dying race and vast, red-gold deserts cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever.

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Book description
Contents: Rocket Summer | Ylla | The Summer Night | The Earth Men | The Taxpayer | The Third Expedition | And the Moon Be Still As Bright | The Settlers | The Green Morning | The Locusts | Night Meeting | The Shore | Interim | The Musicians | Way in the Middle of the Air | The Naming of Names | Usher II | The Old Ones | The Martian | The Luggage Store | The Off Season | The Watchers | The Silent Towns | The Long Years | There Will Come Soft Rains | The Million Year Picnic
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