Summary: I particularly enjoy books that are comprised of science fiction short stories. Earlier, I reviewed a compilation of Isaac Asimov’s works and came away hoping to read more of this type of book. Upon exploring my bookshelf, I found The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. Asimov and Bradbury are among the most widely read sci-fi authors, and for good reason. They both had uniquely compelling voices. As you can tell from the title, the focus of this book is Mars. The stories vary in plot and at the beginning seemed unrelated, but as I continued to read I noticed that they gave a rough “history” of Mars, from the landing of the first Earth Ship all the way to the very distant future. As humans usually do, the human colonists bring dark times to Mars, and the Martian culture and society is suddenly endangered.
Recommendation: Sci-fi classics are often prophetic, and this one is no exception. Even though we are a long way from colonizing our solar system, while reading this book I can envision events like these occurring in the future. I won’t include too many examples (spoilers are friend to no one, but I include one here – careful), but the way that the human race brings darkness and destruction to Mars, spoiling the ancient, pristine, advanced Martian way, is something that I can completely see us doing. Another reason to enjoy sci-fi is that they reflect on the human race in a way that regular fiction cannot. When I read this book, I could follow Bradbury’s thought process, almost seeing him criticizing humans and how they burn through Earth’s resources with no thought of what tomorrow will bring. I’ll end on a lighter note; hey, according to this book, Martians can communicate telepathically! When we reach Mars, we have that in store for us.
Favorite Passage: “The mayor made a little sad speech, his face sometimes looking like the mayor, sometimes looking like something else. Mother and Father Black were there, with Brother Edward, and they cried, their faces melting now from a familiar face into something else. Grandpa and Grandma Lustig were there, weeping, their faces shifting like wax, shimmering as all things shimmer on a hot day.”
And, as promised, the answers from the last review: first aid, space invaders, and growing economy. Did you solve them?