The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles Cover

The Martian Chronicles


The Martian Chronicles is one of those titles I saw listed again and again as one of science fiction's key texts -- it ranks sixth on the aggregate list Classics of Science Fiction. But because I thought Fahrenheit 451 was so awfully preachy, it took me 8 years to pick up this other Bradbury title. The lesson here is: never judge an author by one book -- The Martian Chronicles indeed is a deserved, enduring classic.

While there is a certain naivety in the book -- Earthlings just go and bang on an alien door and introduce themselves, unafraid of pathogens or possibly dangerous Martian mores -- and Bradbury doesn't seem too concerned with realism on that front, the book does manage to evoke a real enough image of certain crucial aspects of the human condition.

It will also delight certain readers The Martian Chronicles is critical of colonialism, American imperialism, consumerism and the nuclear arms race. It was published as The Silver Locusts in the UK, a title that clearly advocates a political interpretation. And yes, in a way, this early 50ies book is 'woke' indeed. But as Jesse pointed out on Speculiction, Bradbury does so without overtly preaching or easy dichotomies -- is this really the same guy who wrote Fahrenheit 451?

Content aside, what struck me most was the book's formal power.


Read the full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It