Archive for the ‘Ray Bradbury’ Category
published in 1950
where I got it: purchased used
I read Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles at the end of January as part of Vintage Month, but as you can see, I’m not getting the review up until now. As these are short stories, this counts towards Tip the Wink’s Short Story February. Win!
This collection of short stories and episodic microfiction that chronicle humanity’s conquest of Mars is a fun read for a lot of reasons, foremost that early stories take place in 1999. I always get a chuckle out of reading something that was written in the 50s and the author places it at the turn of the next century thinking “that’s so far in the future!!”. Well, the future is now, or it was 18 years ago. Fun little time slip there!
As the story goes, in the late 1990s, we sent expeditions to Mars, and the first few were complete failures. (Which makes me wonder – how much did we know about Mars in 1950? That’s the worldview that these stories were written in) Some of the short stories at the beginning of the chronicles are from the Martian’s point of view, and they basically see humans as annoying curiosities. The Martians are telepathic and can appear in any shape to us, so sometimes they appear as humans as to help us feel more comfortable. One of the expeditions comes across an entire Earth village filled with the astronauts parents and grandparents, who “welcome” everyone home. There’s a darkness here as well, as the Martian’s goal is be sure we never attempt to return. I viewed a lot of that with gallows humor, but I don’t believe it was ever meant to be funny.