Title: The Martian Chronicles
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Classic Sci-fi/Fantasy
Number of Pages: 241
God, I wish I had 1/100 of the imagination Ray Bradbury had. I loved Fahrenheit 451 so I guess it’s pretty weird that it took me this long (several years) to read The Martian Chronicles, one of his most well-known books. I’m not a big short story person and The Martian Chronicles is a collection of short stories, but all of them are interconnected. Each story focuses on (with occasionally recurring characters) the colonization of Mars. After humans settle on the planet, the aliens get sick from a human illness and die out. The humans proceed to do what humans do and destroy everything the Martians created.
I think this is a collection where the first couple of stories are the best, and then after the fourth or fifth story nothing is quite as memorable or inventive again. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all good- but the later stories didn’t grab my interest quite as much. Ray Bradbury had a great sense of humor and The Martian Chronicles is full of satire and on-point social commentary. He goes into how the Martians live and how their day-to-day lives are different from human beings but also how they are similar.
I appreciated how he managed to do this without info-dumping, which is a major problems in science fiction and fantasy. The flow of the story is never interrupted by explanations of Bradbury’s world-building, it’s all smooth sailing. This is definitely a book that shows it’s age, with some instances of sexism and racism, but if you’re willing to look past the sometimes non-PC subject matter it’s very much worth reading. It’s a spectacular feat of imagination and and is ALMOST (maybe not quite) as good as Fahrenheit 451.