Yay, another book read from my Classics Club list!
The Martian Chronicles is a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury about humans coming to Mars, starting with the first expedition and going chronologically from there. He wrote these stories in the 1950’s, but they’re set from 1999 to 2026.
It’s always hard to review a book of short stories, even if they do form one overall story. Plus I don’t want to give much away, because if you haven’t read it yet I think you should. Bradbury paints a bleak picture, but it’s one that I think it important. The main theme seems to be that humans tend to do whatever they want without concern for others (like Martians) or for future consequences. I hope hoping that this book would be more about humans and Martians interacting, but it didn’t turn out that way. It was definitely more about humans and how we tend to pollute and destroy pretty much everything.
My favorite stories were And the Moon Be Still As Bright, Way In the Middle of the Air, and Usher II. These were some of the longer and most sad stories, but they were also the strongest and made me feel stuff. And the Moon Be Still As Bright was kind of intense – it was about one of the first crews to land on Mars, and how one of the men realized that humans were going to come and ruin everything that remained of Martian culture. Way in the Middle of the Air was about racial tensions. Usher II was interesting because it’s a story about anti-censorship, and it’s obviously something Bradbury felt very passionately about.
If you’re looking for an interesting sci-fi read about space, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a book that explores humanity and how Bradbury thought of the world in the 1950’s, this is perfect.