Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Silver Locusts” as Want to Read:
The Silver Locusts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Silver Locusts

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  145,921 Ratings  ·  4,799 Reviews
They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of an empty sea...and every morning you could see Mrs K eating the golden fruits that grew from the crystal walls...

The Silver Locusts is a sometimes eerie, sometimes poetic fantasy about the colonization of Mars. Ray Bradbury's successful blending of fancy and satire, terror and compassion, make him one of
Paperback, 181 pages
Published 1969 by Corgi Books (first published November 1st 1949)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Silver Locusts, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Γείτων This book is nowhere near "what another planet might be like". Mars is Bradbury's symbolism of alien or foreign civilisations. The whole concept is to…moreThis book is nowhere near "what another planet might be like". Mars is Bradbury's symbolism of alien or foreign civilisations. The whole concept is to demonstrate how western civ, deals with people that have a different culture. The main point is that instead of learning from others we try to impose what's right on them. It was a huge deal in the era of modernism and it still is, as the way we treat other countries/civilisation is still modernistic.

If you approach it as a sci-fi book, it has nothing to offer, but this is because it is not sci-fi, it is just a chronicle of how America thinks and acts in the present tense.

I generally believe that trying to judge the Martian Chronicles as a Sci-Fi and focusing on it's ideas about "Mars", is kind of like judging the Animal Farm as a documentary and discussing it's ideas about life in a "farm". Not the point at all(less)
Joanna Fantozzi Yes, absolutely. I'm currently reading it. Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars? There's no atmosphere!)…moreYes, absolutely. I'm currently reading it. Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars? There's no atmosphere!) and the book itself feels old (with murmurs then shouts of total nuclear war stemming from Cold War worries), it has many other merits. First of all, Bradbury's prose is incredible and haunting. The book is funny in a sort-of dark and nihilistic way, and the lessons it teaches about the dangers of nationalism and the glorification of Manifest Destiny are especially relevant and pertinent today. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
mark monday

A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like a human, kills humans, replaces humans, wants to be accepted and loved by a human?

Answer: A Martian!

A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like an animal except that's unfair to animals, kills others of its kind, wages war on its own kind, and destroys its own planet?

Answer: A Human!

A Riddle: What is built like a succession of linked stories, feels at times
"We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things."

The Martian Chronicles, a perfect example of what I'd call a 'quintessential Bradbury' - fragmentary, at times disjointed, occasionally crossing the line into the realm of surreal, full of his trademark nostalgia and sadness, this account of the failed American Dream approach to the exploration of the ultimate frontier never stops fascinating me and drawing me in with its inexplicable charm.

(Side note: as a person of Russian descent
Bookworm Sean
For centuries man has dreamed about going to Mars. He has finally achieved this monumental feat, and when he arrived he expected to be greeted as a hero; he expected to be greeted with open arms by the Martians. But, alas, the Martians have a very different opinion to the aliens that invaded their planet.

A funny, and realistic, response


When the Earth men arrived the Martians murdered them for a number of wacky reasons. They feared that the invaders would steal their wives and also that the hu
Sep 22, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent experience in which we discover that the inhabitants of the 4th planet in the Milky Way Solar System are identical in the trifles of the everyday as the resident in the 3rd planet. Then some collective idea pops out of nowhere--a fine symbol of apocalypse and annihilation--and scares the living shit out of everyone.

I know I haven't read much sci-fi in the past, but I know that to top this one will be VERY tough.

"Martian Chronicles" surpasses, in some ways, that which Bradbury tried
Sep 20, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poetic science fiction.

Being set in the future and involving space travel, Mars and futuristic technology makes this fit into the science fiction genre, but Bradbury is a writer of literature. This is beautiful writing and Bradbury is an artist with a mastery of the language.

Mars could be another dimension, or fairy land, it does not really matter, Bradbury has concocted an alternate reality to explore psychological ethos. If Heinlein is the science fiction ideologist / sociologist, and Clarke
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Why have I never read this before? Ray Bradbury has written an amazing, lyrical, spooky-as-hell set of pieces that all add up to something much more. Some are very brief, mere sketches of events. Others are full-length short stories.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
4 1/2
If you want to read a great review of The Martian Chronicles, skip this one and go directly to mark monday’s. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

If you’re still here, I will try to keep you entertained for a while by talking about myself, about my reading (and not reading) Ray Bradbury and other SF, about Ray Bradbury himself and his writing, and even a little (near the end) about this book.

(view spoiler)

Me the SF fan

This summer I decid
Apr 27, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since Ray Bradbury passed away (about a month ago at the time of writing) it occurred to me to reread his books that I have read before, and read the others that I have missed. After rereading Something Wicked This Way Comes last month I thought I'd read Fahrenheit 451 but as it turned out The Reddit SF Book Club chose The Martian Chronicles as book of the month (July 2012) so in order to keep up with the Joneses here we are! How about that for a useless intro?

This book is a fix-up novel which i
I vividly remember reading this book. I was in 8th grade and I read it in Mrs. Zimmerman's class. She was this bizarre ageless woman who wore her jet-black hair in a crusty bee-hive and had gobs of pastel green eye shadow on her eyelids. She also had a rusty voice-like an ex-smoker, and spoke really slowly. She could have been a character in Martian Chronicles. I still kind of wonder if she was human.

Anyway, I read this book over and over. There was something so pristine about the world that Br
The Martian Chronicles is an amazing collection of interconnected stories about Mars. Human missions to Mars, religious missions to Mars, nervous breakdowns on Mars, etc... Even though some of the tales are outdated by today's views, the underlying values and messages remain the same; they are timeless.

Some of the stories have been released previously, and some have been changed over the years. I discovered, thanks to Wiki, that one tale having to do with race relations, was not included in this

I've seen this referred to as a masterpiece of science fiction, but it's less about the science and more about the faults and failures of humanity, in this case Americans. He delivers a sharp slap to the face of American racial prejudice, aggressive colonization, wastefulness and disregard of the environment. I think Bradbury would be shocked to see the same conditions existing in the 21st century. He would also be shocked to see we haven't sent any humans to Mars yet.

This is a collection of sh
May 20, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Luego de Farenheit 451, mi libro preferido del viejo Ray. Una distopía interplanetaria que nos muestra el poder de fuego destructivo del hombre, así en la Tierra como en Marte. Bradbury cuenta cómo los colonizadores humanos del planeta rojo van corrompiendo el nuevo hábitat en el que viven: el propio suelo marciano. El capítulo que más me gusta es Usher II, un homenaje de Ray Bradbury a unos de sus más grandes ídolos literarios (que también es el mío): Edgar Allan Poe.
Dec 15, 2016 Owlseyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Owlseyes by: well sians & buryans
Shelves: sci-fi, colonization, mars


This recent study published in Science*, gives some reason to the imagined Dead Sea of Mars, by Ray Bradbury.

(NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. NASA/GSFC)


Back in the late nineties I was a member of The Planetary Society. I used to receive, at home, their magazine. I always took notice of that name: Ray Bradbury, among the long list of other fam
Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles is a lovely, lyrical collection of short pieces about the human colonization of Mars and its consequences, beginning just before first contact and ending after the death and destruction of most of the population of both Mars and Earth.

Since this is a collection of stories and vignettes instead of a novel, the central, guiding element of the book is not a character or set of characters; instead it is the setting and the emotion evoked by Bradbury's prose. His ma
Nandakishore Varma
Aug 04, 2016 Nandakishore Varma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I had read a lot about The Martian Chronicles before I read this book - and I must say that for a change, the hype was justified. This is an absolutely fantastic piece of literature.

I am a bit lenient with the stars in genre fiction - I don't hold them to the exacting standards that I do with literature. So in SF, if the concept is unusual, it tends to gather five stars. But in case of this book, the five stars have nothing to do with genre. It's purely for the literary merit.

There are two write
Mar 26, 2012 Gaijinmama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Whether you read SF or not, Ray Bradbury writes beautifully. His style is dreamy and lyrical, satirical and funny, and at times creepy as hell.
This book is interconnected short stories, rather than a novel in the traditional sense. It describes the imagined human colonization of Mars. Some parts are extremely dated: all the men smoke cigars and shoot things; the women bake gingerbread. I guess cell phones and YouTube were beyond the realm of
possibility in 1950, too; Bradbury had people still usi
Apr 30, 2016 Werner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
Though the 16 stories that comprise this collection are fitted into a super-imposed chronological framework, and are joined by some short units of bridging material, they were originally composed as stand-alones, not part of any larger unity. Bradbury was primarily a writer of short fiction, the main medium for his characteristic supernatural and science fiction in the era when he started writing; this book simply collects most of the stories he composed in the 1940s set on, or related to, Mars. ...more
For years The Martian Chronicles is a book that has intrigued me. I've gone back and forth on 'read it, don't read it'. I always thought martians and outer space, it's not my preferred reading. But it's Bradbury. I've read two of his other books (Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes) and have enjoyed both of them. (The movie versions of the books are pretty good too). Reading reviews on GR I came across something on Bradbury (Thanks Ron!) and pretty much said 'I have to read it now ...more
Feb 19, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Earthmen, Martians, cranky old SF authors
The Martian Chronicles has all the virtues and flaws of everything I've ever read by Ray Bradbury. He writes beautiful prose and he's particularly good at spooky and haunting imagery. He's in a different category entirely from other "golden oldie" SF authors — his stuff is deliberately thoughtful and crafted, and tends to be much more human-focused. Even when he's writing "hard" SF, it feels more like a science fantasy, sometimes edging closer to pure fantasy or horror. And you can read all kind ...more
I initially gave this three stars but as I wrote my review I moved it down - it's 2.5, really.

Taken in historical context I think the book is pretty interesting. It would have been an experience to read it at the time it was written. However, based on where Scifi/Fantasy is now and our current sociopolitical climate, it was just ok.

I believe I understand Bradbury’s overall message and goal for the book but in my opinion it was a bit overreaching. His attempt to encompass the entirety of human ex

I've always considered myself to be a fan of Bradbury's work, and his short story "All Summer In A Day" is one of my all-time favorites. But this just did not work for me. I can understand and appreciate what he was going for, but it just kind of dragged and ended up being overly message-y for my tastes. I am all for humanity NOT ruining everything it touches, but this was just so heavy-handed and preachy that it just soured the whole thing for me.

Also, it seems so strange to me that a sci
Vit Babenco
Jul 27, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Martian Chronicles is a science fiction book but it demonstrates intensity and imagery of the best poetry.
“They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of an empty sea, and every morning you could see Mrs. K eating the golden fruits that grew from the crystal walls, or cleaning the house with handfuls of magnetic dust which, taking all dirt with it, blew away on the hot wind. Afternoons, when the fossil sea was warm and motionless, and the wine trees stood stiff in the
This book reads more like a series of short stories told in chronological order than it does a novel. Many of the chapters were so powerful and full of such brilliant ideas and insight. Not all, but enough to push this to a 5-star highly recommended level. There are ideas here that are going to be spinning around my head for months to come. Bradbury manages to cover a huge number of topics in rather a small book. What better platform for examining humanity than exploration to Mars? I can't list ...more

"The way I see it there's a Truth on every planet. All parts of the Big Truth. On a certain day they'll all fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw...For this truth here is as true as Earth's truth, and they lie side by side. "

Ray Bradbury was a great writer whose work speaks volumes (I say this after having read two incredible novels of his, but then you only need one grand novel to touch the reading world). Ray Bradbury was also in my view a poet at heart, if not in his style. Great poets ma
Sep 02, 2016 Ron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry I read this book. It was like watching a 60s Star Trek re-run. Pompous and cheesy fiction. And what little science was offered was wrong.

At the time it may have seemed a monumental achievement, but in retrospect, I can see it was garbage. It wasn't science fiction; it was fantasy. Bradbury didn't even get the physics of Mars' moons right, and he should have. No, the science was secondary to him using his stories as a pulpit to preach against the mores and morals of his day.

I remember t
blurb - The people of Earth are preparing for war - a war that could potentially destroy the planet. Explorers are sent to Mars to find a new place for humans to colonize. Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn - first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world w ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
When I heard this morning of Ray Bradbury's death, I went straight to my bookshelf and pulled my old trade paperback copy of The Martian Chronicles out and sat down to re-read it.

And it's still just as magical as it was the first time I picked it up and every time since (there have been several).

The remarkable quality of Mr. Bradbury's writing is its lyricism. It's almost poetry and it's undeniably beautiful. I stopped to read several sections aloud just because I love the sound of the words Mr.
Sara Gould
Feb 01, 2016 Sara Gould rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tras la primera lectura, en 2013, obtuvo 4/5 estrellas. Las 4/5 estrellas de 2013 no son las mismas que las de hoy. Si lo hubiese leído hoy con el espíritu del 2013, posiblemente se habría llevado peor nota y, por supuesto, porque la nota es una nimiedad, una reseña bastante más deplorable. Sin embargo me mantengo en las 4/5 estrellas que obtuvo en su momento y no puedo más que alabar esta novela.

Puede que sea el haberlo leído de la forma que lo he leído (para clase, de forma muy exhaustiva y an
Aug 22, 2016 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantascienza che diventa poesia, sci-fi che si tramuta - in maniera sfumata- in una sorta di fiaba dalla morale semplice e diretta.
La maturità stilistica di Bradbury convince pagina dopo pagina, stupendo continuamente per l'impressionante capacità di amalgamare differenti generi, sino a convogliarli in qualcosa che risponde al nome del suddetto romanzo.
E mentre, sullo sfondo, l'umanità si deresponsabilizza dalle proprie colpe, sino a ripetere ciclicamente errori dalla scarsa lungimiranza, l'auto
'Crónicas Marcianas' es una novela que deja un cierto sabor nostálgico, y en el que la soledad de la Humandidad posee un papel preponderante. La visión de ese Marte mítico, poético y fantasmagórico es imborrable.

El libro es un fix up, lo que los expertos llaman relatos independientes con un hilo argumental y pensonajes en común que los conectan, formando un todo, una novela por sí misma. Los relatos fueron publicados a finales de la década de los 50, concretamente entre 1946 y 1950, en diferente
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Pebble in the Sky (Galactic Empire #3)
  • Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the 20th Century
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick 2: We Can Remember it for You Wholesale
  • Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
  • All Flesh is Grass
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Shatterday
  • The Other Side Of The Sky
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 2A
  • The Dreaming Jewels
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1
  • The Stars My Destination
  • Orphans of the Sky
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec ...more
More about Ray Bradbury...

Share This Book

“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” 235 likes
“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” 224 likes
More quotes…