The Silver Locusts (Corgi SF collector's library)
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The Silver Locusts (Corgi SF collector's library)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  96,377 ratings  ·  2,909 reviews
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 with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The...more
Corgi SF Collector's Library
Published 1975 by Corgi Books (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

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Nataliya
"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...more
mark monday
RIDDLE ME A MARTIAN RIDDLE

۞

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 tim...more
Elizabeth
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...more
Christy
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...more
Gaijinmama
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...more
Jonathan


"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 mak...more
Jon
Apr 07, 2014 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: SciFi/Fantasy Book Club August 2009 Selection
Nikki
Another one read for my Coursera SF/F class. As usual when I've just finished a book, I have no idea what I'm going to write my essay about, but I have one day left to figure it out...

The thing that interests me most, I guess, is that Mars colonises the colonisers. In different ways in different vignettes, but it's there -- particularly in that last chapter/section. In a sense it feels like a recent book: the commentary on the spoiling of the world, and on colonisation; in others it feels so dat...more
Penny
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
Emily
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....more
Oscar
'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...more
Greg Heaney
The Martian Chronicles is like a magic trick: the more times I read it, the better it gets. It is wonderful, beautiful, moving, and heartbreaking unlike any other science fiction novel I’ve ever read, possibly any novel of any genre. Sure, it’s going on 60 years old. The technological inconsistencies with today’s world of space flight are a product of that. But, in short, it just doesn’t matter. Like all good novels, The Martian Chronicles aren’t about what the title and cover illustration show....more
Ron
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...more
David
Feb 19, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Classic Ray Bradbury at the top of his game giving us a great collection of short stories about Mars and covering the planet from just about every angle you can imagine. These stories are a must read for fans of Bradbury and classic science fiction.
Sharon Mollerus
Ray Bradbury's book The Martian Chronicles may be a sci-fi thriller, but it's rated as a classic for decades. This was my first time through, and the prose was fresh and beautiful. The stories, strung together, recount the colonization of Mars in the 21st century, a New World populated and provided for by Earth with all the comforts and confusion of home.

The Mars and Earth Men are trapped in mentalities that don't allow them to really meet each other. The violence is unremitting from the first...more
Bruce
I found myself thinking after the first few chapters that this book was puerile, simplistic and childishly written. Bradbury seemed to make no effort to make his story either scientifically plausible or the characters anything but mundane and vapid. The more I read, however, the more interesting the story became, with thought-provoking ethical dilemmas being presented and increasingly subtle psychological issues being raised.

What a strange book this is; primarily, it seems a sort of social comme...more
Libby
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...more
Apatt
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 Eat 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 intrro?

This book is a fix-up novel which...more
Teresa
Uma fábula narrada em pequenos fragmentos sobre o Homem, o seu imaginário e sonhos de conquista e a sua capacidade - consciente ou involuntária - de criação e, simultaneamente, de destruição.
Heidi
Ray Bradbury's stunning prose and innovative ideas bring Mars to life. Written in the late 1940s, at a time when Mars was reachable but still mysterious, when intelligent life on Mars was possible, and when the Space Race was just beginning, The Martian Chronicles abounds with optimism about mankind's great technological future. But at the same time, written by a man heavily influenced by two great wars, the book almost weeps with worry about mankind's eventual end.

The prose is excellent. It's a...more
Andrew
This is one of my favorite collections of Bradbury's. This book completely changed my attitude towards Sci-Fi. If you haven't experienced the poetry that is Ray Bradbury, you are in for a revelation. "The Million Year Picnic" is one of my favorite short stories ever. But each piece in this book could be my favorite- they are that transcendent. One of the things I loved about this book, too, is that even though it was written in the 1940's, Bradbury was anti nuclear-weapons and pro integration an...more
Mary
Apr 28, 2011 Mary rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Book club
In this collection of stories, Bradbury proposes some ideas of what reaching and colonizing another planet might look like. His ideas are interesting but his writing is pretty weak. The characters are thin and behave strangely at times, and he doesn't choose to offer explanations of the larger issues at work, such as the technology that would make the travel possible or the issues that cause his political conflicts. His ideas are clearly more important to him than the way he expresses them. Of c...more
Werner
Aug 05, 2009 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Michael
It's an odd sensation to be living in and after "the future" predicted by Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury and to look at how right and wrong they were in their predictions.

One thing both got very, very wrong was how far we would explore our solar system from the time their books were written until we began living in the future. Both authors predicted we'd be out, exploring the great reaches of space and colonizing Mars. Unfortunately, the space race dwindled and while we're still exploring, it...more
Sesana
My first contact with Bradbury came through a high school text book. My teacher never assigned it, but I was the sort of kid who read through my literature book out of curiosity. This time, it paid off, because I read There Will Come Soft Rains. And I was instantly, entirely enchanted. So much so that as soon as I could get my hands on The Martian Chronicles, I devoured it. I've read quite a bit more (but by no means all) of Bradbury by now, but There Will Come Soft Rains remains my favorite of...more
Elijah Kinch Spector
And the voices wailed Fire, fire, run, run, like a tragic nursery rhyme, a dozen voices, high, low, like children dying in a forest, alone, alone.
p. 171

If The Martian Chronicles wasn't a collection of short stories and vignettes, I think I'd put it in my running for The Great American Novel. For as much as a phrase like "The Great American Novel" means fuck-all of anything. Still, I'm happy for the serendipity that caused me to read this right after The Great Gatsby , because I found the two qui...more
sj
I read this book for the first time when I was 9. I still don't know whose it was, but I found it at my step-mother's house and no one ever claimed it, so it became mine. It was a library edition, so I assume it was my gutterpunk stepbrother that stole it from the library...and that makes me want to go back 25 years and preemptively punch him for keeping it from someone else.

"The Third Expedition" was probably my favourite at the time (and maybe still, but I won't know until I re-read). I just r...more
Lettie Prell
This was one of the books I discovered when I was in high school, as I methodically made my way around the school library fiction section, A to Z. With this book, I fell in love with science fiction. I also fell in love with the range of emotion it evoked in me. It was a revelation to me that a story could make me feel other than happy, and still be well worth reading -- even if it made me feel sad, or uncomfortable, or disquieted. Thus I grew into a love of literature.

Perhaps I should not read...more
Megan Baxter
Wow. Just...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
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1630
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...
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“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” 142 likes
“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” 115 likes
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