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The Silver Locusts

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  152,934 Ratings  ·  5,092 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
Mass Market Paperback, Corgi SF Collector's Library
Published 1975 by Corgi Books (first published 1950)
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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 Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars?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 Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars?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)
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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
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
Bookdragon 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

description

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
...more
Lyn
Nov 02, 2011 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
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Fabian
Aug 21, 2014 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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--& scares the living shit outta 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 trie
...more
Megan Baxter
Sep 13, 2012 Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ted
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
...more
Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 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
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Adina
I enjoyed this short story collection a lot more than the famous, Fahrenheit 451. I believe Ray Bradbury has an exceptional talent writing short stories. I am not a fan of short stories in general, however, I was totally absorbed and fascinated by this book.

I was expecting the stories to be something different than what i read, something more Science Fiction. Yes, it does have a bit of space travel, some alien encounters, some "hi-tech"technologies but they are totally not the point of these st
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José
Jan 18, 2017 José rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo
Podés encontrar esta y otras reseñas en mi blog.

Este año me propuse comenzar a leer a Ray Bradbury, un autor que tenía pendiente desde hace un montón de tiempo. Por suerte me encontré con un autor maravilloso y por fin pude ver por qué sus obras son consideradas grandes "clásicos modernos".

Crónicas Marcianas es, junto a Fahrenheit 451, el libro más conocido de Bradbury. Se trata de un libro que no sigue una estructura narrativa convencional, sino que está compuesto por varios relatos (o crón
...more
Fernando
Mar 11, 2015 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.
Elizabeth
Dec 29, 2006 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Char
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
...more
Duane
.

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
...more
Owlseyes
Jun 08, 2012 Owlseyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Owlseyes by: well sians & buryans
Shelves: sci-fi, colonization, mars
UPDATE

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)

Prologue

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
...more
Sonia
Nov 22, 2015 Sonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Estupendo.

Es la segunda obra de Bradbury que leo y no me deja de fascinar el inevitable cuestionamiento del comportamiento humano, a veces muy sutil, a veces bastante clara, pero siempre con la misma conclusión de inverosimilitud en algunas cosas que el hombre hace o piensa. Además, me sigue pareciendo una prosa encantadora, la de este autor. Los relatos me parecieron muy interesantes. Interesantes de verdad.

Como un extra diré que, a pesar del alto precio que pagué por este raro ejemplar (aunque
...more
Nandakishore Varma
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
...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
Werner
Mar 20, 2008 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
Gaijinmama
Jan 25, 2011 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
...more
Poonam
This is my Book Of the Month- February 2017, with GR group- Nothing But Reading Challenges- Category: Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy BOM.

A classic in Science-Fiction category, this book was originally published in the year 1949 and I have to applaud the author's imagination and story-telling!



At first the book was not something that I expected but then it became something that I kind of expected and then again it veered in a direction that I did not expect. There were times I was confused and at times I co
...more
PorshaJo
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
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
David
Feb 17, 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
Lauren

"Is this heaven?"
"Nonsense, no. It's a world and we get a second chance. Nobody told us why, but no one told us why we were on earth either... other earth, I mean. How do we know there wasn't another one before that one?"

Bradbury's brilliance on display! After he passed in 2012, I told myself I need to go through his works and catch up. It took me 4 years get to it, and I am so glad I finally did. This was amazing... can't think of any other way to describe it. Bradbury's writing captures a mo
...more
Ron
Jul 31, 2009 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
...more
Carmine
Jun 01, 2015 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pronti per un nuovo pianeta da distruggere?

Fantascienza che diventa poesia; sci-fi che si tramuta - in maniera sfumata - in una sorta di fiaba dalla morale semplice e diretta.
Il genuino spirito della scoperta, l'amore per l'ignoto ed il desiderio di sconfiggere la solitudine, motori trainanti della progressiva colonizzazione di Marte, lasciano posto all'insofferenza di un'umanità sempre più in balia dei propri limiti ed incapace di districarsi dalla scarsa lungimiranza.
Ma la dereponsabilizzazi
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Beth
I read this for a group read in NBRC, my third time reading the book. This has been one of my favorites for years. Besides the stories collected here, there's another story about the Martians in The Stories of Ray Bradbury: Volume 2 that I recommend seeking out. It's called "Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed." This collection of short stories almost, though not quite, has the continuity of a novel. The early stories don’t connect to each other much, but "And the Moon Be Still As Bright" is central ...more
Becky
Meh.

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
...more
Vit Babenco
Jan 20, 2014 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
...more
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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
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“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” 253 likes
“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” 239 likes
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