Review of The Martian Chronicles (1950)


Ray Bradbury (writer).

Read in 2016.

This anthology is well written purely on the level of language. The supernatural and other premisses are poorly conceived and poorly developed. Clearly, whether you look at the writing or listen to the author himself talking about the work, Bradbury had no interest in thinking seriously about a real journey to Mars, or first contact between two sapient civilized species, or psychic abilities, or nuclear war. The depiction of contact here goes from marital drama to a parody of heroic SF to farce to an allegory of the New World viral apocalypse with a look at how US race relations are unimproved between 1950 and 2001. The future history framework is wasted as a device for publishing a collection of short stories as though they formed a novel.

References here: Rocketship X-M (1950), The Sands of Mars (1951), “The Road to the Sea” (1970).

text fiction series