I read this book in late nights, with tea and candles. I read it and I laugh and I cry and I get my hopes up and my dreams let down. You could say this book has it all, or at least you can say it has a lot.
The Martian Chronicles are a series of interlinked stories as people from Earth arrive on Mars. It tells the story of humanity and its relation to Mars, to exploration, to ownership and to adventure. If you’re being nice you might say that The Martian Chronicles tell the story of humanity’s attempts to colonize Mars, though the book hints more at violence and war.
The book is a fragmented tale spanning decades and rarely visiting the same person twice. It is equal parts science fiction and poetry with dashes of surrealism thrown in. I recommend this book for everyone, at least once a year. Especially if you’re nostalgic for the future the way it was once dreamed in the sixties. A future where man is the explorer, who believes in beauty and justice, but above all that all of the Universe is rightfully theirs. It is the American dream in space. It is the search for meaning and truth, but a meaning and truth that might break.
“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. “
Yet this big truth has to live side by side with the life of everyday people
“Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.”
And that is my favorite thing about Science Fiction; when answering the big questions lead right back to the smallness of life. In fact Mr. Bradbury has the perfect quote as to why science fiction is one of my favorite genres:
“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”