The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury



Another solid tale from the author of Farenheit 451. The Martian Chronicles… uhh chronicles… the course of 27 or so years on Mars, from the first ship from earth to carry passengers to Mars until the last. During the course of the novel there are many characters both human and Martian and Bradbury tells the story with flair and panache.

As usual I struggle when I’m not given a character who makes their way through the entire story. Bradbury changes character throughout the book making it more of a series of related short stories that progress in order. Despite the different style of story telling I did like the overall universe that Bradbury builds. It is beautiful and bleak and full of hope and despair.

The Martians seem to have psychic abilities which can manipulate the human mind and I’m still unsure whether anything that happens really happens. Which only makes the ultimate ending of the book more intriguing.

On another note the maths in this story sucks. Bradbury seems to imply that the space trip to Mars takes no more than a month which would mean that the ships would be more than 3 times faster than the fastest craft ever made. He also says that 10000 ships carrying 100000 people are making the trip at one point. That would mean each ship carries only 10 people. Poor resource management really. Given the fuel required to just launch a ship would require more people per ship. There are a few others but you get the point. It could have been avoided by Bradbury or an editor or whatever.

4 stars.


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