Reading: Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles

The ship came down from space. It came from the stars and the black velocities, and the shining movements, and the silent gulfs of space. It was a new ship; it had fire in its body and men in its metal shells, and it moved with a clean silence, fiery and warm. In it were seventeen men, including a captain. The crowd at the Ohio field had shouted and waved their hands up into space on the third voyage to Mars!
— Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles found its way to my bookshelf as a birthday gift from a friend. Is there anything better than gifting a story to your friend, knowing that its tale will give someone pleasure?! Having never heard of Bradbury's work, I was shocked to discover that he is credited as one of America's rarest dreamers and thinkers.

Written in the 1950s, The Martian Chronicles is a goosebump-inducing tale of a dystopian world. Ray Bradbury's Mars is already inhabited by an ancient, highly cultured race when the first humans arrive. Earth is on the brink of a nuclear war and its inhabitants are seeking shelter from their now almost ruined planet. But this world of dusty roads and great empty cities is turned upside down upon their arrival and nothing will ever be the same again.

Through short chapters and elegant prose, Bradbury shows us just how ignorant we humans can be when faced with a fresh start and how the fate of our planet could easily become the fate of another. Having a keen interest in science fiction is not a must for readers of The Martian Chronicles – like George Orwell's 1984, it serves as a moral warning for today's society.

Lilly Wolf