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The Martian chronicles
2006
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Summary
Soar above the fossil seas and crystal pillars of a deadworld in the pages of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. A milestoneof American literature, Bradbury's classic collection of interconnectedvignettes about life on the red planet diverges from the War of the Worlds theme,in which humanity must defend its shores against its neighbors, for in Bradbury'sprismatic vision, humanity is the conqueror, colonizing Mars to escape an Earthdevastated by atomic war and environmental catastrophe. Bradbury's TheMartian Chronicles is a must-read for any fan of science fiction orfantasy, a crucial precursor to films like Avatar and Alien andbooks like Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Dan Simmons' Hyperion,and a haunting prophesy of humanity's destiny to bring our old dreams andfollies along with us wherever we may venture forth.
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*Starred Review* First published in 1950, this collection of linked short stories (many previously published in the 1940s) chronicles Earth's attempts to colonize Mars, beginning in 1999 and concluding with the nuclear annihilation of Earth in 2026. Wildly imaginative and told in Bradbury's signature poetic voice, the stories are often elegiac in tone, mourning the death of an ancient Martian civilization in the wake of Earth's rough arrival. Though some of its contents are dated especially a story about racial prejudice ( Way in the Middle of the Air ) and another that borders on the misogynistic ( The Silent Towns ) this remains one of Bradbury's (and science fiction's) most important books, since it established a mainstream readership for both author and genre. Its loose, episodic structure foreshadows such later books as The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, while the theme of one of the stories ( Usher II ) censorship run amok will be further developed in Bradbury's famous novel Fahrenheit 451. Another story, There Will Come Soft Rains, about an automated house's attempts to maintain itself in the wake of nuclear holocaust, remains one of Bradbury's most famous. Like so many others in this landmark book, it is surprising, haunting, and deeply troubling.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2008 Booklist
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