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Ironic Contradictions

I'm a long time reader - since way back when I was seven. That makes it over three quarters of my life that I will be a reader for. But it is worth it. When I'm not reading or wasting my time online on here or Goodreads I'll be off playing video games, studying teaching and messing around with friends and pop culture. Or reading some more.
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury

"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."

Ray Bradbury was a great writer whose work speaks volumes (I say this after having read two incredible novels of his, but then you only need one grand novel to touch the reading world). Ray Bradbury was also in my view a poet at heart, if not in his style. Great poets make people feel their emotions (it's the reason Sylvia Plath is so great as a poet but also so depressing to read).

The Martian Chronicles, like Fahrenheit 451 is at times disjointed, bizarre, surreal and fantastical, however it is in all degrees a beautiful novel. Made up of multiple short stories layered chronologically and focused around the connection between Earth and Mars this is science fantasy work at its best.

What The Martian Chronicles excels at is in how it takes a foreign idea and expresses familiar ideas. For instance environmentalism, colonisation, the danger of war, alienation, humanity as a collective, religion, society, politics, consumerism and much, much more. I particularly like how he indicates the repetitive nature of history. For such a slim novel Bradbury sure packs in more thought than most of the latest 1000 page epics.

“The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.”


I would recommend this book to anyone interested in science fiction or classic writing. Ray Bradbury was one of the great writers of our time and his expression would be missed save that he continues to speak from volumes like this in intricate ways. I do however, recommend anyone stays away from audiobook versions since I found the one I listened to quite confusing, as it did not convey the short story format well.

Read this for the ideas, read it for the language, read it because you love to read. Just ensure you read this book at some point. It is a true classic in my eyes.

"Is this then how it was so long ago? On the rim of the precipice, on the edge of the cliff of stars, In their time the smell of buffalo, and in our time the smell of the Rocket. Is this then how it was?
And she decided, as sleep assumed the dreaming for her, that yes,yes indeed, very much so, irrevocably, this was how it had always been and would forever continue to be."