Cover image for The Martian chronicles
The Martian chronicles
Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, 1997.

Physical Description:
xiv, 268 pages ; 19 cm
Reading Level:
740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.2 9.0 12790.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.6 11 Quiz: 07409 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. At the age of fifteen, he started submitting short stories to national magazines. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 600 stories, poems, essays, plays, films, television plays, radio, music, and comic books. His books include The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Bradbury Speaks. He won numerous awards for his works including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1977, the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted 65 of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. The film The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit was written by Ray Bradbury and was based on his story The Magic White Suit.

He was the idea consultant and wrote the basic scenario for the United States pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair, as well as being an imagineer for Walt Disney Enterprises, where he designed the Spaceship Earth exhibition at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center. He died after a long illness on June 5, 2012 at the age of 91.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*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

Library Journal Review

This 1950 short story cycle is a future history of the colonization of the Red planet. At first, the Martians repel the invaders, but Earth's fourth expedition succeeds, helped along by a plague that decimates the natives. The trickle of early settlers turns into a river, and soon Mars is a copy of the Earth everyone was so intent to leave-rotten. One story, "The Off Season," relates a nuclear war on Earth and how most of the settlers return there; the few who stay behind become "new" Martians. Lyrical, compelling, and critical of crass consumerism, these tales feel every bit the sci-fi cousin to Bradbury's wonderful Dandelion Wine (1957), a series of short stories centering on the boyhood adventures of awesomely named preteen Douglas in 1920s Illinois. It's hard not to be enthusiastic about these works, which are by turns celebrations and dirges about youth, growth, and innocence, wherein Bradbury's seemingly limitless imagination turns the humdrum-soda fountains! lawnmowers!-into explorations of subjects like human time machines and witchcraft. But Bradbury doesn't just do short stories; his long game is good, too (see the noir gem Let's All Kill Constance). Dude factors: Bradbury's merciless attitude toward his characters-many die-not to mention his knack for exotic locations, be it Mexico, Ireland, or Mars. Also, the man loves libraries (see LJ's video with the writer from last summer's ALA). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Martian Chronicles Chapter One January 2030 Rocket Summer One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets. And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer's ancient green lawns. Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground. Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky. The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land.... February 2030 Ylla They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of an empty sea, and every morning you could see Mrs. K eating the golden fruits that grew from the crystal walls, or cleaning the house with handfuls of magnetic dust which, taking all dirt with it, blew away on the hot wind. Afternoons, when the fossil sea was warm and motionless, and the wine trees stood stiff in the yard, and the little distant Martian bone town was all enclosed, and no one drifted out their doors, you could see Mr. K himself in his room, reading from a metal book with raised hieroglyphs over which he brushed his hand, as one might play a harp. And from the book, as his fingers stroked, a voice sang, a soft ancient voice, which told tales of when the sea was red steam on the shore and ancient men had carried clouds of metal insects and electric spiders into battle. Mr. and Mrs. K had lived by the dead sea for twenty years, and their ancestors had lived in the same house, which turned and followed the sun, flower-like, for ten centuries. Mr. and Mrs. K were not old. They had the fair, brownish skin of the true Martian, the yellow coin eyes, the soft musical voices. Once they had liked painting pictures with chemical fire, swimming in the canals in the seasons when the wine trees filled them with green liquors, and talking into the dawn together by the blue phosphorous portraits in the speaking room. They were not happy now. This morning Mrs. K stood between the pillars, listening to the desert sands heat, melt into yellow wax, and seemingly run on the horizon. Something was going to happen. She waited. She watched the blue sky of Mars as if it might at any moment grip in on itself, contract, and expel a shining miracle down upon the sand. Nothing happened. Tired of waiting, she walked through the misting pillars. A gentle rain sprang from the fluted pillar tops, cooling the scorched air, falling gently on her. On hot days it was like walking in a creek. The floors of the house glittered with cool streams. In the distance she heard her husband playing his book steadily, his fingers never tired of the old songs. Quietly she wished he might one day again spend as much time holding and touching her like a little harp as he did his incredible books. But no. She shook her head, an imperceptible, forgiving shrug. Her eyelids closed softly down upon her golden eyes. Marriage made people old and familiar, while still young. She lay back in a chair that moved to take her shape even as she moved. She closed her eyes tightly and nervously. The dream occurred. Her brown fingers trembled, came up, grasped at the air. A moment later she sat up, startled, gasping. She glanced about swiftly, as if expecting someone there before her. She seemed disappointed; the space between the pillars was empty. Her husband appeared in a triangular door. "Did you call?" he asked irritably. "No!" she cried. "I thought I heard you cry out." "Did I? I was almost asleep and had a dream!" "In the daytime? You don't often do that." She sat as if struck in the face by the dream. "How strange, how very strange," she murmured. "The dream." "Oh?" He evidently wished to return to his book. "I dreamed about a man." "A man?" "A tall man, six feet one inch tall." "How absurd; a giant, a misshapen giant." "Somehow"--she tried the words--"he looked all right. In spite of being tall. And he had--oh, I know you'll think it silly-he had blue eyes"' "Blue eyes! Gods!" cried Mr. K. "What'll you dream next? I suppose he had black hair?" "How did you guess?" She was excited. "I picked the most unlikely color," he replied coldly. "Well, black it was!" she cried. "And he had a very white skin; oh, he was most unusual! He was dressed in a strange uniform and he came down out of the sky and spoke pleasantly to me." She smiled. "Out of the sky; what nonsense!" "He came in a metal thing that glittered in the sun," she remembered. She closed her eyes to shape it again. "I dreamed there was the sky and something sparkled like a coin thrown into the air, and suddenly it grew large and fell down softly to land, a long silver craft, round and alien. And a door opened in the side of the silver object and this tall man stepped out." The Martian Chronicles . Copyright © by Ray Bradbury. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.