Marťanská kronika

Ray Bradbury

Must read.


From an esej (2004)

This masterpiece is one of the most outstanding novels of science-fiction literature. Bradbury can be classed as a representative of classical American sci-fi prose. The whole book is a collection (that´s why the book bears “Chronicles” in its name) of short stories. Each of them tells us about colonization of Mars from 1999 to 2026. Stories describe virtues and demerits of men who went to the Mars. In the beginning there are some failures of expeditions (Ylla, Terrestrials) but during whole period colonisators manage to defeat all Martians and drive them to the mountains, where they even suffer from infection which was brought by Terrestrials. In fact author wanted to warn people of real problems of modern developement of technologies and of its impact on our own mankind. He managed to describe accurately demerits of people which could cause our perdition. The end of book is quite absurd because a strange situation arises on the Mars. Original inhabitants are almost dispersed but even colonisators themselves are forced to leave the Red planet. But at the very end of book there is an optimistical conclusion: some people who must abandon the Earth come here and start the new life here. They behave better than their predecessors because they haven´t anything else to do. And gradually they take a fancy for this place.

There is a lot of stories. Each of them is worth mentioning but I chose this one:

The Earth Men (Terrestrials): Some day, Terrestrials land, led by Captain Williams. They go from house to house, saying that they are from the Earth, but everyone close door in front of their faces. Finally, they are referred to Mr. Iii (it is his real name). They are becoming very discouraged not to receive any attention. Mr. Iii shows them into a room filled with Martians. They welcome Williams and his three men with spontaneous receives. Slowly, they realize that they have been put in an insane asylum because they said they were from Earth. Mr. Xxx is a psychologist who thinks that Williams’ crew and rocket are “hallucinations”. He shoots Williams and is astonished to see that his “hallucinations” remained. Mr. Xxx assumes that he, too, has gone insane, so he shoots the rest of the crew and himself.

It is very absurd and non-typically sci-fi story. Bradbury himself was attacked by criticists because of it. Usual sci-fi novels solve problems of technology that can be real in future, but Bradbury solve rather problems of men and mankind.

The Night call: This is another absorbing story which also spoke to me. It is typically Bradbury´s story. It is about man, who feels alone on the Mars. Towns are completely depopulated and he seeks for some human still alive. He has a car and go from town to town. Once he hears a phone ringing. Despite he misses it, after some time he hears it again. He catches it and talks with some woman somewhere on the planet. They arrange an appointment but during it he learns that the woman it ugly, fat and silly female so he tries to run away from her range. And then, everytime when he is passing some town and is hearing a phone ringing he never hold the call.

In the book there aren´t special characters to describe. In each of them several persons appear so it is difficult to choose the most important one.

I like this book both for its typical strange and interesting points which amaze us everytime.

February 27, 2004 |