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The Power of the Martian Chronicles

Powerful Essays
The Power of the Martian Chronicles

The Martian Chronicles is a collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury These stories all relate to the idea of humans visiting mars, but are only connected by the loosest of threads. At times, it can appear as if Bradbury was grasping mercilessly, searching for something to draw together the random conglomeration of human situations his mind had created individually. The entity that embraced all these stories and melded them from half-hour kiddy-show format stories into a great two-hour special feature novel was the forth planet from the sun, earth's neighbor and Bradbury's stage for The Martian Chronicles, mars.

This association of a foreign planet and Bradbury's reputation as a science fiction author immediately identified The Martian Chronicles as a work of science fiction. Decades later, in an essay on the novel, Edward S Gallagher (Gallagher 55-82) said that The Martian Chronicles "is one of those acknowledged science fiction masterpieces." Bradbury was breaking new grounds, creating respect for science fiction as a literary genre that would be admired by those involved in the literary establishment (Marowski and Matiz 321.) The blue and orange cover of the paperback version of the book depicted characters more reminiscent of Fantasy & Science fiction magazine's artwork than of Bradbury's vague descriptions of his Martians.

Whilst The Martian Chronicles was being shelved in the science fiction section of libraries and bookstores everywhere, die-hard science fiction fans and literary critics scratched their heads. They pushed up their thick glasses and straightened their pocket protectors whilst collectively wondered why this...

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