The Martian Chronicles (Mass Market Paperback)
Everyone’s read Fahrenheit 451, but really everyone should read The Martian Chronicles. It is quite frankly one of the most apt and lovely examples of science fiction acting as an observation of timeless issues within the human condition. There are three sections (past, present, and future) to this collection, which you can read as a progressive novel or as short stories, and Bradbury’s tone changes throughout so you get to experience all of the different languaging that he is famous for. Unfortunately, in 1997, publishers took out two stories from this important collection. In the publisher’s note, he says these two stories were cut because they are no longer socially relevant, but I couldn’t disagree more. Those two stories are significant because they were about Civil Rights, discrimination, and bigotry. The choice to cut them seems ugly, privileged and perhaps even telling of assumptions in the literary world that some fall victim to. On top of that, all of the dates Bradbury used in the chapter headings have been changed in the 1997 version, rendering the Cold War context of the writing almost meaningless. I consider this censorship too. The core of sci-fi is commentary on our social and cultural predicaments, using various outlandish plot devices or narratives so it doesn’t feel so threatening on a personal level. There’s a reason Bradbury was writing these particular things in the middle of the century, and we can learn from that context and apply it to the world today. So I prefer the pre-1997 copies of this book. I believe that Bradbury, a fierce champion of free speech, would as well.— From Nicole's Picks
Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the Red planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. Seeking the promise of a new beginning, man brought with him his oldest fears and his deepest desires. Man conquered Mars—and in that instant, Mars conquered him. The strange new world with its ancient, dying race and vast, red-gold deserts cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever. Here are the captivating chronicles of man and Mars—the modern classic by the peerless Ray Bradbury.
"Bradbury is an authentic original."—Time magazine