The following chapter, "Ylla", moves the story to Mars, describing the Martians as having brown skin, yellow eyes, and russet hair. Ylla, a Martian woman trapped in an unromantic marriage, dreams of the coming astronauts through telepathy. After taking his gun under the pretense of hunting, he kills astronauts Nathaniel York and "Bert" as soon as they arrive. As the ship approaches their planet, the Martians begin to adopt aspects of human culture such as playing and singing American songs, without any idea where the inspirations are coming from. This story tells of the "Second Expedition" to Mars. The expedition is a group of four men.
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Shelves: favorites , my-childhood-bookshelves , excellent-reads , location-is-the-true-protagonist , books-from-childhood-revisited "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. Side note: as a person of Russian "We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. Side note: as a person of Russian descent, I reserve the right to run-on long-winded sentences in the best tradition of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky of which my literature-teacher mother clearly approves.
It is such a multifaceted tale! It is an ode to the beauty of the strange and un-understood alienness. It is a thinly veiled cautionary tale about the perils of science when misapplied. It is all of the above and none of the above, with everything masterfully interwoven to create a unique unforgettable reading experience. A man can face the Past, but to think - the pillars crumbled, you say? And the sea empty, and the canals dry, and the maidens dead, and the flowers withered?
I see them. They wait for me now, no matter what you say. In the far future of , rocket ships from Earth start coming to Mars. The Martians - the enigmatic, serene, telepathic race - sense the disturbances.
Eventually they die off, and the colonization in the American Dream style begins, until the nuclear war on Earth interferes. But the narrative is not quite this linear.
It is made of separate, rather stand-alone short stories that often read as interludes, some straightforward, some surreal, but all of them quite haunting, memorable, and thought-provoking.
His writing is poetic and lyrical, often dreamlike, with almost a musical quality to it. He often straddles the line between cautionary and moralistic, but mostly succeeds at not crossing over to the unpleasantly preachy side.
He is exceptionally good at writing amazing short fiction - since this is what this book essentially is, a collection of interlinked short stories.
He manages to create a memorable, beautifully flowing, sophisticated story without a steadily progressing plot, without a main or even a major character, without even a consistent setting.
The Martian Chronicles is an excellent book, the one that I will continue to re-read every few years or so. It deserves ALL the stars.