Introduction by John Scalzi. lllustrated by Edward Miller.
In the course of his long, illustrious career, Ray Bradbury has created some of the most memorable and enduring fiction of our time. While no one work can adequately represent the range and depth of his achievement, it may well be that The Martian Chronicles will come to stand as his most singular accomplishment. A visionary account of the first attempt to extend the human enterprise to another planet, this unique and resonant book is both a seminal work of science fiction and a permanent addition to modern popular culture.
The episodic saga begins during the "rocket summer" of 1999, when the first outbound ships depart for Mars, leaving the bleak Ohio winter behind. It ends, 27 years later, during a "million year picnic" which casts a harsh, reflective light on an entire civilization. Along the way, Bradbury introduces a gallery of distinctive characters, all of whom have powerful reasons for seeking a newer life. Some are actively escaping – from racism, from political and cultural repression, from the never-ending prospect of war. Some are actively searching – for adventure, for uncharted horizons, for a sense of spiritual renewal. Together, they create a frontier society as complex, varied, and tragically flawed as the one they left behind.
The result is a work of philosophical humanism filled with memorable scenes and indelible images. A wealthy settler builds a new "House of Usher" and wages bloody war against a dull and lifeless bureaucracy. Translucent "fire balloons" offer intricate lessons in matters of the spirit. A telepathic Martian helplessly absorbs the hopes, grief, and memories of the surrounding human populace. A solitary survivor creates an automated family to help keep loneliness at bay. Moments like these offer something deeper and grander than simple entertainment. As the author pointedly reminds us: "It is good to renew one's wonder." The Martian Chronicles accomplishes this task with wit, grace, and unselfconscious artistry. It will doubtless continue to do so for generations to come.
With more than 50 stories, essays, introductions and two full-length screenplays by Bradbury himself, The Martian Chronicles: The Complete Edition is a volume for the permanent shelf, one which chronicles the evolution of Bradbury's Mars from the original classic volume and beyond.
A Few Things to Note:
This SubPress/PS Publishing project will differ from the other publisher's intended edition in a few ways:
The Martian Chronicles (classic book)
The Other Martian Tales (uncollected/unpublished stories)
Ray Douglas Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction.
Ray Bradbury. Wikipedia.
Photo: Ray Bradbury, August 1975. Photo by Alan Light. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.