The Martian Chronicles Background

The Martian Chronicles Background

The Martian Chronicles was published in 1950 and became an instant classic, not just within the science fiction genre but in the wider, mainstream literary world. It was not written as a novel, but was a conglomeration of several short stories that the author had already written together with some original material penned specifically for The Martian Chronicles. This is unsurprising since the author, Ray Bradbury, has received greater acclaim for his collections of short stories than for his novels.

Although Bradbury had always enjoyed game and popularity within the science fiction community, this novel introduced him to the mainstream audience and enabled him to earn the honor of being the first sci-fi author to enjoy this acceptance. Much of this success was due to his style of writing which is absorbing and well-constructed. Unfortunately this crossover success les to a loss of credibility within the sci-fi community. The Martian Chronicles has been accused of not being genuinely science fiction because it does not deal with the science if the future in a believable way, but is more of a socio-political observation portrayed in a fantasy fiction novel. The novel is a collection of anecdotes and events on Mars, and is definitely not a believable prediction of the future, but since Bradbury was anti-science this is not entirely a surprise. Some critics interpret the novel as a fantastical warning against colonization and the consequences of allowing it to go too far. Bradbury always considered this novel a work of science fiction and went on to write two more celebrated sci-fi books before branching out into detective novels.

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