Essay on The Power of the Martian Chronicles

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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
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Science fiction has been defined in a plethora of ways. Ask 10 connoisseurs of the genre for a definition, and one shall receive 15 different explanations. Definitions range from the concise "What science fiction writers write is science fiction" (Card 11) to long-winded essays on the topic (particularly one by Groff Conklin.) The typical encyclopedia entry on science fiction describes the genre as a form of fantastic literature that involves scientific/pseudo-scientific advances- that might be oversimplifying it, however.

The Martian Chronicles, along with much of Ray Bradbury's work, has been criticized many times in relation to its place in the science fiction community. The Martian Chronicles made it clear that Bradbury was not interested in space travel, prognosis, or time travel (Clute 201) but merely used these devices to support his stories of people's lives and emotions. Bradbury used science fiction not as a genre, but as a literary device.

The messages of The Martian Chronicles speak about a myriad of ideas, not all having to do with science fiction-related topics. Throughout the novel, Bradbury's trepidation about the possibility of atomic war is prominent, though offstage (atomic war breaks out on earth late in the stories, but it's only
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