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  • Writer's pictureTerence Im

Book Recommendation: The Martian Chronicles

Humanity has historically desired new frontiers. But so much has already been discovered. Where to go from here? Mars of course! It isn’t only the likes of Elon Musk and NASA who target Mars as our next destination in the history of human exploration. The writers of science fiction have looked to Mars as being almost like a sibling planet, containing all of our vast untapped potential there.

Ray Bradbury was among these writers, and he poured this profound sentiment in The Martian Chronicles in wonderful fashion. This anthological sci-fi novel takes readers across numerous time periods in a multi-episode journey as humanity, after trial and error, seeks to colonize Mars. The versatile literary adventure explores the intuitive premonitions of a Martian as she senses humanity's approach, unforgiving adversities that challenge the mental clarity of the early astronauts and poetic meditations on the unexplored beauties of Mars in the eyes of its early colonists. It is a novel which contains a blend of all sorts of emotions from cynical anecdotes of humanity’s darker deeds throughout history to fascinating visualizations of the Martians’ ancient civilization.

I personally find that a novel like this during our current troubling times could reignite a reader’s enthusiasm for the world. We find ourselves in times of uncertainty due to the coronavirus and the accompanying lockdown. As the lockdown’s measures wane down, perhaps our spirits will clear progressively, though surely not in perfect unison. Many will be scarred from this experience, whether economically or psychologically. What better place to look for hope than on the unexplored frontier that is Mars and better yet, through the poetic eyes and adventurous spirit that is Ray Bradbury’s heart? We all could use a new frontier to look forward to, whether in the nearer horizon or the unexplored realms of the cosmos.

Copyright © 2022 by Terence Im (born Tae Joon Kim)

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