Green Lights

Bradbury's colonizers become martians themselves as soon as time and distance start to work on their ties to Earth. Earth isn't "here" anymore. It's "there." They can barely see it or even remember it. There's a lot of this self/other stuff going on in the book.

One day the colonizers look back at Earth and all they see is a green light:

"It's so far away it's unbelievable. It's not here. You can't touch it. You can't even see it. All you see is a green light. Two billion people living on that light? Unbelievable! War? We don't hear the explosions."

It's simple for them to forget. They don't care what happens back there because they are here and now. It's a good lesson I think. All of those things that seem so important, seem like the only things that could ever be important...maybe they're not.

I don't know if I buy it though. Gatsby's green light was the key and it always made him think about Daisy. It was the essence of Daisy, that light.

"You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock..."

Why did Bradbury make the light green? Why not blue if he didn't want me to think about Gatsby? That green light just has to be a Gatsby reference so why doesn't it make those colonizers want to just jump back on their rockets and go home?



From The Taxpayer...pg. 31 in my copy...this is very Vonnegutian

"He shook his fists at them and told that that he wanted to get away from Earth; anybody with any sense wanted to get away from Earth. There was going to be a big atomic war on Earth in about two years, and he didn't want to be here when it happened. He and thousands others like him, if they had any sense, would go to Mars. See if they wouldn't! ... Wait for me! he cried. Don't leave me here on this terrible world, I've got to get away; there's going to be an atom war! Don't leave me on Earth!"

Bradbury and Vonnegut were both writing in the 50's but Bradbury came first by 5 years or so. Plus, KV hated semicolons.



Martian Chronicles is available as an audiobook from OverDrive. You can download and listen on PC, Mac, iPod, etc. You'll need your library card and PIN number.

This could be you:


Power of Names

When you give something a name you fix it and define it and own it. The name influences the way a thing is thought of, treated, and remembered. The name is a handle and it will go into history books. A thing doesn't really exist until it has a name. There's renaming too. When you give something a new name you destroy it's past.

Naming in T.M.C...
  •  An astronaut named Biggs discovers a canal. He drops glass bottles into it and with each one he says "I christen thee, I christen thee, I christen thee...Biggs Canal."
  • Another says "We'll call the canal the Rockefeller Canal and the mountain King George Mountain and the sea the Dupont Sea, and there'll be Roosevelt and Lincoln and Coolidge cities and it won't ever be right..."
  •  Later there's this: "The old Martian names were names of water and air and hills. They were the names of snows that emptied south in stone canals to fill the empty seas. And the names of sealed and buried sorcerers and towers and obelisks. And the rockets struck at the names like hammers, breaking away the marble into shale, shattering the crockery milestones that named the old towns, in the rubble of which great pylons were plunged with new names: IRON TOWN, STEEL TOWN, ALUMINUM CITY, ELECTRIC VILLAGE, CORN TOWN, GRAIN VILLA, DETROIT II."

>> It happens all the time.  Xfinity is just Comcast with a new name.


Excited to join!

I just joined and am excited to get rolling with the book!  Admittedly, I haven't read anything by Bradbury since Dandelion Wine in the sixth grade (which I don't think I liked or understood).  However, now older and hopefully wiser, I'm excited to give Bradbury another try.


TMC on TV and Film ~ For better or worse

People have tried...that's all I can say:

The Martian Chronicles TV Miniseries (1980) - A partnership between NBC and the BBC. Three episodes were produced and aired. You can get a nice sample on YouTube (see below). Also available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.

The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-1992) - 65 episodes aired on cable tv in the late 80s and early 90s. Episodes were written by Bradbury and based on his short stories and novels, including some chapters from Martian Chronicles. There is a Bradbury Theater collection available on Netflix but not all episodes are available. See the episode based on chapter 7: "And the Moon be Still as Bright" below.

Future Blockbuster? (????) - This news is a year old, but I can't find anything newer.



Rocket Summer

"The rocket stood in the cold winter morning"

Goodreads has a great list of Bradbury quotes here. (Goodreads is pretty great in general...my page is here if anyone is interested.