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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1389 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 37: The Martian Chronicles discussion (pt. 1?)

Science fiction is a medium for exploring society, for exploring humanity, for reframing the normal as the abnormal so that metaphor can explore reality. The 'what if?' of sci fi allows us to extrapolate where we are to what could be so that we can learn in a safer way than if we just regard things as normal. Aesop would have written sci fi.

Ray Bradbury isn't interested in any of that. He doesn't want to know 'what if.' He wants to tell you how people are, and he doesn't care what people are actually like.

There isn't a Ray Bradbury story written that doesn't require humans to be assholes, for humans to be idiots, for humans to be hateful, for humans to be spiteful. More than that, his stories have to exist with no present, no past, no future and no connection from chapter to chapter or story to story. His metaphors aren't about anything other than "people are dicks."

The first story in Martian Chronicles is about a jealous husband who would rather shoot extraterrestrials than fix his marriage and a frustrated wife who would rather her husband murder someone than stick up even in the slightest for her own happiness. Metaphor. The second story in Martian Chronicles is about a society so used to phantasms that a doctor would rather shoot someone than entertain the idea that they're telling the truth. Metaphor. But the husband is so assured of the reality of phantasms that he's willing to murder while the doctor is so alarmed that phantasms could be real that he's willing to murder over and over and over again.

Back to back. Straight no chaser. Martians are this way (and humans are assholes - because we're the Martians, get it?) and Martians are this entirely opposite way (and humans are assholes - because we're the Martians! I get it!) and it's because metaphor.

People gave Harlan Ellison shit because he never finished a novel but at least Ellison didn't require you to disregard everything you know because he had a point to make through tortuous, slow language.

user-inactivated  ·  1389 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah i can't argue that. Im too lazy (dumb) to read into most literature I read. All your points are valid when i look back to what I've read so far and will be hard to ignore reading further haha. Thanks for ruining the book, I'm out of practice reading fiction and your post reminds me to think critically.