Quotes By The Martian Chronicles

“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”


“Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?”


“I'm being ironic. Don't interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it's not polite. There!”


“Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.”


“It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.”


“You're insane!"
"I won't argue that point.”


“Ignorance is fatal.”


“The Men of Earth came to Mars. They came because they were afraid or unafraid, because they were happy or unhappy, because they felt like Pilgrims or did not feel like Pilgrims. There was a reason for each man. They were leaving bad wives or bad towns; they were coming to find something or leave something or get something, to dig up something or bury something or leave something alone. They were coming with small dreams or large dreams or none at all...it was not unusual that the first men were few. The numbers grew steadily in proportion to the census of Earth Men already on Mars. There was comfort in numbers. But the first Lonely Ones had to stand by themselves...”


“Garrett," said Stendahl, "do you know why I've done this to you? Because you burned Mr. Poe's books without really reading them. You took other people's advice that they needed burning. Otherwise you'd have realized what I was going to do to you when we came down here a moment ago. Ignorance is fatal, Mr. Garrett.”


“I'm numb and I'm tired. Too much has happened today. I feel as if I'd been out in a pounding rain for forty-eight hours without an umbrella or a coat. I'm soaked to the skin with emotion.”


“The Martians were there—in the canal—reflected in the water.... The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water....”


“Do you ever wonder if--well, if there are people living on the third planet?'
'The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.”


“I hate being clever, thought the captain, when you don’t really feel clever and don’t want to be clever. To sneak around and
make plans and feel big about making them. I hate this feeling of thinking I’m doing right when I’m not really certain I am. Who
are we, anyway? The majority? Is that the answer? The majority is always holy, is it not? Always, always; just never wrong for
one little insignificant tiny moment, is it? Never ever wrong in ten million years? He thought: What is this majority and who are in
it? And what do they think and how did they get that way and will they ever change and how the devil did I get caught in this
rotten majority? I don’t feel comfortable. Is it claustrophobia, fear of crowds, or common sense? Can one man be right, while all
the world thinks they are right? Let’s not think about it. Let’s crawl around and act exciting and pull the trigger. There, and there!”


“I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?”


“The Lord is not serious. In fact, it is a little hard to know just what else He is except loving. And love has to do with humor, doesn't it? For you cannot love someone unless you put up with him, can you? And you cannot put up with someone constantly unless you can laugh at him. Isn't that true? And certainly we are rediculous little animals wallowing in the fudge bowl, and God must love us all the more because we appeal to his humor.”


“One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.
And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer's ancient green lawns.
Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground.
Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky.
The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land....”


“Ask me, then, if I believe in the spirit of the things as they were used, and I'll say yes. They're all here. All the things which had uses. All the mountains which had names. And we'll never be able to use them without feeling uncomfortable. And somehow the mountains will never sound right to us; we'll give them new names, but the old names are there, somewhere in time, and the mountains were shaped and seen under those names. The names we'll give to the canals and mountains and cities will fall like so much water on the back of a mallard. No matter how we touch Mars, we'll never touch it. And then we'll get mad at it, and you know what we'll do? We'll rip it up, rip the skin off, and change it to fit ourselves.”


“You don’t question Providence. If you can’t have the reality, a dream is just as good.”


“...trees to cool the towns in the boiling summer, trees to hold back the winter winds. There were so many things a tree could do: add color, provide shade, drop fruit, or become a children's playground, a whole sky universe to climb and hang from; an architecture of food and pleasure, that was a tree. But most of all the trees would distill an icy air for the lungs, and a gentle rustling for the ear when you lay nights in your snowy bed and were gentled to sleep by the sound.”


“Sleeping beauty awoke at the kiss of a scientist and expired at the fatal puncture of his syringe.”


“Perhaps I'm not their dead one back, but I'm something almost better to them; an ideal shaped by their minds.”


“They stood there, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Ruler of All They Surveyed, Unimpeachable Monarchs and Presidents, trying to understand what it meant to own a world and how big a world really was.”


“All the things which had uses. All the mountains which had names. We'll give them new names, but the old names are there, somewhere in time..." -Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles”


“The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke. And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness, their mouths fringed with nails so they resembled steel-toothed carnivores, spitting them into their swift hands as they hammered up frame cottages and scuttled over roofs with shingles to blot out the eerie stars, and fit green shades to pull against the night.”


“The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.”