Nov 22, THE MARTIAN. A NOVEL Originally self- published, in different form, as an ebook in Library of . tion and carried with the torrent. Читать онлайн книгу The Martian Chronicles (Ray Bradbury): From «Rocket Summer» to She dropped portions of meat numbly into the simmering lava. who clung to Mom's legs and watched the water pour by his nose in a wet torrent. The Martian. By Andy Weir. eBook. eBook; Hardcover; Trade Paperback real characters and fascinating technical accuracy reads like “MacGyver” meets “ Mysterious Island.” Set aside a chunk of free time when you start this one. You' re.
A gentle rain sprang from the fluted pillar tops, cooling the scorched air, falling gently on her.
On hot days it was like walking in a creek. The floors of the house glittered with cool streams. In the distance she heard her husband playing his book steadily, his fingers never tired of the old songs. Quietly she wished he might one day again spend as much time holding and touching her like a little harp as he did his incredible books. She shook her head, an imperceptible, forgiving shrug. Her eyelids closed softly down upon her golden eyes. Marriage made people old and familiar, while still young.
She lay back in a chair that moved to take her shape even as she moved. She closed her eyes tightly and nervously. Her brown fingers trembled, came up, grasped at the air. A moment later she sat up, startled, gasping. She glanced about swiftly, as if expecting someone there before her. She seemed disappointed; the space between the pillars was empty. Her husband appeared in a triangular door.
I was almost asleep and had a dream! In spite of being tall. I suppose he had black hair? He was dressed in a strange uniform and he came down out of the sky and spoke pleasantly to me. She closed her eyes to shape it again. And a door opened in the side of the silver object and this tall man stepped out. Black hair, blue eyes, and white skin! What a strange man, and yet — quite handsome. It was so unexpected and different. There are only two of us in our ship, myself and my friend Bert.
And he used another language. Somehow I understood him. She stopped him with a word. And they traveled through space in some sort of ship? She sang it over and over again. She put her hand to her mouth, unbelieving. The sun was setting. The house was closing itself in, like a giant flower, with the passing of light. A wind blew among the pillars; the fire table bubbled its fierce pool of silver lava. The wind stirred her russet hair, crooning softly in her ears. She finished the song. It was very beautiful.
Did you compose it? He watched her drown meats in the hissing fire pool. The sun was gone. Slowly, slowly the night came in to fill the room, swallowing the pillars and both of them, like a dark wine poured to the ceiling.
She hummed the strange song again. Instantly he leaped from his chair and stalked angrily from the room. Later, in isolation, he finished supper. The twin white moons were rising. Cool water ran softly about her toes. She began to tremble just the least bit. She wanted very much to sit quietly here, soundless, not moving until this thing occurred, this thing expected all day, this thing that could not occur but might. A drift of song brushed through her mind. From the phial a liquid poured, turned to blue mist, settled about her neck, quivering.
The flame birds waited, like a bed of coals, glowing on the cool smooth sands. The white canopy ballooned on the night wind, flapping softly, tied by a thousand green ribbons to the birds. Ylla laid herself back in the canopy and, at a word from her husband, the birds leaped, burning, toward the dark sky, The ribbons tautened, the canopy lifted.
The sand slid whining under; the blue hills drifted by, drifted by, leaving their home behind, the raining pillars, the caged flowers, the singing books, the whispering floor creeks. She did not look at her husband.
She heard him crying out to the birds as they rose higher, like ten thousand hot sparkles, so many red-yellow fireworks in the heavens, tugging the canopy like a flower petal, burning through the wind.
Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew, like a shadow of the moon, like a torch burning. She watched only the sky. Some peace and quiet.
They did not speak after that. The birds flew on, ten thousand flrebrands down the wind. In the dawn the sun, through the crystal pillars, melted the fog that supported Ylla as she slept. All night she had hung above the floor, buoyed by the soft carpeting of mist that poured from the walls when she lay down to rest. All night she had slept on this silent river, like a boat upon a soundless tide. Now the fog burned away, the mist level lowered until she was deposited upon the shore of wakening.
She opened her eyes. Her husband stood over her. He looked as if he had stood there for hours, watching. She did not know why, but she could not look him in the face. I really think you should see a doctor. Dawn was cold in the room. A gray light filled her as she lay there. It came from the sky again, landed, and the tall man stepped out and talked to me, telling me little jokes, laughing, and it was pleasant.
K touched a pillar. Founts of warm water leaped up, steaming; the chill vanished from the room. After a moment she laughed softly. I heard every word you said in your sleep. You mentioned the valley and the time. Slowly his breath returned. She watched him as if he were quite insane. She arose finally and went to him. Say, I heard a joke about Uel yesterday, I meant to tell you.
The flowers stirred, opening their hungry yellow mouths. He closed his book. Where are you going? Nlle out this afternoon. He caught her elbow and drew her steadily in. We must entertain Nile. Nile would be delighted to see you. She wanted to break and run. She wanted to cry out. But she only sat in the chair, turning her fingers over slowly, staring at them expressionlessly, trapped. Nile had not put in an appearance. When it was quite late he murmured something, went to a closet, and drew forth an evil weapon, a long yellowish tube ending in a bellows and a trigger.
He turned, and upon his face was a mask, hammered from silver metal, expressionless, the mask that he always wore when he wished to hide his feelings, the mask which curved and hollowed so exquisitely to his thin cheeks and chin and brow. The mask glinted, and he held the evil weapon in his hands, considering it. It hummed constantly, an insect hum. From it hordes of golden bees could be flung out with a high shriek. Golden, horrid bees that stung, poisoned, and fell lifeless, like seeds on the sand.
His footsteps faded down the hill. She watched him walking through the sunlight until he was gone. Then she resumed her tasks with the magnetic dusts and the new fruits to be plucked from the crystal walls. She worked with energy and dispatch, but on occasion a numbness took hold of her and she caught herself singing that odd and memorable song and looking out beyond the crystal pillars at the sky. She held her breath and stood very still, waiting. It was coming nearer.
At any moment it might happen. It was like those days when you heard a thunderstorm coming and there was the waiting silence and then the faintest pressure of the atmosphere as the climate blew over the land in shifts and shadows and vapors. And the change pressed at your ears and you were suspended in the waiting time of the coming storm. You began to tremble. The sky was stained and coloured; the clouds were thickened; the mountains took on an iron taint.
The caged flowers blew with faint sighs of warning. You felt your hair stir softly. And then the storm. The electric illumination, the engulfments of dark wash and sounding black fell down, shutting in, forever. A storm gathered, yet the sky was clear. Lightning was expected, yet there was no cloud. Ylla moved through the breathless summer house. Lightning would strike from the sky any instant; there would be a thunderclap, a boil of smoke, a silence, footsteps on the path, a rap on the crystalline door, and her running to answer… Crazy Ylla!
Why think these wild things with your idle mind? And then it happened. There was a warmth as of a great fire passing in the air. A whirling, rushing sound. A gleam in the sky, of metal. Running through the pillars, she flung wide a door. She faced the hills.
But by this time there was nothing. She was about to race down the hill when she stopped herself, She was supposed to stay here, go nowhere, The doctor was coming to visit, and her husband would be angry if she ran off.
She waited in the door, breathing rapidly, her hand out. She strained to see over toward Green Valley, but saw nothing. You and your imagination, she thought. That was nothing but a bird, a leaf, the wind, or a fish in the canal. Very clearly, sharply, the sound of the evil insect weapon. Her body jerked with it. It came from a long way off, One shot. The swift humming distant bees. And then a second shot, precise and cold, and far away.
Her body winced again and for some reason she started up, screaming, and screaming, and never wanting to stop screaming. She ran violently through the house and once more threw wide the door. The echoes were dying away, away. She waited in the yard, her face pale, for five minutes. Finally, with slow steps, her head down, she wandered about the pillared rooms, laying her hand to things, her lips quivering, until finally she sat alone in the darkening wine room, waiting.
She began to wipe an amber glass with the hem of her scarf. And then, from far off, the sound of footsteps crunching on the thin, small rocks. She rose up to stand in the center of the quiet room. The glass fell from her fingers, smashing to bits. The footsteps hesitated outside the door. She went forward a few paces. The footsteps walked up the ramp. A hand twisted the door latch.
She smiled at the door. It was her husband. His silver mask glowed dully. He entered the room and looked at her for only a moment. Then he snapped the weapon bellows open, cracked out two dead bees, heard them spat on the floor as they fell, stepped on them, and placed the empty bellows gun in the corner of the room as Ylla bent down and tried, over and over, with no success, to pick up the pieces of the shattered glass.
He removed the mask. Once in a while you like to hunt. He was supposed to visit us tomorrow afternoon. How stupid of me. She looked at her food and did not move her hands. The room was small and suddenly cold. That fine and beautiful song. Then she lay back in her chair. She did not look up at him; she looked only at the empty desert and the very bright stars coming out now on the black sky, and far away there was a sound of wind rising and canal waters stirring cold in the long canals.
She shut her eyes, trembling. A soft evening light shone over them from the stars and the luminous double moons of Mars. Beyond the marble amphitheater, in darkness and distances, lay little towns and villas; pools of silver water stood motionless and canals glittered from horizon to horizon. It was an evening in summer upon the placid and temperate planet Mars. Up and down green wine canals, boats as delicate as bronze flowers drifted.
In the long and endless dwellings that curved like tranquil snakes across the hills, lovers lay idly whispering in cool night beds.
The last children ran in torchlit alleys, gold spiders in their hands throwing out films of web. Here or there a late supper was prepared in tables where lava bubbled silvery and hushed. In the amphitheaters of a hundred towns on the night side of Mars the brown Martian people with gold coin eyes were leisurely met to fix their attention upon stages where musicians made a serene music flow up like blossom scent on the still air.
Upon one stage a woman sang. She put her hand to her throat. She nodded to the musicians and they began again. The musicians played and she sang, and this time the audience sighed and sat forward, a few of the men stood up in surprise, and a winter chill moved through the amphitheater. For it was an odd and a frightening and a strange song this woman sang.
She tried to stop the words from coming out of her lips, but the words were these: And all around the nervous towns of Mars a similar thing had happened. A coldness had come, like white snow falling on the air. In the black alleys, under the torches, the children sang: Where did you learn it? The streets were deserted. Above the blue hills a green star rose.
All over the night side of Mars lovers awoke to listen to their loved ones who lay humming in the darkness. The only sound, just before dawn, was a night watchman, far away down a lonely street, walking along in the darkness, humming a very strange song… August Ttt threw the door open. There were three men with him, in a great hurry, all smiling, all dirty.
Here we are, the Second Expedition! But here we are, anyway. But, my good woman, how is it you speak such perfect English? A moment later there was that dreadful man knocking again. She whipped the door open. The man was still there, trying to smile, looking bewildered. He put out his hands.
The man gazed at her in surprise. You evidently wish to see Mr. This time the knock on the door was most impertinently loud. He jumped in as if to surprise her.
If you come in my house, wash your boots first. She came back, red, steamy-faced. Her eyes were sharp yellow, her skin was soft brown, she was thin and quick as an insect. Her voice was metallic and sharp.
What was your business? Outside, the immense blue Martian sky was hot and still as a warm deep sea water. The Martian desert lay broiling like a prehistoric mud pot, waves of heat rising and shimmering.
There was a small rocket ship reclining upon a hilltop nearby. Large footprints came from the rocket to the door of this stone house. Now there was a sound of quarreling voices upstairs. The men within the door stared at one another, shifting on their boots, twiddling their fingers, and holding onto their hip belts.
After fifteen minutes the Earth men began walking in and out the kitchen door, with nothing to do. Somebody got out a pack and they lit up. They puffed slow streams of pale white smoke. They adjusted their uniforms, fixed their collars. The voices upstairs continued to mutter and chant. The leader of the men looked at his watch. The voices had faded to a murmur and were now silent.
There was not a sound in the house. All the men could hear was their own breathing. An hour of silence passed. He went and peered into the living room. Ttt was there, watering some flowers that grew in the center of the room. She walked out to the kitchen. Ttt is much too busy.
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Take that paper over to the next farm, by the blue canal, and Mr. And she would say no more. He stood as if waiting for something. He looked like a child staring at an empty Christmas tree. Aaa, seated in his library sipping a bit of electric fire from a metal cup, heard the voices outside in the stone causeway.
He leaned over the window sill and gazed at the four uniformed men who squinted up at him. Ttt sent us to see you! I have much reading to do. This is not the first time he has been this thoughtless of me.
Stop waving your hands, sir, until I finish. People usually listen to me when I talk. Ttt to be so ill-mannered? We came in it. He vanished like a puppet from a stage. For a minute there were angry voices back and forth over some weird mechanism or other. Below, the captain and his crew glanced longingly back at their pretty rocket ship lying on the hillside, so sweet and lovely and fine. We came sixty million miles. Aaa regarded the captain for the first time.
Iii all about it. The four travelers stood shocked. Give them time to organize a party. The four men, wet from their long walk, paused and asked a little girl where Mr. The captain got eagerly, carefully down on one knee, looking into her sweet young face.
Six months ago another rocket came to Mars. There was a man named York in it, and his assistant. They came in a rocket. You should see it! The toy spider climbed back up to her knee obediently, while she speculated upon it coolly through the slits of her emotionless mask and the captain shook her gently and urged his story upon her.
Do you believe that? How did you know? Iii will like talking to you. The captain squatted there looking after her with his hand out. His eyes were watery in his head. He looked at his empty hands. His mouth hung open: The other three men stood with their shadows under them. They spat on the stone street… Mr. Iii answered his door.
Iii was a tall, vaporous, thin man with thick blind blue crystals over his yellowish eyes. He bent over his desk and brooded upon some papers, glancing now and again with extreme penetration at his guests. Oh, here we are!
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Iii gave him a thick glassy look. Iii looked at the captain, looked at the three others, and burst into a shout of derision. Them, oh, them sign! He slapped his knee and bent to let his laughter jerk out of his gaping mouth. He held himself up with the desk. Iii, weak with hilarity.
I have something for you. Go down that corridor, unlock the big door, and go inside and shut the door tight. You can spend the night there. Xxx to see you. He stood looking at the floor. His men did not move.
They seemed to be emptied of all their blood and their rocket fever. They were drained dry. What do you want? Iii stuck out his hand stiffly. Between the breach and the bloodletting, it quickly ran out of nitrogen. All it had left was my oxygen tank. So it did the only thing it could to keep me alive. It started backfilling with pure oxygen. I now risked dying from oxygen toxicity, as the excessively high amount of oxygen threatened to burn up my nervous system, lungs, and eyes.
An ironic death for someone with a leaky space suit: Every step of the way would have had beeping alarms, alerts, and warnings.
But it was the high-oxygen warning that woke me. The sheer volume of training for a space mission is astounding. I knew what to do. Carefully reaching to the side of my helmet, I got the breach kit. The idea is you have the valve open and stick the wide end over a hole. The tricky part was getting the antenna out of the way. I pulled it out as fast as I could, wincing as the sudden pressure drop dizzied me and made the wound in my side scream in agony.
I got the breach kit over the hole and sealed it. The suit backfilled the missing air with yet more oxygen. Checking my arm readouts, I saw the suit was now at 85 percent oxygen. I stumbled up the hill back toward the Hab. As I crested the rise, I saw something that made me very happy and something that made me very sad: The Hab was intact yay!
Right that moment I knew I was screwed. I limped back to the Hab and fumbled my way into an airlock. As soon as it equalized, I threw off my helmet. Once inside the Hab, I doffed the suit and got my first good look at the injury.
It would need stitches. Fortunately, all of us had been trained in basic medical procedures, and the Hab had excellent medical supplies. A quick shot of local anesthetic, irrigate the wound, nine stitches, and I was done. I knew it was hopeless, but I tried firing up the communications array. No signal, of course. The primary satellite dish had broken off, remember?
And it took the reception antennae with it. The Hab had secondary and tertiary communications systems, but they were both just for talking to the MAV, which would use its much more powerful systems to relay to Hermes. Thing is, that only works if the MAV is still around. I had no way to talk to Hermes. In time, I could locate the dish out on the surface, but it would take weeks for me to rig up any repairs, and that would be too late.
In an abort, Hermes would leave orbit within twenty-four hours. The orbital dynamics made the trip safer and shorter the earlier you left, so why wait? Checking out my suit, I saw the antenna had plowed through my bio-monitor computer. The rest of the crew would have seen the pressure in my suit drop to nearly zero, followed immediately by my bio-signs going flat. Add to that watching me tumble down a hill with a spear through me in the middle of a sandstorm. They thought I was dead.
How could they not? They may have even had a brief discussion about recovering my body, but regulations are clear. In the event a crewman dies on Mars, he stays on Mars.
Leaving his body behind reduces weight for the MAV on the trip back. That means more disposable fuel and a larger margin of error for the return thrust.
No point in giving that up for sentimentality. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Today I took stock of supplies and did a quick EVA to check up on the external equipment. The surface mission was supposed to be thirty-one days.
For redundancy, the supply probes had enough food to last the whole crew fifty-six days. We were six days in when all hell broke loose, so that leaves enough food to feed six people for fifty days. Each crew member had two space suits: My flight spacesuit has a hole in it, and of course the crew was wearing the other five when they returned to Hermes.
But all six EVA suits are still here and in perfect condition. What did you find most surprising about it? What makes us root for a character to live in a survival story? In what ways do you identify with Mark? How does the author get you to care about him?
Do you believe the crew did the right thing in abandoning the search for Mark? Was there an alternative choice? How did that information add to the realism of the story? What are some of the ways the author established his credibility with scientific detail? What is your visual picture of the surface of Mars, based on the descriptions in the book? Have you seen photographs of the planet? Who knew potatoes, duct tape, and seventies reruns were the key to space survival? Do you have a favorite funny line of his?
Why do you think he made this choice? Do you think that makes it easier or harder to endure his isolation? How would the story be different if he was in love with someone back home? What were they, and what made those situations seem so dire? Did you believe the commitment of those on Earth to rescuing one astronaut? What convinced you most? To what extent loyalty? How would you explain the difference? How does the author handle the passage of time in the book?
Did he transition smoothly from a day-to-day account to a span of one and a half years? How does he use the passage of time to build suspense? Unlike other castaways, Mark can approximately predict the timing of his potential rescue.
Ray Bradbury — The Martian Chronicles
How does that knowledge help him? How could it work against him? When Mark leaves the Hab and ventures out in the rover, did you feel a loss of security for him? In addition to time, the author uses distance to build suspense. What does it have in common with these stories? How is it different? How important are challenges in keeping life vital?
To what extent are our everyday lives about problem-solving and maintaining hope? You list space travel, orbital dynamics, relativistic physics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight among your interests. A Those interests made me come up with the story in the first place.
I love reading up on current space research. At some point I came up with the idea of an astronaut stranded on Mars. The more I worked on it, the more I realized I had accidentally spent my life researching for this story. Early on, I decided that I would be as scientifically accurate as possible.
Q In one sentence, tell us what your novel is all about. All the facts about Mars are accurate, as well as the physics of space travel the story presents. I even calculated the various orbital paths involved in the story, which required me to write my own software to track constant-thrust trajectories. As the plan got more detailed, I started imagining what it would be like for the astronauts. Naturally, when designing a mission, you think up disaster scenarios and how likely the crew would be to survive.
Q Are you an advocate for a manned mission to Mars?
The Martian Chronicles
I would love to see people land on Mars in my lifetime. However, do I think it will actually happen? Also, computer and robotics technologies are leaps and bounds better than they were during the days of Apollo. So logically, you have to ask why we would risk human lives rather than just make better robots. Q Do you have anything in common with your wise-cracking hero Mark Watney?
It was a really easy book to write; I just had him say what I would say. Any reason you chose to work those specific examples into the novel? Growing up, I loved early Heinlein books most of all. I do love a good survival story.