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The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury
Summary / And The Moon Be Still As Bright
The Martian Chronicles And The Moon Be Still As Bright Summary
Here we go: one of the most important stories in the book. The Fourth Expedition lands on Mars. They discover that all the Martians have died out from chickenpox, so no one is going to get killed this time. Yup, no one is going to die in this story. Definitely. Jeff Spender is awestruck by the culture the Martians left behind; it reminds him of a Byron poem (see " Shout Outs"), which is where this story gets its title. But this other guy on the trip named Biggs thinks it's funny to drink too much and vomit all over Martian buildings. Hee-larious. So, Spender ends up leaving the expedition, even though Captain Wilder is sort of on his side. But wait, he's back! Oh. Now he's murdering people, starting with the drunkard Biggs. You see, he's trying to save Mars from the Earth Men. He approaches a fellow astronaut named Cherokee for help. Cherokee is—can you believe it?—part Cherokee. We're guessing that Spender thinks a guy whose people were nearly wiped out by European settlers bringing smallpox might be sympathetic to his cause. But, he's not. Instead, Captain Wilder leads everyone else in an attempt to kill Spender. Spender and Wilder have a little time out, which mostly consists of Spender explaining how awesome Martians are. Spender worries that humans will come to Mars and mess it up; they'll give dumb new names to places that already had wonderful old Martian names. Wilder kind of agrees with Spender, but not enough to start killing people to preserve Mars (not even Parkhill, who is another jerk on the expedition). Instead, Wilder kills Spender. The next day Parkhill destroys some Martian stuff for fun and Wilder knocks his teeth out.
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