Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:18:55 AM
Though I do not read often, I do find that reading can be a wonderful gift that presents me with an escape from all the complexities, troubles, and mysteries which daily life presents. My favorite genre of books is science-fiction, and my favorite author, Ray Bradbury. Of all his spectacular works, which include Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, and The Martian Chronicles, my favorite is certainly The Martian Chronicles.
I read the book in 8th grade; it was given to me as a gift from my brother who lives in Argentina, and whom I had not seen five years, for my 13th birthday. My English class had read only one of Bradbury’s many short stories which composed The Martian Chronicles. The one which we had read in class was The Naming of Names, and for a few months I told myself I would buy the entire book, but I never did. Then, one day, a package came in the mail and when I opened it there was a rugged, worn, and partially-aged copy of The Martian Chronicles and a small letter, both from my brother. The letter expressed how much he missed me, and it also revealed that this copy of The Martian Chronicles was the one he had bought when he read the book in his freshman year of high school. As I turned the front cover, I saw my brother’s signature and the date which he had finished reading. For every book he had, my brother would always sign his name on the front cover and date it once he finished reading it; it was almost some sort of ritual for him. Not only did I want to read this book for months before I actually had it in my possession, but it also carried some extra, sentimental, meaning in it in that my brother was passing down the torch, in a sense. I was following in his footsteps.
As I read the wonderful tales of a jealous Martian husband, the changing Earth peoples, a destroyed Martian culture, the seemingly last two humans on Earth, and so much more, I became even more fascinated with science-fiction than I had been before. From this interest in science-fiction came a natural interest in future technologies, and what society may look like in millennia, centuries, or even just decades. Conjunctly, from this interest stemmed my passion for engineering, civil, specifically. I wish to a “society-builder”, as they are sometimes called. Just as the Earthlings did The Martian Chronicles, I wish to build parks, towns, cities, bridges -- everything vital to a society.
Though it may seem far-fetched, my passion for civil engineering has come from an equal liking of science fiction. The book which has meant the most to me at this point in my life is The Martian Chronicles, because it both acts as a much needed bond between me and my distant brother, and has helped spur an interest in what I plan will be my career.