Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed

"Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. It was originally published in the magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories in August 1949, under the title "The Naming of Names". It was subsequently included in the short-story collections A Medicine for Melancholy and S is for Space.

The story takes place in the near future on Mars, as is the case with many of Bradbury's stories.

Plot

In the midst of an atomic war on Earth, the United States sends a number of colonists to establish an outpost on Mars. The Bittering family, father Harry and mother Cora and their children Daniel, Laura, and David, arrives as part of the eight hundred colonists chosen for the first wave. Harry is initially disquieted by the Martian environment, but takes comfort in the fact that the family can return to Earth when resupply ships arrive.

Strange events begin to affect the life brought as part of the settlement effort, including the seeded grass sprouting purple, the family cow growing a third horn in the middle of its head, and other anomalies with the vegetable garden. Harry's discomfort on Mars increases, and the thought of returning to Earth on the next resupply mission soon becomes his only comfort, much to the concern of Cora. This comfort is taken away as Bittering is informed that the war has led to an atomic bomb devastating New York City and destroying the only spaceport capable of traveling to Mars.

Resolving to build himself a rocket home, Harry isolates himself from his family and the townsfolk, who have begun to show signs of transforming into Martians as their limbs and bodies elongate, their irises become shimmery gold, their skin darkens, and they begin using Martian language, referring to Earth as Iorrt, the ancient Martian name for Earth. Harry staves off the transformation as he only consumes food and water brought from Earth, but the supplies run out and he is forced to eat Martian food to survive. Soon enough, Harry notices his eyes have turned gold.

Cora convinces Harry that a family swim in the canals of Mars would do him good to relax, and he hesitantly agrees. While there, their eldest son, Daniel, requests to be referred to by the Martian name Linnl. Harry and Cora, now almost entirely Martian, agree easily, and the other two children quickly adopt Martian names as well. As they return to the town, the Bitterings discover that the colonists are retreating to the ancient Martian villas in the mountains, as the summer has made the valley stiflingly hot. Harry briefly expresses a wish to stay and work on his rocket, but is easily persuaded to go with the rest of the colonists and come back when the weather is cooler.

Five years later, the United States, having won the war and rebuilt New York, sends a small military dispatch to recover the colonists sent to Mars, only to find their settlement abandoned. The soldiers instead encounter a large Martian settlement in the mountain villas, where the native Martians are pleasant and have a remarkable affinity for English. Convinced they had nothing to do with the original colony's disappearance, the group agrees to attempt a second, larger settlement using the town built by the first.

Legacy

The story lent its name to a popular science fiction and comic book shop in London, which ran from the late 1960s until the early 1980s.

External links

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for Melancholy (1959) is a collection of short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. It was first published in the UK by Hart-Davis in 1959 as The Day It Rained Forever with a slightly different list of stories. All of the included stories were previously published.

Classic Stories 2

Classic Stories 2: From A Medicine for Melancholy and S Is for Space is a semi-omnibus edition of two short story collections by American writer Ray Bradbury, A Medicine for Melancholy and S is for Space. Stories from the original collections that are included in Classic Stories 1 are omitted.

In 1998, Avon Books reprinted this collection as A Medicine for Melancholy and Other Stories.

Dandelion Wine (film)

Dandelion Wine is a 1997 Russian TV film based on the book of the same name by Ray Bradbury.It's the last film of Innokenti Smoktunovsky, released after his death.

Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed (bookshop)

Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed was a science fiction bookshop and comic book retailer in London during the 1970s; the largest of its kind in Europe. Specialising in science fiction, occultism, and Atlantis, the central-London shop also played a key role in bringing American underground comics to the United Kingdom. It also sold American editions of mainstream science fiction books that were not easily obtained anywhere else.

The shop was named after a short story by Ray Bradbury.

Driving Blind

Driving Blind is a 1997 short story collection by American writer Ray Bradbury. All but four of the stories are original to this collection.

Is That You, Herb?

Is That You, Herb? is a short story by author Ray Bradbury. A chapbook edition of the story was published by Gauntlet Press in 2003.

One More for the Road

One More for the Road is a 2002 collection of 25 short stories written by Ray Bradbury.

Quicker Than the Eye

Quicker Than the Eye (ISBN 0-380-97380-4, 1996 Avon Books) is a collection of short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury, published nearly a decade after his last collection.

R Is for Rocket

R Is for Rocket (1962) is a short story collection by American writer Ray Bradbury, compiled for Young Adult library sections. It contains fifteen stories from earlier Bradbury collections, and two previously uncollected stories.

S Is for Space

S is for Space (1966) is a collection of science fiction short stories written by Ray Bradbury. It was compiled for the Young Adult sections of libraries.

Selected from Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed

Selected from Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed is a collection that contains the Ray Bradbury short story "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" with several essays about the story. It was published in 1991 by Signal Hill Publications as part of their Writers' Voices Series for students. The story first appeared in the magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1949.

St Anne's Court

St Anne's Court is an alleyway that connects Dean Street and Wardour Street in London's Soho district. Parts of it can be dated back to the late seventeenth century.Sites in St Anne's Court included the "model lodgings" designed by William Burges in 1864-66 for the banker and philanthropist Lackland Mackintosh Rate, for whom Burges subsequently work at Milton Court, Dorking, Surrey. At St Anne's, Rate wanted a commercial rental property. The result was a series of thirty lodging rooms to be let to artisans. The building was of brick with cast-iron piers. Crook describes the result as "Burges's favourite thirteenth-century French, pared to the bone." The building has subsequently been demolished.

Sites also include the Trident Studios and the 1970s science fiction bookshop Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed. In the 1980s, a basement in St Anne's Court was home to Shades Records, a store specialising in extreme forms of Heavy Metal such as "Death Metal" and "Thrash Metal". As the only such store in the country, it played a particularly important role in the growth of those music genres in the UK.

The Flying Machine (short story)

"The Flying Machine" is a short story written by Ray Bradbury in 1953. Bradbury also adapted the tale into a short play that same year.

The Machineries of Joy

The Machineries of Joy (1964) is a collection of short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury.

The Scythe (short story)

"The Scythe" is a short story by American author Ray Bradbury. It was originally published in the July, 1943 issue of Weird Tales. It was first collected in Bradbury's anthology Dark Carnival and later collected in The October Country and The Stories of Ray Bradbury.

The Small Assassin

The Small Assassin (1962) is a short story collection by American writer Ray Bradbury. The stories originally appeared in the magazines Dime Mystery Magazine, Weird Tales, Harper's, Mademoiselle, and in Bradbury's first book, Dark Carnival.

The Toynbee Convector (short story collection)

The Toynbee Convector is a short story collection by American writer Ray Bradbury. Several of the stories are original to this collection. Others originally appeared in the magazines Playboy, Omni, Gallery, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Woman's Day, and Weird Tales.

The Vintage Bradbury

The Vintage Bradbury (1965) was the first "best of" collection of the stories of Ray Bradbury, as selected by the author. It was published by Vintage Books, a paperback division of Random House.

Twice 22

Twice 22 is a collection of short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. The book, published in 1966, is an omnibus edition of The Golden Apples of the Sun and A Medicine for Melancholy. It is titled Twice 22 on the book's dustjacket and spine, but titled Twice Twenty-two on the book's title page.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.