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Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mars Trilogy (1)

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5,051100892 (3.94)1 / 246

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
This book details the colonization (and then terraforming) of Mars by the initial colonists (the First Hundred). It is a character driven story that also uses a significant amount of hard science throughout the book. It is well written and I will be reading the followup novels. ( )
  ConalO | Sep 21, 2014 |
Not sure how this got 4 stars..... it reminds me a lot of Asimov's Foundation books that I enjoyed so many years ago - the characters are all pretty wooden, the plot thin and there are an awful lot of descriptive passages describing Mars that it is a temptation to skip over. However the real characters are the place and the social and cultural structures being changed and built and destroyed. The problems being addressed are all very real in the world right now. And that is the strength and triumph of science fiction. Here it is done very well and while you may not care very much what happens to any of the individuals, you are led to care intensely about the society. He has also obviously paid a great deal of attention to what is known about Mars and to the physics involved which gives it a great up to date feel - although in the long run may get out of date so perhaps best read this decade! I shall not wait too long before tackling 'Green Mars'. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
Although some of the science and math went whizzing by my head, exactly like the asteroids flying by Mars, Red Mars fascinated me on several levels and kept me reading to the end despite its ploddish patches.

One hundred scientists are sent to Mars to see if it can be turned into a viable place to live. Earth is a mess: overpopulated, run by multinational corporations rather than countries, with only lip service being paid to the United Nations and international law. Its food sources are severely compromised, as are its waters and its air.

Robinson takes us through the initial efforts to colonise the place, as seen through the eyes of key players in the “one hundred”. He starts with the murder of one of the key characters and then jumps to the past to work forward to that moment and onward from there. As I got to know this character more, I felt sad about this but also began to read him as a kind of archetype, knowing that he wouldn’t be lingering past a certain point. What that point was and how it all got there is the substance of this first book in the Mars trilogy.

I couldn’t shake the feeling as I read further and further into the story that this was a quietly important book, prophetic and prescient. It did win the Nebula Award but that only reaches a specific audience; I wish it had a wider reach, particularly as I see a lot of what he foresaw as happening on Earth now taking place. I disagree with those reviewers who found it “mind numbingly boring” or “wooden”. I agree that he does go on about rocks too much and that this could have been edited better but it does convey Robinson’s passion for the planet and his deep interest in its possibilities. I got good at skimming the rocks and formulae, almost Martian myself in my ability to go over those rough surfaces.

On to Green Mars, with pleasure.
8 vote tiffin | May 23, 2014 |

This book is mind-numbingly boring. There's potential everywhere in the book, in the interplay between the characters, in the conservation vs terraforming, in the political wrangling, in the economics, in the national vs the big corps and in a myriad other conflict zones the author puts into his book. The exitement is drain out of them all by the prose and the miles and miles and miles of technical jargon, information dumps and repetition of previous technical jargon. The plot is also incoherent and the interplay between the characters is at best bland and at worst incomprehensible.

Avoid unless you're on a quest to read all the hugo and nebula winners. *shiver* ( )
  StigE | Feb 22, 2014 |
Not my cuppa. KSR writes exceptionally well -- the details, the characters, the science. Except, there is a huge glossed over component of some of the science -- the engineering, the actual danger of space flight, colonization, etc. It is easy to be swet away by the length of the novel, the extensive dialogues, the points of view, the whole saga, really. However, the lack of accidents and deaths (as morbid as this sounds) until the revolution seems strange. Overall, a good read; but not something I will continue reading. I'm hoping to enjoy the newer trilogy about climate change. ( )
  lesmel | Jan 31, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dixon, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Lisa
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Mars was empty before we came.
"We became friends first," Arkady said once, "that's what makes this different, don't you think?" He prodded her with a finger. "I love you."
When you expect to live another two hundred years, you behave differently from when you expect to live only twenty.
Possess nothing and be possessed by nothing. Put away what you have in your head, give what you have in your heart.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553560735, Mass Market Paperback)

Red Mars opens with a tragic murder, an event that becomes the focal point for the surviving characters and the turning point in a long intrigue that pits idealistic Mars colonists against a desperately overpopulated Earth, radical political groups of all stripes against each other, and the interests of transnational corporations against the dreams of the pioneers.

This is a vast book: a chronicle of the exploration of Mars with some of the most engaging, vivid, and human characters in recent science fiction. Robinson fantasizes brilliantly about the science of terraforming a hostile world, analyzes the socio-economic forces that propel and attempt to control real interplanetary colonization, and imagines the diverse reactions that humanity would have to the dead, red planet.

Red Mars is so magnificent a story, you will want to move on to Blue Mars and Green Mars. But this first, most beautiful book is definitely the best of the three. Readers new to Robinson may want to follow up with some other books that take place in the colonized solar system of the future: either his earlier (less polished but more carefree) The Memory of Whiteness and Icehenge, or 1998's Antarctica. --L. Blunt Jackson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:37 -0400)

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Chronicles the colonization of Mars in the year 2026. In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars. For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. John Boone, Maya Toitovna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life, and death. The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planet's surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces, for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed. Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.… (more)

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