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Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
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Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mars Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,629117759 (3.91)1 / 285
  1. 100
    Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (fichtennadel)
  2. 40
    The Martian by Andy Weir (fichtennadel)
  3. 20
    Moving Mars by Greg Bear (LamontCranston)
  4. 31
    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (psybre)
    psybre: Each book contains detailed methods and thinking that goes into solving space-colonization and space disaster issues. They also infuse the issues with politics.
  5. 31
    Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson (sturlington)
  6. 20
    How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet by Robert Zubrin (SiSarah)
  7. 10
    The Outward Urge by John Wyndham (MinaKelly)
  8. 21
    A Woman of Mars by Helen Patrice (TomWaitsTables)
  9. 10
    As It Is On Mars by Thomas William Cronin (cgervasi)
  10. 11
    Threshold by Eric Flint (PortiaLong)
    PortiaLong: Politics and exploration of the solar system.
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English (108)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All (116)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
I may have skimmed a lot of the sections on Martian geology, but I was pleasantly surprised by much of this book and will read the rest of the trilogy, but not all at once. ( )
  sirk.bronstad | Feb 16, 2017 |

Read it for the first time in 1993.

Going into this book 20 years later, the feeling I had was one of trepidation. Would the book have stood the test of time?

And the answer is: Unfortunately no.

One of the things that I've noticed almost from the onset was a huge dissonance (I don't remember spotting it 20 years earlier, but now I did): Why plan the mission without firmly establishing at least some sort of general idea about what sort of terraforming might be done?

I cannot imagine spending hundreds of billions of dollars to send Men to Mars without a proper plan in place. It was quite inconceivable more than 20 years ago, and it still is.

Also at times I had the impression that there were things Robinson just didn't want to bother to develop. The name of Underhill" pops up out of nowhere in the middle of a paragraph inside a chapter with no explanation at all. You'd think the naming of the first settlement would be somewhat more momentous.

It just doesn't seem like there was much of a story present at all.

Great swaths of the book consist of characters wandering around being lonely and accomplishing nothing, though it hardly feels like there's much character development to speak of.

hen they wait until after they arrive on Mars to have some big, nasty row about terraforming? Surely this would be an issue that would have been hammered out well in advance of anyone leaving orbit?

What about the fact that the 1st 100 settlers waited until arriving on Mars to start bickering? How could the 1st 100 have been chosen so badly?

The answer given is not convincing, ie, apparently everyone lied horribly during the recruitment phase because they wanted to get there... WTF??? What kind of behaviour assessments were given to this guys??

What about Maya? What was the purpose of including her thread in the book? It serves no purpose, except as the love triangle Boone/Chalmers/Maya.

The only redeeming fact about the book is the Science. For that 3 stars.

" ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
A story about the colonization of Mars. It was filled with characters who had no redeeming qualities. Nothing in this book appealed to me at all. From dysfunctionality on a 100 people size to large paragraphs rambling about Mars to the pure pettiness of the characters involved, nothing interested me.

It was almost like Robinson set out to write a book about the worst set of exceptional characters as possible. It was well written [I mean, I read til the end even though I didn't like anybody], but that is not enough to tempt me to read the other Mars books. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Red Mars is the Moby Dick of interplanetary SF novels. Just as Melville's classic tells you everything there is to know about whales and the industry of whaling, Red Mars does the same with Mars and its colonization.

It took me over 3 and half months to digest this whale of a book. I liked the story, enjoyed the complex, driven characters, found the scientific and social extrapolation utterly convincing. But it was all such a darn chore to read.

I sampled some of the other reviews on GoodReads to try to figure out why. Some of these reviews are even more tedious than the book itself (and that's saying a lot!)

An ambitious and intelligent novel that is, to quote some critic, "much easier to admire than enjoy." ( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
Original. I enjoyed the spots where something was actually happening, but it was very long-winded. ( )
  janoorani24 | Nov 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
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"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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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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