Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mars Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,873None946 (3.94)1 / 229
Recently added bywds4, Joel.G..Gomes, vulgarboatman, JoannaPo, zappow, Andrzej.Kaliski, mykeswife, private library, fude, att
American (19) colonization (57) ebook (44) fiction (446) hard sf (56) Hugo Nominee (23) Kim Stanley Robinson (19) Kindle (39) Mars (316) Mars Trilogy (85) Nebula (21) Nebula Award (34) nebula winner (29) novel (69) own (28) paperback (31) politics (34) read (69) science fiction (1,218) series (45) sf (234) sff (61) space (46) space colonization (21) space travel (28) speculative fiction (23) terraforming (110) to-read (64) trilogy (19) unread (36)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (91)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)

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 |
Red Mars is an impressive piece of work. I would give it 5 stars, but it is, indeed, a tad bit too long. The book is "about" the colonization of Mars by humans who certainly are waaay ahead of science and technology than we are in 2011. The technical aspect of the story is hefty, so those who cannot deal with long arguments about terraforming or bioengineering or mining minerals might hate this book with a passion. The other hefty part is politics. The first 100 scientists who start the colonization go through a selection process and soon it becomes clear that most people had to hide their political views (among other things) to be able to make it. So soon after they take off, political factions start forming. This becomes the main drive of the story, in a way. As the colonization expands from just the first 100 to more people, the powerful force of capitalistic investment is felt and this further strains the different beliefs and factions among the Martians.

The story is told form the point of view of a select few, who are some of the most important characters among the first 100. These characters are well-developed with distinct world views. They also represent different philosophical ideas. In the end, the main issue is if Mars is another mine to be used and abused by a crumbling Earth, or is it, should it try to be, its own, independent entity? And if it is going to be a power of its own, how should it be formed? The economic, philosophical, and biological arguments throughout the book address this and many related mini-issues.

Ultimately, there is a sadness about the way humans go somewhere and destroy it. We have done this to Earth and we will surely follow with something else, if only we could get ourselves to that place.

The molecular biology aspect of the technical stuff was well done. I will say that as of 2011 we do not know a way to just cause "autokilling" in any type of organism by just engineering in two genes. This is done in the book, and it can be thought as a simplified version of what actually happens. But the whole point of the already existing death mechanisms in cells is to prevent overgrowth. Cancer is not the lack of these genes, necessarily; it is the by-pass of such mechanisms. So just engineering in a cell death mechanism does not, would not, prevent an organism from taking over the whole surface of Mars, for example. ( )
  bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
wooden. I got 2/3 of the way thru, skimmed the last 10 pages and decided to toss it. So much of it was based on lengthy talk of the local rocks. And when John Boone spent months traveling from communities, I wondered why such a hi tech place didn't have rapid transport yet. It might have some interesting economic theory, but the story didn't even carry it as well as Atlas Shrugged did Rand's.
Marina talking with John & Vlad: "...it should be the law that people are rewarded in proportion to their contribution to the system...There's all kinds of phantom work! Unreal values assigned to most of the jobs on Earth! The entire transnational executive class...Advertising, stock brokerage..." (p 298-9) This sounds exactly like John's role, yet we're supposed to believe this druggie (oh, but it's a legal drug) is a valued person in this tale. ( )
  juniperSun | Nov 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
for Lisa
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

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)

(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)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.94)
0.5 1
1 14
1.5 6
2 63
2.5 23
3 210
3.5 74
4 397
4.5 73
5 359


Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,455,737 books! | Top bar: Always visible