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Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Green Mars (1993)

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mars Trilogy (2)

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On average, I enjoyed Green Mars more than I had enjoyed Red Mars. The latter half of Red Mars had a chaotic mish-mash of major events happening at a large variety of places to a large variety of people. There were so many things going on that I didn’t really feel invested in any of it. This book, on the other hand, felt more focused even though events were occurring on an equally large scale. I cared more about what was happening, and about the characters.

I also thought the characters in this book seemed more likeable, or at least more sympathetic. As with the first book, this book was split up into sections which were each told from the perspective of a different character. There were a couple new characters who I liked quite a bit. One was (sort of) the offspring of the first 100 from the previous book. Another was a new arrival from Earth. But most of the book, particularly in the second half, still took place from the perspective of members of the first 100. We finally got to know Sax in this book, and we came to understand Maya a little better. There was also finally some closure to part of Frank’s story from the previous book.

This book didn’t contain as much excessive description as the previous book, but it wasn’t entirely absent either. It depended on which character’s perspective we were reading from. As with the previous book, I was still impressed by the way the author handled perspectives. There was a clear difference in the way each character viewed the world, themselves, and the other characters, and there was a different tone based on whose perspective we were reading from. When we were in Sax’s perspective, for example, he spent a lot of time noticing, thinking about, and analyzing various species of lichen. I found this realistic, because I’m sure a real person with Sax’s background and in Sax’s situation really would spend that much time thinking about lichen. However, as a reader who doesn’t care that much about lichen, I sometimes got exasperated with it.

Even though I enjoyed this book reasonably well, I think this is where I’m going to get off the train. I’m not enjoying the series well enough to plow through the last 800-page book and I’m ready to move on to something else. However, I was pretty happy with where this book ended. There’s clearly more story to be told, but I could easily be content with ending the story here. ( )
  YouKneeK | Mar 14, 2015 |
This is definitely Book 2 in Robinson's Mars trilogy. I did enjoy the story, especially after reading [b:Red Mars|77507|Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)|Kim Stanley Robinson|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388176802s/77507.jpg|40712], the first book. But the sheer volume of exposition, consisting mainly on unending descriptions of the Marian landscape, was mind-numbing. I enjoyed this much more in the first book, when the idea of people living on Mars was new. but I kept feeling like I'd read so much of it before.
I'm still eager to read the conclusion to the trilogy. ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
I did keep going, but had to skip more and more. I don't demand a story-line in every book - but this one just did description - and with the sheer number of pages you would have thought he would have had space for a bit of story. If he was trying to do a Stephen Donaldson - he failed. But I still liked it. He has put a lot of effort into the science of Mars and I appreciate that. Now I am really conflicted because there is 'Blue Mars' to come - shall I venture it - or not? I really enjoyed 'Red Mars' but I don't want to wade through another one like this. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
In my reading of Red Mars, the first of Robinson's Mars books, I detected an esoteric infrastructure for the saga of the First Hundred, cast according to the pattern of the gods of ancient Egypt and their legendary deeds. The esotericism of this sequel is alchemical, as openly signaled in the first of its ten parts, but carried through in more subtle details as well as the overarching structure. Ann Clayborne reflects at one point on the nomenclature of areography, which is remarkably alchemical when Robinson translates it into English, not that Ann notices:

"Only on Mars did they walk about in an horrendous mishmash of the dreams of the past, causing who knew what disastrous misapprehensions of the real terrain: the Lake of the Sun, the Plain of Gold, the Red Sea, Peacock Mountain, the Lake of the Phoenix, Cimmeria, Arcadia, the Gulf of Pearls, the Gordian Knot, Styx, Hades, Utopia...." (121)

As with the first book, the novella-length components alternately follow different principal characters, most of whom are still members of the original expedition, now well into their second (terrestrial) century of life. These characters accordingly are driven to reflect on memory, both in actuality and theory. The two new focal characters are Nirgal (a native Martian of First Hundred parentage) and Art Randolph, a new immigrant sent as a liaison to the Martian underground from one of Earth's metanational corporations.

This middle book of the trilogy is a tale of transformation that describes the accomplishment of the Martian biosphere and political independence. As with the first, it is replete with political and scientific meditations, anchored in the travails of admirable but credibly fallible central characters. The lore of Big Man and the little red people of Mars (272-274) also acknowledges the vital presence of a fantasy dimension, that is nevertheless not deeply explored. The end of the book is clearly only the beginning of a story, although it does deliver some satisfaction in its own right.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Nov 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dixon, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The point is not to make another Earth.
"Even if you want no state, or a minimal state, then you still have to argue it point by point. Especially since most minimalists want to keep exactly the economic and police system that keeps them privileged. That's libertarians for you -- anarchists who want police protection from their slaves!"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553572393, Mass Market Paperback)

Kim Stanley Robinson has earned a reputation as the master of Mars fiction, writing books that are scientific, sociological and, best yet, fantastic. Green Mars continues the story of humans settling the planet in a process called "terraforming." In Red Mars, the initial work in the trilogy, the first 100 scientists chosen to explore the planet disintegrated in disagreement--in part because of pressures from forces on Earth. Some of the scientists formed a loose network underground. Green Mars, which won the 1994 Hugo Award, follows the development of the underground and the problems endemic to forming a new society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

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After a generation of pioneering work on Mars, a conflict arises between those who want to reshape the planet into a lush garden and those who want to preserve its stark beauty.

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