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Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Green Mars (original 1993; edition 1995)

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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3,801371,365 (3.92)112
Title:Green Mars
Authors:Kim Stanley Robinson
Info:Spectra (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 624 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, 1994, Hugo, Locus

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Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1993)


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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
I prefer this book to the first, possibly because my expectations this time around were better aligned with the actual content. This is not a series about terraforming Mars, but it is the story of its colonization with terraforming as part of the background, together with a lot of political, economic and sociological turmoil. The big questions posed concern whether Mars' primary value lies merely its mineral wealth, or does it offer something more to human civilization and what form should that take? There are even strong proponents in the novel for surrendering the question and respecting the planet's natural state. You might take the sequence of titles in this series as a spoiler for how well that view fares.

The sequel follows the model established in the first novel, devoting each section to following another character while feeding into the overarching story of what's being done to the planet, how its future is being determined and by whom. The author might easily have adopted one particular approach to Mars as his protagonist view, but instead he's presented a story that covers the entire spectrum of possible approaches and throws them into conflict with one another. As a reader I was perpetually re-evaluating which faction is right, and discovering it is easier to shift sympathies from one view of the story to another with each new section than it is to arrive at an easy answer. I expect by the end of the trilogy there will be a dominant faction or two, but at this rate it will come with knowing the full price that was paid and having seen other promising visions of Mars' future pass into nothing. It's harsh, but I like it. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Apr 3, 2017 |
Love the terraforming and the beginnings of social changes that have resulted from this setting. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jul 3, 2016 |

If you liked 'Red Mars' a lot, and read it with sheer pleasure - then you should definitely go ahead and read 'Green Mars' and 'Blue Mars.'

If however, like me, you found 'Red Mars' to have some very interesting idea and details, and appreciated Kim Stanley Robinson's research into a broad range of fields for his epic dissertation on the possible ramifications of terraforming a planet, but ultimately found the experience of reading the novel akin to studying a somewhat-boring textbook, then you should probably skip these two sequels.

Unless, of course, like me, you have committed yourself to reading all the Hugo and Nebula award winners, in which case you will just have to go ahead and read them.

Basically, 'Blue' and 'Green Mars' are a lot more of the same, but with even more soap-opera-ish drama thrown in. The characters still exist wholly in service to the ideas/concepts of the book (and some get dropped unceremoniously by the wayside after having served their purpose, which makes the narrative structure feel a bit amorphous.)

Honestly, I found these sequels a slog. However, they did win awards, and other people obviously love them... ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I have seen many say that Red Mars is the high point of the trilogy, but I don't agree. I loved Green Mars even more than Red.

In this episode we get to see the first generation born on Mars, and how that would be and is different to those who came from Earth. And as always when someone has something good, someone else will want to take it from them, so we started to see the Earth vs Mars situation.

I love the whole issue of to terraform or not to terraform that is presented here. And I love that the characters can see that while they are changing the planet, the planet is also changing them.

I'm glad many of the old characters from Red Mars are still around, it gives us a chance to really grow with them, and I find myself liking all of them more and more.

A very good read. ( )
  weesam | Jan 4, 2016 |
“Technically he weighed about forty kilos, but as he walked along it felt more like five. Very strange, even unpleasant. Like walking on buttered glass.”This is my favorite feature of hard science fiction, the little minutiae that make the imaginary scenes not merely believable but also visceral; more vivid to me than riding on a dragon’s back and such. I like Kim Stanley Robinson’s conception of a Mars in the process of terraformation where global warming is actually a good thing!

Green Mars is the second book of KSR’s famous Mars trilogy, it follows on from Red Mars 50 years later where terraforming is in full swing. Many of “The First Hundred” characters (original colonists) from Red Mars play a significant part in this second volume, even the dead ones are often mentioned. The main story arc of Green Mars concerns terraformation and the fight for independence from Earth (bound to happen). Interestingly a faction of the Mars population, many of whom were born on Mars and have never been to Earth, are against terraforming and want to preserve Mars in its natural state. This is “The Reds” faction, their objection is (I think) for aesthetic reasons and to preserve what they perceive to be the purity of the pre-colonized planet. Their opposition comes from “The Greens” who want to fully terraform Mars so people can walk freely on the surface as we do on Earth.

Aside from the epic story arc the novel is very much a character study, to the detriment of my enjoyment of the book. The central characters are quite well developed, believable and complex individuals; the problem is that what they get up to is often not very interesting at all. There is a fascinating character named Sax Russell whose personal story is very dramatic at times and he ends up much the worse for wear. However, there are many pages where he is basically pottering around, studying plants, lichens, ice etc. This kind of narrative is very dry and my mind started to wander after a few such pages. Then there is Maya Toitovna who spends a lot of the novel inside her head, being very angry, resentful and unreasonable until she eventually works out her psychological problems. There are simply too many pages focused on her angst, which becomes quite tiresome, especially as I don’t personally identify with her problems

Green Mars has several protagonists (four or five I think) and the common problem with multiple points of view in a novel is very much in place here. Some characters are more interesting than others, and even the interesting ones spend too much time ruminating on issues, personal, scientific or philosophical; dragging the narrative down in the process.

Kim Stanley Robinson is an uncommonly good prose stylist for a hard SF writer. He comes up with pithy lines such as “It was not power that corrupted people, but fools who corrupted power.”; and almost lyrical passages like “In the first hour of the day all the ice glowed in vibrant pink and rose tones, reflecting tints of the sky. As direct sunlight struck the glacier’s smashed surfaces.”. However, he seems less interested in pacing and storytelling than to explore the issues that interest him, people, power, politics etc. I think he did a better job balancing the storytelling and the serious issue in Red Mars. Green Mars starts off well, gradually grinds to a halt, occasionally livens up with danger and explosive action, only to grind to a halt again. To be honest by the end of the book I have already lost interest.

Having read two volumes of the trilogy so far and really like the first one I am ambivalent about reading the final volume [b:Blue Mars|77504|Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, #3)|Kim Stanley Robinson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388181161s/77504.jpg|40711]. It will be a shame not to read it having come this far, but at this point I don’t really know if I have the fortitude to plow through another volume so dry the book itself needs to be tarraformed. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kim Stanley Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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