Red Mars probably ranks among my five all-time favorites. I actually read the whole Mars Trilogy some years ago and wanted to visit that world again, without having to sit and read. The audiobook was the perfect way to do that.
Boy, that's a tough one! I'm a big fan of Kim Stanley Robinson. He definitely writes hard science fiction, not space opera, though his characters are terrific, as well. He also has a beautiful, well-defined philosophy. If you mixed any of the books from David Brin's uplift series with a little Ursula K. Le Guin, you might come out with something akin to the Mars Trilogy, though Robinson's trilogy is set closer to our own time.
Ferrone has a lovely, rich voice, but one that doesn't impose itself on the story. He also has a wonderful clarity, something important when the material includes scientific explanations of story events. He manages to convey complex ideas in a completely understandable voice. I've listened to quite a few sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks, some read by their own authors, and Ferrone is one of the best narrators.
Tired of Earth's problems? Start fresh on Mars!
Red Mars is a must-read title in science fiction. This audiobook is a good way to read it.
It is a long story, where not much happens. The details are impressive, the scientific imagination as well and documentation amazed me often, but despites iincredible efforts, the charachters are... plainly stupid. Nothing like the brilliant scientists and astute politicians they are supposed to be. While other characters seems amazed by their doing, the depiction of those actions seem very basic, not very smart, so not much to be amazed of. So there is definitely a flaw in the story. As per the narrator, his narrative tune emphasizes this feeling of naivity in all key players actions. But still that remains a fantastic piece of sci fi work, just be patient as it can take ages to develop and action, and you really wonder often...
I bought all three of these books years ago and HATED Red Mars. Never finished it and I tried several times. It was boring and way too dry and sciencey. I wasted a small fortune.
Well last summer I was listening to an old ITunes play list and Green Mars popped on at the end of something else. I was in the middle of a project and wasn't going to stop to change it. The recording started in the middle, talking about how plants survive winter and deal with salinity- a subject lately dear to me, and I was drawn in completely.
I have listened to the whole series now and I cannot imagine how I didn't like it all those years ago. Its really not very sciencey, I mean sure .. a bit... but the characterizations and the story do not rely on the science. There is much, much more of politics and as much of magic as there is of science in this series.
The performance is great
It almost feels like the first few chapters were taken from the middle of the book then tacked on the front. Once the book starts following the chronology of the setters, starting with the selection process, it got really good.
Did anyone else feel like the first few chapters didn't belong there or is it just me? It was plain odd.
Follow me on Goodreads too!
Overall, I am really disappointed; the book just didn’t grab me and I never got to the point where I could say I liked it. I didn’t care for any of the characters, no one was compelling or appealing to me, and that made seeing it though to the end a challenge!
I persevered because I’m very interested in the concept (the terraforming of mars and the lives colonists who are working to make it happen) and I kept hoping the book would get better… but it didn’t. I made it halfway through before deciding to abandon it; I just never got hooked.
I like the idea of the next two books in the trilogy (Green Mars and Blue Mars) but if they are like this one I think I will pass…. Too bad.
I couldn't make it through the first 15 minutes. The reader was fine.
But ... Oh, golly.
Plot ... Totally and completely different from the summary. "The Summary Says," it's about the first 100 on Mars, building a colony.
Nope. Maybe, eventually there may be a flashback, but... as the story opens the population is 1,000 with - oh horrors!! - MINORITIES!!! How dare anyone bring those vile foreign folk anyway? (Never mind that I find the representation of that group as offensive.)
But, let's talk about the 100. Those 100 were - at least it doesn't seem unreasonable to suppose and I believe may have been stated - 'the best and brightest' that COULD be selected. Which didn't hear to me very much like the case...
Of the first 100; presented as 'leaders', one I hear as pretty much a nut case. One more time! This is one of the first 100 ... Maybe they selected folk (never mind what the text says) for instability?
The book allegedly received raves for scientific accuracy. Like building on the surface with a see-through dome where meteors are pretty common?
Text didn't grab me. Plot seemed to me stupid, childish and not very believable.
Dialogue to me dragged.
I couldn't stay with it.
Kim "Stan" Stanley Robinson has the distinct ability to write use scientific concepts within the narrative in a way that lets you understand what is happening even if you don't understand how. The science serves the drama without overpowering it, letting the characters be front and center to the story. Mars itself is the main character, with long passages of the book given over to describing the landscape and its harsh beauty. The other human characters are more familiar and (for me) more interesting. Red Mars is not an adventure tale; rather it is more of a "what if" exploration of the future of humanity. There is plenty of drama, conflict, and even spectacle. The narration was clear, with distinction between voices and was never distracting.
Not likely. My time is too valuable to waist on dated science.
He should have remembered that an author never subjugates story to exposition.
Disappointment for what he might have accomplished.
In Red Mars, Kim documents in encyclopedic detail his fascination with the ordinary, mundane, and inconsequential details of daily life in space and on Mars. The drama of the first 100 humans establishing a science station on Mars are so completely hidden in the technical details that I recommend you treat their discovery as the books first major subplot. I recommend paper and pen to record the infrequent clues. However, after a second or third reading, the story will become clear. Readers interested in 30-year-old science can skip the story and enjoy what might have been.
I would absolutely revisit Red Mars due to its value not only as a story to be shared with others less informed about the red planet but due to its capacity to elucidate interesting facts and speculations about future technology, which cannot wholly be contemplated in one reading. Robinson understands their complexity and only describes so much of the challenges that are faced technologically and socially as they will be up to our descendants to truely solve, using Robinson's works as inspiration no doubt.
I could associate very well with the personality and sometimes maniacal tendencies of Sax Russell and Arkady Bogdanov, which I think is critical in fiction, the ability to create interesting characters whilst giving them attributes and challenges that readers can easily commiserate with. I wish Robinson went into further detail the circumstances surrounding the rumour of lab rat's minds becoming the mind of Sax Russell!
Richard Ferrone was so good at switching between male and female voices and giving them distinct differences, that I soon forgot about a narrator's potential difficulty here and focused on the story, and the various vocal inflections and mannerisms that were given to each character. I would say various world accents could be improved but the vocal characterisation was good.
YES. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, and while it has its genuinely slow moments, the fact that it reflects with some accuracy a potential world our generation could live in makes its conclusion a compelling goal to reach.
Read this book, and see how there are still many elements of colonisation of Mars that are still accurate and anticipated despite technological progress since the time of its writing. It is a book that will stand the test of time, as if non-fiction of a parallel universe.
While this book has copious details of Mars geology and a good account of what a first colonization of Mars may be like. The story was told in a very plodding kind of way. Narrative jumped around between several characters, but none of them really dived deep into the psych of the character and so it seemed very shallow. Good details on Mars, it's geography and history, and decent discussions about the technology.Overall it was a very difficult listen for me and I felt many sections of the book the story just kind of meandered along not in support of any plot but just giving details to give details.
Sadly, I will not be continuing with the series.