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Green Mars | [Kim Stanley Robinson]

Green Mars

The initial Martian pioneers had fierce disagreements about how the planet should be used by humans. This led to a war that threatened the lives of billions of people on both Mars and Earth. Now, the second generation of settlers continues the struggle to survive the hostile yet strangely beautiful environment of the red planet.
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Publisher's Summary

In Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson imagined a near future in which humankind established the first colonies on Mars and began to make the planet inhabitable for humans. In this stunning sequel to that Nebula Award-winning novel, Robinson takes the colonization of Mars to a new generation, with a new set of problems and concerns.

The initial Martian pioneers had fierce disagreements about how the planet should be used by humans. This led to a war that threatened the lives of billions of people on both Mars and Earth. Now, the second generation of settlers continues the struggle to survive the hostile yet strangely beautiful environment of the red planet. Their decisions and actions will ultimately determine whether Mars will simply be a sanctuary for scientists, a source of raw materials for Earth, or something much more.

Richard Ferrone's robust narration of this thrilling, timeless tale captures the fascinating diversity of Robinson's compelling characters, taking listeners to the farthest frontier of humanity's struggle to survive.

©1994 Kim Stanley Robinson; (P)2001 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1994

"This may well be Robinson's best book and possibly the best of the many and various our-future-on-Mars novels to date." (Booklist)
"Yet another masterpiece....I can't imagine anybody else staking out any portion of this immemorial dreamscape with the same elegant detail and thoroughness; it's Kim Stanley Robinson's now and for a long time to come." (Science Fiction Age)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (434 )
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4.0 (214 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Phillip Lino Lakes, MN, United States 10-01-13
    Phillip Lino Lakes, MN, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Good sequel w/ soulless performance"

    Richard Ferrone returns w/ another performance almost devoid of emotion and conviction. But the book makes up for it. Great story, believable predictions of the future of economics, and a Terran disaster actually considered one of the worst case scenarios governments worry about. Although there is a lot of hippy-dippy stuff, and some fuzzy ancient history, which bug me, but those are short lived irritations that don't detract from the story. My on;y real issue is all my favorite characters were killed off in the first book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 08-25-13
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2011

    Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work

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    "The author is consistently wordy"

    This is the second of three books by the author, all suffering the same issues. The SCI-FI concepts are pretty interesting - teraforming, robots, vision of the future of colonization of the solar system. There are some very fun concepts in the book. Unfortunately, the author seems bent on displaying his knowledge of just about any topic that comes to mind and this consistently distracts from the story. I was tired when the book was finally done.

    The performance is good - kept the story interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 03-16-12
    J Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 03-16-12 Member Since 2010

    First book, Ray Bradbury collection of short stories. First series, Dune. Favorite series, Thomas Covenent

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    "Great Story Continued"
    What made the experience of listening to Green Mars the most enjoyable?

    This book is extreamly detailed both in character content and in the sciences. I feel like I read a textbook with a story attached. I certainly know more about Mars, Climatology, Biology, Geology, and others...and I enjoyed learning about it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Bakersfield, CA, USA 05-27-08
    Steven Bakersfield, CA, USA 05-27-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Long but pretty good"

    I herd the first one and liked it thay are a little long but I liked then both well enough to buy the third one in the set so all -n- all I enjoyed both of the first 2

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erick Talahassee, FL, United States 08-05-13
    Erick Talahassee, FL, United States 08-05-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Green Mars: a textbook scifi novel"

    Speculative science fiction, when done well, can feel like a yet to be fulfilled prophecy. Kim Stanley Robinson writes good speculative science fiction that achieves this feeling in his novel Green Mars. Green Mars is the second installment of Robinson's epic opus, The Mars Trilogy. Evidence of the book's popularity among scientific crowds is the fact that Green Mars was included in the payload of the 2008 Phoenix expedition to the planet Mars. It is among the first books in the Interplanetary Library.
    An initial warning: Red Mars, the first book of Kim Stanley Robinson's trilogy, should be read prior to reading Green Mars. The trilogy is not a series of stand alone story arcs that can be coherently read out of order. Red Mars and Green Mars were published a scant 13 months apart in 1993 and 1994. This quick publishing turn around time and the fact that the books are over half a thousand pages each leads one to believe that both books were finished at the same time. While this is just speculation (although I'm sure Kim Stanley Robinson has addressed this matter in interviews in the past 20 years), one can continue to speculate as to why the story was published slightly over a year apart in two different books. Perhaps the author wanted to double his entries in the Hugo and Nebula sweepstakes (Red Mars won the Nebula in 1993, Green Mars won the Hugo 1994). Perhaps the editor thought the tome would be too ponderous for a single book. Perhaps the publisher (Spectra/Bantam Dell/Random House) wanted the profits from two books instead of just one. Whatever the reason, just make sure, even though you are presently reading a review of Green Mars, that you read Red Mars first.
    Green Mars is set in the near future and is centered around the populating and terraforming of Mars by immigrants from Earth and native born Martians. Green Mars weaves into its plot many other speculative science fiction devices in addition to terraforming. Medical advancements that double or triple the human lifespan play heavily into the story's plot. Other major plot conflicts include environmental disasters and protection (both on Earth and Mars), political dominance by multinational corporations, population growth, and battles over and with advanced technologies such as space elevators, orbiting solar mirrors, and the medicinal treatments for prolonging life. The story is extremely multifaceted and epic in scope. The trilogy spans about 150 years. Green Mars is not particularly light reading, but the story and the science in the story will not soon leave a reader's hippocampus.
    Kim Stanley Robinson employs a narrative style common to fictional mega-epics with a large cast of characters. The story is told from a third person perspective that is limited to a single character's point of view per chapter. The point of view character alternates every chapter so that the reader can get an idea of everything going on all around Mars. The author creates a linear fluidity to the story this way.
    This narrative method also allows Kim Stanley Robinson to show off his multiple disciplinary, scientific interests. Depending on the point of view character, the author will use that character's specialty to wax informatively on various fields of science such as geology, environmental science, physics, solar system astronomy, biology, botany, sociology, psychology, philosophy, humanities, economics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, social engineering, military science, political science, and even a dash of religion. Often the story is secondary and/or dependent on the description of the sciences (and speculative sciences). Attention and focus is required to follow the story through these interesting, college-level, intellectual interruptions. It is impossible to read Green Mars and not learn something.
    This will turn off some readers who are only interested in a Mars themed, thrill ride adventure story. If that is what you want, try Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land or Edgar Rice Burrough's A Princess of Mars. Green Mars is written for a “hard science fiction” fan base that is interested in intellectualism as much as literary entertainment.
    The characters, especially the point of view characters, in Green Mars are primarily archetypes of different kinds of scientists, various kinds of revolutionary fighters and politicians, and religious leaders. Their personalities are largely shaped by their professions and/or scientific disciplines. However all the characters are well written and through their actions, thoughts, and expressed values the reader sees multiple dimensions of their passions, flaws, and personalities.
    The characters and the story are easy to fall in love with but challenging to read. The liberal arts academic who dreaded science class might want to approach this book with caution. However, if you pick up Green Mars and the Mars Trilogy, no matter what you scientific inclination is, you will probably be entertained and definitely be educated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward APTOS, CA, United States 07-13-13
    Edward APTOS, CA, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Ugh!"
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Richard Ferrone?

    No to Kim. Yes to Richard.


    What could Kim Stanley Robinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Make sense. The politics of her characters and the story are beyond irrational. The characters are reprehensibly irrational.


    What about Richard Ferrone’s performance did you like?

    Excellent.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Green Mars?

    The story.


    Any additional comments?

    The only people who would like this book are far out lefties. I spent most of my time angry at the shear stupidity of the plot and of the so-called good guys. I felt the same way about Red Mars, and should never have purchased Green Mars. I regret it.

    I have not finished the book and I will not finish it.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mandi 05-12-12
    Mandi 05-12-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Just read a plot summary"

    The book drags on and while some of the points are interesting, I was not too upset that I fell asleep for large portions of the narrative.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Detroit 08-13-11
    Colin Detroit 08-13-11 Member Since 2009

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It gets better then the first one!"

    Well you have to listen to the first book "Red Mars" before this one thats for sure

    This is even better then the first book, still has old people sex which is strange and nasty imo - there are changes to the planet Mars and now green stuff grows all over it - Many of the "First 100" are killed in the first book and there are about 40-something left

    The biggest problem I have with these books is that there is a group of people called the "Reds" who want Mars to never be touched and hate the fact that its being terraformed, they try to stop it at every chance they can get and its just stupid because thats the point of going to Mars not to study it

    There are some things that dont make sense at all, like how is everythign paid for, they effing destroy both moons of Mars and then replace them altter, this is just crazy to understand since Earth is sorta all messed up and overpopulated and wants to come to Mars to live which is causing problems

    I liked this book better then the first one because it was more exploring the planet and less other stuff, the politics are boring and some of the science is sorta questionable given its age but all in all its a great story and a must read

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. H. Daniel Fort Worth, Texas 06-11-08
    P. H. Daniel Fort Worth, Texas 06-11-08 Member Since 2004

    pax

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    "Ghastly"

    Couldn't listen for more than 15 minutes. The narrator annoyed me so much I had to quit.

    5 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathaniel BROOKLYN PARK, MN, United States 05-28-09
    Nathaniel BROOKLYN PARK, MN, United States 05-28-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Why was this so praised?"

    I had been hoping for a hard sci-fi book when I started reading this, but didn't really get that. It has a combination of hard and soft sci-fi that didn't really work for me. I also find that I don't really like Rated R sex. It always seems like it's trying to be PG while really wanting to be XXX and so the love/sex scenes were really annoying. I would have been much happier with either PG or XXX. Also the time frame of the stories is hard to get as the characters have unnatural life spans, so even though about a hundred years have passed it really doesn't feel like that since most of the original characters are still around. Lastly the rampant drug use seemed counter intuitive to scientific progress which is implied in this series. I'm not against drug use, but excess of anything is annoying and it seemed like a lot of the characters where popping pills or inhaling something or other frequently. I'm going to finish the series but only because I have it on audio. I really don't understand the hype that this series got.

    3 of 18 people found this review helpful
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  • Ian
    Wakefield, United Kingdom
    6/1/12
    Overall
    "Thought provoking, complete, and original"

    A splendid series, with truly engaging characters, sweeping story line, and many unexpected changes. Rarely has an author been prepared to kill off so many lead characters - made possible only by accepting the sweep of history approach. The story follows broad themes and minute detail as the writer feels fit and the tale demands. The narrator's laid back style sometimes conflicts, but in general I found it fitted the mood of the story. Definitely worth buying,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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