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
"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)
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.
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.
First book, Ray Bradbury collection of short stories. First series, Dune. Favorite series, Thomas Covenent
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.
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
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.
In part 2 of the Mars trilogy, Kim's deep vision for the evolution of politics and government and the next colonial revolution forecasts how age-old patterns will respond to massive scientific advancements. It's a compelling story in an age of increasingly dysfunctional politics, and it lends hope to the idea of a more complete and balanced government.
The character development is also incredibly detailed, exploring the physical and mental stresses from living on for decades after a lifetime.
A pleasure to re-enter this world and follow old and new lives and loves and science experiments on Mars. Same reader, who has a non-melodramatic but mellowly differentiated character style that I like. Heading for book 3 now!
Not in the "Mars" series.
Something by L.E. Thomas
I didn't get that far - the story couldn't keep me focused. While I like the premise of the story being told, it's being told in a very long and tedious way, and hours go by with no events. It's one long monotone rattle of Mars geography and people that you never get to connect with.
It definitely seems like this book should be a lot shorter so all the filler stuff could be gotten rid of. I'm about a few hours in, and I'm pretty sure I will not finish this book. Not unless I find myself unable to sleep one night.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
A continuation in the Mars series, taking the planet status from outpost to the post colonial stage. The idealists, the dreamers, and the first generation natives all finding their place in a world setting up to help its benefactors.
"Great second book in the series"
I bought the first book long ago and liked it but started listening to other books in between. Now I got this one and I loved it! I really like the way the author portrays the characters, both likeable and not so, even some despisable ones. One gets a better insight on the group of leaders of the first 100, now more mature att over 100 years old. Also the new martians, who they are and what they want.
Mars is being changed slowly through terraforming while Earth is being destroyed. It is a (in my eyes) very probable outcome for our planet.
I will start in number three now!
"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,
This follows on from the slower parts of the previous book. It drags on about the atmosphere, in my view it never gets going. A good book for helping you sleep.
"More a geology & geography lesson than a novel"
Seems much more concerned with incredibly detailed descriptions of the geology & geography of Mars than building any kind of ongoing narrative with any kind of pace. The big things that do happen have so little build up or time spent on them that it all feels rather flat.
No but perhaps off other books by KSR & certainly off Book 3
Some really great characterisation (working with little in the way of real material); I'd happily listen to another book with the same narrator
Disappointment, I was hoping for an epic tale of survival against the odds & a sweeping history & all I really got were endless travelogues
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