Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.
For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.
Although it is fiction, Red Mars is based on years of research. As living spaces and greenhouses multiply, an astonishing panorama of our galactic future rises from the red dust. Through Richard Ferrone's narration, each scene is energized with the designs and dreams of the extraordinary pioneers.
©1993 Kim Stanley Robinson; (P)2000 Recorded Books
"Generously blending hard science with canny insight into human strengths and weaknesses, this suspenseful sf saga should appeal to a wide range of readers." (Library Journal)
"The ultimate in future history." (Daily Mail)
This is a very tedious book to read. No main characters or even character development. Everything the author started to develop a character they were killed off. There are a lot of blind alleys ... interesting things at the beginning of the book that I thought may be clues to the story but were never developed. Almost like this book is a bunch of bits & pieces of stories all loosely glued together.
One of the best books I've found this year, this is a clever and multi-dimenionsal SF tour de force. The characterisation is excellent, the sense of being on Mars is brilliantly achieved, and the whole piece feels like a genuine future history of how the colonisation of Mars might progress. Full of interpersonal tensions and intrigues by individuals, cultural groups and multinationals seeking to exploit this new frontier, the story nonetheless is a wonderful homage to Mars in all its harshness and splendour. This book makes me hope I live to see the first Mars landing. The narration is superb; unhurried, well-paced and precise, with none of the shouty delivery of simplistic pulp SF titles. I'll definitely look for more readings by Ferrone. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series. Unreservedly recommended.
** spoiler alert ** 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. 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.
I have read the book before and enjoyed listening to it as an Audiobook.
There are a number of sci fi books that cover similar territory, such as Mars, Moving Mars, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
I would look for other narrators before listening to another book read by Richard Ferrone. This book, with a large international cast of characters, calls for someone who could do at least basic accents to differentiate the characters. Ferrone doesn't attempt this. Even if you forgive that, he often puts emphasis in strange places that obfuscate the meaning of the words. He also clearly does not have a background in the sciences and much of his technical vocabulary is mispronounced. For a book with as much technical vocabulary as this, that gets really annoying.
It has one (Green Mars). It also as a prequel (Antarctica), which is unfortunately not available as an audio book.
I had really high hopes for this series ... first settlers on Mars, should have been an adventure. But it's written as more of a slow, sweeping saga, and even then it fails.
Most of the books are devoted to the geography of the planet and the building of machinery. There are long descriptive passages of the landscape of Mars, and what caused the different geographical features described. There are equally long passages about the building of the machinery involved in making Mars ready for habitation.
These would have been interesting if there had been more of a story behind them. The characters are very shallow, and it's hard to become involved with any of them. The story line seems like it's about the sides involved in the planet's future - Terra-forming for surface habitation, or leaving it alone and living in shelters - but neither side is fully developed.
On top of that, it's not really clear what the issues really are. The dialogue of the main people on both sides is filled with lots of philosophical and metaphysical mambo-jumbo that is hard to follow.
The narrator tries really hard to be engaging, but it was still hard to get through the plodding story. I admit I only made it about a third of the way through the second book and had to stop. I've listened to some with poor narration but wonderful stories that kept me engaged. Others have been so-so stories with wonderful narrators who brought them to life.
I think that, even with a brilliant narrator, these stories would not have kept my interest. I'm surprised I made it as far as I did. Unfortunately, I bought all three ...
Most of what I read is too serious or too long. I think that the more audiobooks you buy you might haveto admit that some are your favorite
I don't mind admitting that there were parts that were slow/boring. There are parts that might never work as a movie. Is this the Lord of the rings of hard science fiction? Part of the apeal of this series is having a strong feeling of how much time has passed, making a possible future have a sense of history. It was an intellectual challenge but not a literary one. It was an exellent audiobook and I'm learning more than I ever did by reading with my eyes. thats why I'm here
Some books are long for a reason. This isn't one of them. You could remove two thirds of the words from Red Mars without losing anything. The background of hard science is excellent and fascinating but Robinson can't write his way out of a paper bag. He can't create characters, can't do dialog, can't plot and writes love scenes like a 14-year-old. If it could be completely reworked by someone who can write this could be an excellent book.
After reading several series focusing on sci fi war, it's nice to listen of a more mellow book heavy on science. There are only 3 issues with the series: (1) Richard Ferrone's performance is completely w/out emotion or conviction, it's like listening to someone reading the phone book; (2) the books show their age in outdated science; and (3) the Mars colony is founded in 2026, we won't land on Mars before 2050 at the rate we're going, and that really depresses me. Robinson never clearly never foresaw the bush years.
Although there are some interesting descriptions in this book, they are WAY too long and get in the way of the story. I found the book so tedious, I simply didn't finish it, which is very rare for me.
Would give this zero stars if allowed. I lasted about 6 hours, and couldn't take it anymore. It starts off with the protagonist setting up and observing the killing of his "friend" and de facto leader of the colony. Then reverts back to before they left for Mars and drags you through hours and hours of tedium (and adolescent sex drives) while on the flight out. The protagonist (Frank) is a self-centered, unlikeable sort. The dead guy is actually quite a good fellow. So, where do you go with this? The author goes nowhere. Finally, I started skipping forward hour by hour to see if things pick up, but it just crawls on with more of the same. It would appear the only thing going on of any note are the various political struggles. The author seems incapable of making you give a red rat's rear about any of it. Save yourself (and a credit) while you can.
I'm just amazed of all the imagination and vast scientific research the author has done to create this book
"A long read, but totally worth it"
This is a dense, technical, beast of a book. But, so totally worth it to reach the ecocritical masterpiece below the surface.
"I'd rather read an encyclopedia"
As a young boy I loved reading about the solar system and looking at the beautiful pictures in encyclopedias. Some time ago I was recommended this series by a fellow researcher and I have to say that this book and series is disappointing.
The book is stilted and plods, there is no real sense of drama or dynamism. You also never really get a sense of the scene being properly set, there are lots of place names thrown about but little or no descriptive writing that makes you feel anything about the place.
This also extends to the characters, I couldn't feel anything really positive towards any of them, I frequently found myself thinking so what? They all seem to be petty, small minded and a little annoying or otherwise bland stereotypes.
Getting through the book was very arduous and painful - even just listening. I have listened to the whole series and they don't get better. The book and series promised lots and delivered very little.
Bland and uninspired.
"no real story, shame"
sadly the hype was not lived up to, all I could handle was a few chapters, slow and tedious :-(
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