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Red Mars | [Kim Stanley Robinson]

Red Mars

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.

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1993

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (1085 )
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3.9 (509 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jessica MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 04-16-14
    jessica MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 04-16-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent and it sat in my library for 6 years"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Krist 02-03-14
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    2
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    Story
    "Rocky start, but loving it now"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Did anyone else feel like the first few chapters didn't belong there or is it just me? It was plain odd.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 09-01-13
    Simone 09-01-13 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mission Aborted."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 06-15-13
    C. SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 06-15-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't Even Get Started Well"

    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?

    Oh bother.

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John SIERRA MADRE, CA, United States 06-14-13
    John SIERRA MADRE, CA, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great balance of fiction and science"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry 05-07-13
    Henry 05-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exposition Masquerading as Story"
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Richard Ferrone?

    Not likely. My time is too valuable to waist on dated science.


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

    He should have remembered that an author never subjugates story to exposition.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ???


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment for what he might have accomplished.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Auckland, New Zealand 03-23-13
    Chris Auckland, New Zealand 03-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A powerful narrative of an unhindered future"
    Would you listen to Red Mars again? Why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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!


    What does Richard Ferrone bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. R. Schuler MD United States 01-29-13
    L. R. Schuler MD United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2012

    flylofast

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
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    "Disapointing"
    Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Richard Ferrone?

    Probably not


    If you’ve listened to books by Kim Stanley Robinson before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Ferrone?

    Anyone


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip CALGARY, Alberta, Canada 12-24-12
    Phillip CALGARY, Alberta, Canada 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    "Epic Storytelling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Red Mars to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Mars?

    I really enjoyed the dervish dance and the comet.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Ferrone – was your favorite?

    Ferrone did a great job with all of the characters, he has a Patrick Warburton vocal set and was able to differentiate the voices well enough that there was no confusion as to who was talking.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The comet, don't want to spoil it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like a good long story use a credit to buy it because of the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john 12-06-12
    john 12-06-12
    ratings
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    3
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    "great story"
    What did you love best about Red Mars?

    excellent story! great characters, and the author has obviously spent a lot of time researching Mars


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Richard Ferrone?

    yes, although he really only has good voices for Coyote and Frank Chalmers, and sometimes loses the voice he's doing mid-sentence. However, he does read with some enthusiasm, and keeps the story entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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