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)
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.
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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.
I never read the print version
I really enjoyed the dervish dance and the comet.
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.
The comet, don't want to spoil it.
If you like a good long story use a credit to buy it because of the price.
excellent story! great characters, and the author has obviously spent a lot of time researching Mars
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.
This is a scrupulously realistic take on what the colonization of Mars could look like, with a lot of impressive ideas. Despite my poor rating, I am glad I read it, since it has definitely had an impact on my thinking about how such an endeavor would work.
That said, it really wasn't entertaining. It's very detailed, which I ordinarily like, but not when there seems to be nothing but detail and scarcely any plot. After more than 20 hours into it, I decided I didn't particularly care how it ended and moved on to something else.
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