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)
Very slow start but loved the end. Can't wait to listen to the next one. If you like hard science fiction then this is it.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
Red mars is a great piece of writing, which at times would have benefited by concentrating on a tighter timeframe.
Really enjoyed the story line and the creative approaches taken towards colonization etc...
Having said that... the narrator really killed it for me. The story was good enough to slog through the narrator. It really felt like he was reading it, instead of "telling" it, he also had some very odd pronunciation choices that persisted through the book and took me out of the story each time. Maybe i'm overly particular on that point, but I suggested this book to more that one person with the caveat that they should read it and avoid the audio production.
Red Mars probably ranks among my five all-time favorites. I actually read the whole Mars Trilogy some years ago and wanted to visit that world again, without having to sit and read. The audiobook was the perfect way to do that.
Boy, that's a tough one! I'm a big fan of Kim Stanley Robinson. He definitely writes hard science fiction, not space opera, though his characters are terrific, as well. He also has a beautiful, well-defined philosophy. If you mixed any of the books from David Brin's uplift series with a little Ursula K. Le Guin, you might come out with something akin to the Mars Trilogy, though Robinson's trilogy is set closer to our own time.
Ferrone has a lovely, rich voice, but one that doesn't impose itself on the story. He also has a wonderful clarity, something important when the material includes scientific explanations of story events. He manages to convey complex ideas in a completely understandable voice. I've listened to quite a few sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks, some read by their own authors, and Ferrone is one of the best narrators.
Tired of Earth's problems? Start fresh on Mars!
Red Mars is a must-read title in science fiction. This audiobook is a good way to read it.
It is a long story, where not much happens. The details are impressive, the scientific imagination as well and documentation amazed me often, but despites iincredible efforts, the charachters are... plainly stupid. Nothing like the brilliant scientists and astute politicians they are supposed to be. While other characters seems amazed by their doing, the depiction of those actions seem very basic, not very smart, so not much to be amazed of. So there is definitely a flaw in the story. As per the narrator, his narrative tune emphasizes this feeling of naivity in all key players actions. But still that remains a fantastic piece of sci fi work, just be patient as it can take ages to develop and action, and you really wonder often...
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
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.
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