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 book that everyone should read. It's simply amazing so much more than a sci-fi novel! It's not really about humans colonising Mars, it's about humanity trying to reinvent itself, and to break out of old norms and ways of thinking.
This the first Robinson I've read/heard. Enjoyed the style and detail. I always order narrators that bring multiple voices, and the nationalities in here would make it much more dynamic.
This is an interesting story of humanity colony on Mars. What happens when people try to colonize a new land. Humans are humans we always will be. This is a story of the struggles the perseverance the personalities and the endurance
A soap opera set on Mars. This was the second Kim Stanley Robinson novel I have attempted, and the second that will be left half read. Maybe if you enjoy drama and cattyness in interpersonal relationships and no other plot, you might find some small amount of enjoyment from this barely readable work of garbage.
Overall i found the format of the story to be very hard to grasp. its written from the perspective of different people but not sequentially. so to give an example without spoilers, its like writing from person 1's perspective over the course of 2 years, then writing from person 2's perspective for 5 years, then person 3 for 4 years.
so at one point you are many years into the stay on mars then snapped back many years.
i also found it very confusing that the book starts off with a 'scene' that basically takes place MUCH later int he book.
i had to listen to the first few chapters a couple times to really let the story form in my minds eye. Once you get past the writing style which is not really my cup of tea, the story is actually not too bad. I was hoping for a decent hard science fiction book, but found that while it had its moments it wasn't was i was hoping for. its not really 'magical' or fantasy science by any means, but there are technologies just put in the story with little info about them.
Overall i have enjoyed the book now that im almost done with it but it was a hard read. i almost quit on it a couple times, but im glad i kept pushing through.
Im still undecided as to if i will continue with the series.
The narration was great. The story can drag a little at times and its a lot like reading several books as once as the story is told from the perspective of many different characters. It can be difficult to keep going through some parts as the character of focus can be one you don't feel great about. Overall it was a great read if you are interested in Mars and space and more grounded sci-fi.
When I read the previous reviews of this book I thought twice about downloading, many of them criticised the narrator. A bad narrator can ruin even the greatest books. However I decided to download it and give it a try and it was fantastic. I really can't see what the other reviewers were talking about, the narrator was excellent. He manages to inject just the right amount of emotion into his performance without making it hammy, his characterisations were spot on, and his speed of delivery was perfect. I'll certainly be buying more from this narrator.
The story itself was exciting and thrilling, fast moving with just the right amount of tension and suspense. Part epic adventure, part colonial survival and part detective story, this was a great book. I'm just about to download the next instalment.
I note that it is highly rated by many people but I found it over-long with stereotypical characters one couldn't empathise with. The book is often commended for its well researched detail but the amount of detail acts as padding and gets in the way of the story - an encyclopaedia may have lots of well researched detail but that doesn't make it a good novel.
"Epic scope, pedestrian delivery"
Let's start with the positives: the audio production of this recording is excellent and the narrator is top notch.
The book itself is epic in scope and tells the story of the settlement and terraforming of Mars in great detail. As far as I can ascertain, the author's research is impeccable and the descriptions of Martian geography and scientific processes are inspired.
So, what's the problem?
Well, there's the length, and there's the pace of the story. Even if it were only half its current length, this would be a big book. To sustain such a long narrative, you would hope for interesting characters, lively prose and plenty of incident and excitement. Sadly, all of these ingredients are absent.
The story unfolds at a glacial pace and the author studiously avoids anything approaching adventure. There are storms, but everyone survives them without too much difficulty. There are many journeys, all of them long, during which little or nothing happens. A mystery is solved in a dull and perfuctory fashion.
Events do finally take a more interesting turn in the final third of the book, but even so, there is too little danger and too much talk.
The prose is functional and competent but nothing more. The characters are flat and two-dimensional and given to delivering set speeches on scientific and political topics. Many of the minor characters seem to be there solely to provide information dumps.
There is plenty of New Age philosophising and cross-cultural apologetics along the way, all of which is no doubt very worthy, but this listener soon tired of it and longed for something interesting to happen. Some sections of this book sound like an attempt at dramatising whole articles from Wikipedia.
So: a long book which is well read and which has some fascinating scientific detail, but which offers little in the way of excitement or interesting characterisation.
I love science fiction, but I'm afraid that I found 'Red Mars' very dull.
"Epic. very long but worth it! "
very long but worth it! Thought provoking while being enjoyably. so many different aspects, philosophies and ideas combined into one great narrative.
The books flits about from one (of the many characters) to another without going into depth and allowing you the chance to empathise. This makes their petty squabbles as to how the planet should be handled irrelevant to the reader. You never really get to understand the reasoning behind each characters stand point only their actions as to what they will do to protect their way of thinking. I also bought the sequels Green and Blue - and it doesn't get any better or more interesting.
Promised much but never delivered this book was so slow I gave up on it as not worth the time to listen
Was great at every point and gave a varied look at what life would be like on mars and how it develops.
Though it very fall on and takes a while to get through
"Great performance from Richard Ferrone"
I've read this trilogy many times ranking it as one of the best works of SF. I wanted to see if I could enjoy hearing this story through an audiobook. I was a new way of rediscovering the lives of Sax, Maya, John, Nadia, etc...
I greatly enjoyed this format and Richard does an outstanding job in narrating with passion and consistency. Recommended.
"Colonisation of mars part 1"
If the first colonists of mars don't read these books first, then they will be on mars un prepared for life there, its like this unready is in kims mind, an easy listen loved description of Arabian culture in ch 1 and how arabs took to mars a cold day in barren quarter!!! Excellent
Im not sure what the 5 stars reviews were on about. I thought it was just terrible with the performance being among the poorest I have listened to. :-(
"Great audiobook, chaotic story"
I've decided to read Red Mars after hearing it is being made into a TV Series. The story is chaotic and strange, sometimes naive and unbelievable, characyers are strange and hard to like. The second half was better though.
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