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The Empress of Mars Audiobook

The Empress of Mars

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Publisher's Summary

When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits, and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet - only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars.

This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It's also the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan; of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another company entirely - all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world. But Mary and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.

Based on the Hugo-nominated novella of the same name, this is a rollicking novel of action, planetary romance, and high adventure.

©2009 Kage Baker (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Most writers’ alternate universes are fun to visit, but Kage Baker’s is one I wouldn’t mind moving to: the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs... seen through the eyes of a writer far more poetic, vastly more scientifically literate, and with an infinitely superior sense of humor. Even as science-fictional taverns go, the Empress of Mars is memorable, a joint I hope I’ll be able to return to many times.” (Spider Robinson)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (279 )
5 star
 (100)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (251 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (250 )
5 star
 (103)
4 star
 (84)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Sverre Bangkok, Thailand 12-23-13
    Sverre Bangkok, Thailand 12-23-13 Member Since 2014

    a can read person

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plesant interesting book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Empress of Mars to be better than the print version?

    The Woman reading this book is very good, very plesant, and it really made for a good read.


    What other book might you compare The Empress of Mars to and why?

    I read this book just after finishing the Mars Triology (Kim Stanley Robinson), and this book was a nice alternative universe for Mars. Not the NASA version but the British emperial version.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "A Beer on Mars"


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the book was longer, or that more books in same universe would follow. I really liked many of the characters, and the tone of the book. I am used to bigh thick books, and this one did feel a bit thin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy 08-12-13
    Peggy 08-12-13 Listener Since 2009

    dragonfire393

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story, good characters"

    I really enjoyed this book......it is not the space opera type. I found the story plausible and the character interesting. Going to check now to see if there is a sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff Redondo Beach, CA, USA 03-27-13
    Geoff Redondo Beach, CA, USA 03-27-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Short, simple, light-hearted and fun"

    This is not an overly complex book, and you can kinda guess based on the title and the tone of the story how things are going to turn out, but it's still a fun ride.

    It's pretty much your typical story of the people versus The Corporation. The Corporation is the group that started the Mars colony, and the people are the colonists who always get the short end of the stick when the Corporation decides it needs to improve the balance sheets. And first amongst the people is Mary Griffith, proprietor of the only bar on Mars.

    The book is also set at some undetermined point in the future where Christianity is on the down and out and Organized paganism is now the popular religion. (Which might seem like a good thing depending on your personal beliefs, but as usual it seems that there's very little good about a religion that getting Organized can't fix.) It seems like there may be some tie-ins to other books she's written, but since this is the first book of hers i've read i can't be certain of that.

    It turns out that Organized pagans frown on intoxicants and it seems that beer (and thus bars) are illegal in a lot of places on Earth and aren't looked at too fondly on Mars either.. On top of that as the story progresses Mary and her unusual friends and patrons become more and more of an impediment to the Corporation's goals.

    The conflict isn't all light and cheery, there is some drama and tragedy, but one gets the feeling that one way or another Mary is going to come out on top in the end, and the fun is in seeing how exactly that will be accomplished.

    As for the performance of the book, it's quite well done. This is one of the few cases where a strong accent for one of the characters seems appropriate, perhaps because the character in question is such an outsider, and yes, because the language difficulties are sometimes used for comic relief.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 02-16-13
    Simone 02-16-13 Member Since 2016

    Follow me on Goodreads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I was not in the right "Head Space" for this one"

    I loved Kage Baker’s “Garden of Iden” so much, I was eager to read more!

    Sadly, I did not enjoy this story as much – it felt too jumbled to me and I had a hard time keeping it all straight. I liked the main schemes in the book (the development of space, colonizing planets, terraforming Mars), but the multitude of storylines confused me and I never really learned who was who, who wanted to do what, and what the purpose of certain plots were all about… like the blue bees for example: I didn’t get it.

    I still can’t figure Mr Cochevelou out and who the Hell was Vespucci again??? I guess I was not in the right mood. Too bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Kreed The Rockies 12-11-12
    S. Kreed The Rockies 12-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "little guy v. conglomerate"
    If you could sum up The Empress of Mars in three words, what would they be?

    Dust, wind, and people. Even in the harsh environment of Mars, people are people everywhere. Great characters, nice twist at the end, excellent reader.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ottarino Vespucci, the poor little rich boy with the serious Wild West fantasy obsession. In spite of being a loon, he was a caring and creative person who made life work for him the way he wanted it.


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    She made the characters come alive and didn't overpronounce any words.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I enjoyed this story of the little guy in difficult circumstances pitted against the big inflexible conglomerate. There were some excellent plot twists that I did not see coming.


    Any additional comments?

    Great space western with women in some of the important roles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Lueder Los Alamos, NM USA 07-31-12
    Arthur Lueder Los Alamos, NM USA 07-31-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reminds Me Of Early Heinlein"

    Made me nostalgic for some of the first SciFi I read back in my youth.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald fitchburg, WI, United States 05-27-12
    Gerald fitchburg, WI, United States 05-27-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic... Just Classic"
    Would you listen to The Empress of Mars again? Why?

    This is a wonderful character driven sci-fi that in many ways feels like Heinlein's work. This is a wonderful little novel. Really... this is worth the credit.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eliza 03-04-13
    Eliza 03-04-13 Member Since 2010

    thoughtful reader/listener/viewer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Loaded with quirky characters"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The way characters frequently held conversations that should have been confidential in loud voices in public places really stretched credulity--that's a lot of naive characters!


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I'd have made the plot a little less dependent on loose talk.


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

    Character voices/accents are fun.


    Did The Empress of Mars inspire you to do anything?

    Stay on earth.


    Any additional comments?

    It was still fun to see how it all worked out. I did come to care about the characters and their outcomes, so overall--a success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 11-29-12
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Competent"

    Author Kage Baker creates a fully imagined, logical world peopled with colorful characters. Listening, especially during the cold season, you can almost imagine yourself being there. On the down side, the characters do not change or develop. Rather than building, the conflict tends to bump along, occasionally breaking down like one of the dust-covered vehicles that roam the settlements. Everything comes together in the end, as expected, but the journey benefits from some fast-forwarding through the repetitive problems the characters encounter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ginger 11-21-12
    ginger 11-21-12 Member Since 2010

    Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Highly Imaginative, yet Lacks Excitement"

    Listening to the author's description of the civilization that was built on Mars is intriguing, imaginative, and interesting. Select citizens of Earth have wound up on Mars for various reasons and are trying to hash out the best lives they can with what they have to work with there - where the environment is lacking what is needed to survive and and the atmosphere is quite brutal. The author conjures up some very detailed images of their establishments and traveling systems necessary for the residents of Mars. This novel was interesting and off to a solid start. However, I just couldn't get into the story. Not a lot was happening and i eventually lost interest in the book. One of the most eventful occurrances mid story was when a farm animal had significant trouble in the Mars travel system (vaguely speaking). This just did not cut it for me. I struggled to get through the majority of this novel. It was well written, had a solid foundation, and a lot of potential, so I am still giving it 3 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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