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The Empress of Mars | [Kage Baker]

The Empress of Mars

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. Mary Griffith and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, 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 (243 )
5 star
 (90)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (219 )
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (218 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 11-29-12
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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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
    23
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    33
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    5
    6
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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
  •  
    SoCalBonnie Southern California 11-10-12
    SoCalBonnie Southern California 11-10-12 Listener Since 2008

    Huntress of Dirty Socks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A fun romp through the Martian wastes!"
    If you could sum up The Empress of Mars in three words, what would they be?

    Colorful droll intelligent


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Empress of Mars?

    The conversation between Mary Griffith, Mother Willow and Mother Glenda. Inspired commentary on the neo-puritanism that may be found in any religion (or in any social movement)!


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    This gal nails every character perfectly. Wonderful voice, wonderful talent, wonderful performance. I especially liked her rendering of Mr. De Wit, as well as Ottorino's translation device.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    One of Baker's works that can easily be overlooked as merely a ScFy adventure story, but which is really much, much more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thijis 10-28-12
    Thijis 10-28-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beer Brewer's on Mars!"
    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    MARS. Going Boldly Where No Brewer Has Gone Before.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this stand alone book. It was smart, clever and funny too. That helps when listening to a book. It helps that the Narrator was well spoken and her voice didn't gain high pitches. There are not many book about Mars that are not just straight science fiction. (yes i realize this is one) but it felt plausible. Plus its got beer brewer's! Completely enjoyed this book. I recommend it to anyone with a feel for sci-fi and a sense of British humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. M. Cracraft Portland, OR, USA 06-18-12
    G. M. Cracraft Portland, OR, USA 06-18-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    67
    3
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    Story
    "Engaging Frontier Story"
    Would you listen to The Empress of Mars again? Why?

    Yes to pick up on detail that I'm sure I missed the first time through.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the driver's, their characters and mission.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom DOVER, PA, United States 08-24-11
    Tom DOVER, PA, United States 08-24-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "A Fun Book"

    The time is in the future but parents still have issues with kids and people are still looking to make deals. Some interesting characters out there in space, a little rough around the edges but with good intentions and spirit, almost like the early pioneers of Australia.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Seattle, WA, United States 10-11-12
    Alan Seattle, WA, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "Great ideas with little character interest."
    What would have made The Empress of Mars better?

    While there are several interesting characters in the story, I don't feel I got enough to really care about any of them or their aspirations.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kage Baker again?

    Yes. This is only the first of her works I've tried. I'll give another one a try.


    Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber – was your favorite?

    Ottorino Vespucci, black sheep of a rich family with romantic notions about the Martian frontier based on Spaghetti Westerns.


    Any additional comments?

    This book reads like a collection of tales, published as individual short stories, which it may well be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 10-08-12
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 10-08-12 Member Since 2014

    Avid audiobook addict!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very average"

    Not a bad book, and somewhat interesting, but not gripping and compelling. I enjoy scifi short story anthologies more, so pleasant but bland stories like this can be easily skipped over.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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