Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is well-regarded by SF fans, but it didn't really live up to the hype for me, though it's an excellent entry in th..Show More »e hard SF genre. Robinson's prose is not as lyrical as Ray Bradbury's, but it's not as dry as Ben Bova's either. Red Mars seems to synthesize elements from all of Robinson's predecessors — it's a Heinleinesque adventure at times, with hard SF infodumps, but actual characters, and shout-outs to every author who's ever touched Mars, including Burroughs.
Red Mars is the tale of the first Martian colony, and covers a couple of generations of history. The "First Hundred" who established the original settlement become larger-than-life, almost mythical figures to those who follow after them, but as Mars begins to be taken over by political and economic factions bringing old issues of exploitation and oppression (followed by resistance and terrorism) from Earth, the Hundred are just as conflicted and prone to squabbling and working at cross-purposes as all the other settlers.
Early on, there is a huge debate over terraforming Mars, eventually becoming a conflict between the "Reds" and the "Greens." Eventually other cultures arrive on Mars and have their own ideas of what it means to be a Martian settler. Muslims make up a substantial segment of the population, as do Russians and other nationalities, all wanting to have an equal stake in Martian society.
The ending shows the surviving members of the Hundred witnessing what happens after decades of emigration and development on Mars, with much of what has been built up brought down by an uprising among the children of Mars.
If you are a space exploration geek, and especially if you are one of those who still dreams of a Mars expedition in our lifetime, then Red Mars may fire you up with a realistic view of what emigration to Mars might actually look like. It is almost certainly not an accurate picture of what will actually happen, should we ever get that far, but it's a realistic picture of what could happen.
I give this book 4 stars for being one of the best Mars books out there, but not 5 stars, because the story and the characters just did not grab me enough to wonder, "What happens next?"
Richard Ferrone returns w/ another performance almost devoid of emotion and conviction. But the book makes up for it. Great story, believable predicti..Show More »ons of the future of economics, and a Terran disaster actually considered one of the worst case scenarios governments worry about. Although there is a lot of hippy-dippy stuff, and some fuzzy ancient history, which bug me, but those are short lived irritations that don't detract from the story. My on;y real issue is all my favorite characters were killed off in the first book.
As is the previous 2 books, Ferrone's performance has no emotion or enthusiasm. The only real problem with this book is when it jumps forward in time,..Show More » it doesn't tell you the date. It covers over a century, jumping decades at a time, without tell the reader/listener where you are.