In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death
Recommended if you like Ender's Game
Showing 1-4 of the 4 most recent reviews
1 . Stick with it.
Posted August 20, 2009 by Lou Robinson , Claremore, OKAlthough long and generously detailed, the story is excellent and prods a technical mind with numerous ideas of how to make the whole thing work.
2 . Takes a long time to get to the real story.
Posted July 07, 2009 by Jean , WaterlooThis book about the colonization of Mars is quite technical and has interesting descriptions of such at times, but it goes on for too much of the time. There are several interesting characters in this book that I hope to follow in the next book.The story line really picked up in the last third of the book. I think the only reason I stayed with it so long is because I truly loved Robinson's Years of Rice and Salt. Will read the follow-up books.
3 . Dissappointing
Posted March 25, 2009 by Ken Saunders , Urbana ILThis book is good if you want to learn about all the technical concerns of colonizing Mars, but if you read science fiction for entertainment like me it is disappointing. It is long and boring for those of us looking for entertainment. Still I downloaded it for free so nothing is lost except the large amount of time it takes to read it.
4 . Interesting but tedious
Posted December 15, 2008 by Joe , Huntsville, ALThis is a book about a group of first settlers to Mars. It is set in the relatively near future and is very optimistic about the state of our space program at that time. It also presumes marked advancement in robotics and seems to trivialize setting up major industrial operations with just a relative handful of people. The narrative gets a bit tedious at times with prolonged descriptions of the geography, terrain, climate, etc. However, the story is catching and you'll want to keep reading to see how it comes out. Unfortunately, you will have to proceed on to the next book in the series (Green Mars) to get some of the answers. If you have plenty of time and like space sagas, you will enjoy this book.
May 26, 2003
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Excerpt from Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Mars was empty before we came. That's not to say that nothing had ever happened. The planet had accreted, melted, roiled and cooled, leaving a surface scarred by enormous geological features: craters, canyons, volcanoes. But all of that happened in mineral unconsciousness, and unobserved. There were no witnesses -- except for us, looking from the planet next door, and that only in the last moment of its long history. We are all the consciousness that Mars has ever had.
Now everybody knows the history of Mars in the human mind: how for all the generations of prehistory it was one of the chief lights in the sky, because of its redness and fluctuating intensity, and the way it stalled in its wandering course through the stars, and sometimes even reversed direction. It seemed to be saying something with all that. So perhaps it is not surprising that all the oldest names for Mars have a peculiar weight on the tongue -- Nirgal, Mangala, Auqakuh, Harmakhis -- they sound as if they were even older than the ancient languages we find them in, as if they were fossil words from the Ice Age or before. Yes, for thousands of years Mars was a sacred power in human affairs; and its color made it a dangerous power, representing blood, anger, war and the heart.