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Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 1997

3.6 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Mars Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Red Mars, the kickoff to Robinson's epic Mars trilogy, won the Nebula for best SF novel of 1992; its follow-up, Green Mars, won the parallel Hugo for 1994. The conclusion to the saga is not unlike the terrain of Robinson's Red Planet: fertile and fully developed in some spots, vast and arid in others?but, ultimately, it's an impressive achievement. Using the last 200 years of American history as his template for Martian history, Robinson projects his tale of Mars's colonization from the 21st century, in which settlers successfully revolt against Earth, into the next century, when various interests on Mars work out their differences on issues ranging from government to the terraforming of the planet and immigration. Sax Russell, Maya Toitovna and others reprise their roles from the first two novels, but the dominant "personality" is the planet itself, which Robinson describes in exhaustive naturalistic detail. Characters look repeatedly for sermons in its stones and are nearly overwhelmed by textbook abstracts on the biological and geological minutiae of their environment. Not until the closing chapters, when they begin confronting their mortality, does the human dimension of the story balance out its awesome ecological extrapolations. Robinson's achievement here is on a par with Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Herbert's Dune, even if his clinical detachment may leave some readers wondering whether there really is life on Mars. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This third book in Robinson's hard-science Mars trilogy follows 1992 Nebula winner Red Mars (LJ 11/15/92) and 1994 Hugo winner Green Mars (LJ 3/15/94). In the 21st century, colonists almost succeed in terraforming Mars. While they fight for independence from Earth and attempt to avert a civil war, they find their new civilization threatened by an ice age. A well-written, thoughtful conclusion to the trilogy. Highly recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mars Trilogy
  • Mass Market Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (June 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553573357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573350
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He is the author of eleven previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica--for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers' Program. He lives in Davis, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the most impressive ongoing hard science fiction epics of recent years is Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. Red Mars won the Nebula award, Green Mars and Blue Mars each won the Hugo.
Robinson has tried to portray, in considerable detail, the story of the colonization and terraforming of Mars, beginning in 2027 and continuing for some 200 years. He has worked hard to get the science right, and to this reader, it is very real-seeming, impressive and interesting. It must be admitted, though, that he made some errors. Robinson himself has admitted to fudging the time scale of terraformation (compressing maybe 1000 years of likely effort to 200 years) in order to keep the story at a human scale. In addition there were certain annoying thermodynamic errors, and some aerodynamic silliness. I also took issue with his large reliance on nearly autonomous machines; and with the somewhat handwaving and near-miraculous introduction of radical life-extension technology (this last being in part another strategy to keep the story "human-scale", as it allows him to have some characters survive the entire trilogy).)
Red Mars told the story of the initial colonization of Mars, first by the "First Hundred", a joint Russian-American expedition, then by Earth-dominated, mostly corporate-controlled colonists who followed to build on the efforts of the "First Hundred". It ended with an unsuccessful revolution against Earth's domination of Mars. The Red in its title referred to the pristine, unmodified, planet. Green Mars advanced the story of Mars' colonization, introducing many second- and third-generation characters, and ended in a generally successful revolution which established Martian independence.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Blue Mars is Kim Stanley Robinson's final, and lengthiest, installment that concludes the Mars terraforming adventure. The First Hundred are nearly 200 years of age (and will grow older by book's end), and Mars's surface slowly begins to bubble with liquid.

In Green Mars, Robinson took the reader back to Earth. He gave us a first-hand look at the population explosion and the rising seas, while introducing us to Art and his philosophically autocratic employer. Robinson returns to Earth in the third book, this time taking Nirgal, the super-athletic Martian, Maya, Michel, and Sax. A volcanic eruption beneath the Antarctic ice sheet melts half of the White Continent and raises the sea level by 23 feet around the entire globe. Our heroes arrive to Terra Aqua where the aboveground political activities and adventures through underwater cities create a starkly contrasting but pleasant digression from the pseudo-hygrophilous forests and dry lichens of Mars. (Unrelated, a 1955 astronomy text proves that scientists at the time thought dark patches on Mars were created by lichen growing on the surface!)

The inception of human-manipulated hydrometeorology began in Red Mars with the atmospheric collision of an ice asteroid. 1140 pages later, in Part 7 of Blue Mars, Sax, Nadia, and fellow scientists focus their cognitive energies on creating, controlling, fighting against, or sustaining what would eventually become oceans, gulfs, bays, seas and lakes, all of which are mostly located in the northern hemisphere. The disputes and ultimate agreements (reluctant acquiescence) between the environmentalists and the terraformers rivals the frustrations from the earlier two novels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While Red Mars was a strong stand-alone novel about the first settlers of the Red Planet, Green Mars and Blue Mars really need to be read together. For example, several of the main characters who took up so much space in Green Mars without actually contributing anything finally find significance in Blue Mars. There are also strong continuities of plot and theme, especially in the way that the second half of Green flows into the first half of Blue. While Green took forever to get going, Blue starts considerably stronger before fading into Robinson�s now-familiar descriptions of Martian scenery that can be described as either breath-taking or interminable depending on your point of view. In fact, the greatest weakness of Blue is that feeling that we�ve seen it all before. After the thousand-odd pages that make up the first two volumes, readers might be hungry for some variety, a few surprise plot twists, a technical tour-de-force of some kind, but instead it�s pretty much business as usual on Mars, with the same (now aged) characters often grinding the same metaphorical axes. The murder mystery and sexual tension that drove Red has completely dissipated, and Robinson�s attempts along these lines in Blue seem spurious, if not downright silly. Readers who loved Green as much as Red will surely find this book rewarding enough, but those who didn�t feel Green was quite up to snuff won�t find anything special in Blue.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having thouroghly enjoyed Robinson's superb storytelling and characterisation in Red and Green Mars, I was bitterly disappointed to find that Blue Mars is at best a brave but failed experiment. With an almost total absence of plot and character interaction in such a long book, it took me great determination to finish this third and final part of the trilogy. Perhaps Robinson was attempting to convey, in the form of what almost amounts to a 'tone poem' the melancholy decline of his characters while Mars itself finally blooms into a life-filled planet. Praise is due to the author for not simply repeating a formula in any of the books and attempting to develop his characters and future world in a more complex and mature manner, but Blue Mars will stretch any reader's patience and staying power. Perhaps it is best to stop reading the saga at Green Mars triumphant and optimistic conclusion. Even Robinson's previous convincing scientific extrapolations seem both unadventurous (the prospect of possible life on Europa and Titan's promising organic atmospheric are never explored) and insufficient to support such a long novel. A beautifully written book, but with no dramatic content.
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