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Red Mars (Mars Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“Absorbing . . . a scientifically informed imagination of rare ambition at work.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous . . . a high-water mark in novels of Earth emigration.”—The Washington Post Book World
- ASIN : B000QCS914
- Publisher : Spectra; Reprint edition (May 27, 2003)
- Publication date : May 27, 2003
- Language : English
- File size : 2681 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 594 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,557 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author spends pages and pages describing features of the planet that no one cares about and has nothing to do with the story. There's a page long list of equipment!!! Who cares!?!?! How does that even advance the story? I suppose if I were going to Mars, I now know what to bring - but I didn't buy this book for a planetary explorer shopping list.
The characters are pathetically stereotypical with the golly-gee-wiz good guy John, the machiavellian "bad" guy Frank who wants John's girl, the oh-so-indecisive girl Maya who loves whomever the wind is blowing toward (or whoever manages to stay alive), and on and on. Empty shells - every last one of them. The true enemy, corporate interests, is this amorphously vague construct that isn't well-defined or expressed.
The action is sparse - despite the book's lead off - and confusing. The author simply notes it in passing and may describe the architecture of the missile or its trajectory in more studious detail than its impact on humanity. The parts you want to hear more about, such as an entire futuristic battle on the Martian surface, are vaguely described while the dimensions, color, texture, and clarity of a hunk of ice gets two pages of detail.
As entertainment, I imagine some engineers may like this or anyone pedantic enough to suffer through multiple pages describing fictional geology. As for me, I can't imagine having to read two more of these books. I'd rather read a geology textbook and learn some "real" science.
All in all a good book - IF YOU WANT TO FALL ASLEEP. How in the world did he get a Hugo award for this!?! I gave it two stars - one because the science and setting are interesting - though overly boringly described. The other for using corporate exploitation as a source of conflict to advance the story. But the lack of depth of the characters and too much depth to things no one cares about almost had me giving up on this even after having trudged half way through it.
My advice: SKIP THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TO PRESCRIPTION SLEEP AIDES.
To be fair, there was a little of this discussed. Unfortunately, the book derails into political arguments, psychological ramblings and inter-colony backstabbing and holy crap I could not be less interested. I’m too old and have too much other stuff to read to force my way through this.
The author of Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson, clearly did the necessary homework to displace the reader from our natural environment and deposit us deep into the vast desert-like terrain of Mars. The multicultural facets explored along the way, and their inclusion into the martian mindset, make this a work of SciFi artistry.
While a bit drawn out, the perseverant reader will walk away from Red Mars with his head held high, a mouthful of Martian dust, and a deeper understanding of what it is to tackle a completely alien world and redefine it in only a way humans might.
A very good read for the dedicated, hardcore Science Fiction enthusiast.
Top reviews from other countries
I note in passing that KSR (who is great, by the way - I heard him talk a few years ago and he's marvellous on climate change and politics) can imagine people moving to Mars without either nation-states or capitalism coming to an end...lots of the stuff on Mars is supplied by familiar corporations, though the big names that dominate our lives now - Google, Amazon, etc are of course not there. Prediction is hard, especially about the future.
All I can say to add to this is that this book, this trilogy, opened my mind to subjects I had not considered, to psychological personas and political considerations not open to me before. Its almost psychic in its ability to discern future trends.
It is ahead of its time by a wide margin, only now are the technologies described coming into use, the politics and the environmental disasters into existence, what an insight.
The writing has excellent storytelling which makes you want to turn the page. Its a beautiful, uncomfortable and very logical insight into what may happen in the future.
Al I can do is recommend it to everyone.
A key theme and one of great interest is how society will evolve given what is in effect a clean canvas. But how much baggage are we importing from our Earthly culture? What of those primitive instincts we harbour? KSR goes a long way in speculating on these questions. I was rather sorry to see all the progress made in colonising Mars go up in smoke as the `Terrans`, ( a rather apt sounding word for the powers back on Earth), want to step up mineral exploitation amidst rebellion from the Martians. However KSR manages his own veering from utopian into dystopian without too much disruption and with some fascinating calamitous occurrences although the plot did seem to evaporate a bit towards the end.