So Robinson does some really cool and interesting things in here. Exploring ideas about political systems, economic systems, the need for people to be educated in many disciplines, and then goes on and makes some cool insights regarding the self and how we change over time and under pressure. However there are some real big trouble spots in this narrative. The author hates for people to interact and often one is reading about how one person feels while out in a wilderness, and is contemplating every leaf and lichen and it all adds up to squat. This happens again and again. So if you want to read a travel essay about a fictitious mars than this is for you. Now this story is best when the first hundred get to interact and I say the first hundred because all of the other characters even special exothermic Nirgel are left to do and contribute nothing to the story. In fact there isnt much of a story here. Red Mars is brilliant. Green mars is pretty good, and blue mars needs some help.