Red Mars

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Overview

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 Toitovna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady...
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Overview

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 Toitovna, 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 an 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. The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planet's surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces - for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed. Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.

In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches; and for the genetic "alchemists, " it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first installment in Robinson's ( Blind Geometer ) new trilogy is an action-packed and thoughtful tale of the exploration and settlement of Mars--riven by both personal and ideological conflicts--in the early 21st century. The official leaders of the ``first hundred'' (initial party of settlers) are American Frank Chalmers and Russian Maya Katarina Toitova, but subgroups break out under the informal guidance of popular favorites like the ebullient Arkady Nikoleyevich Bogdanov, who sets up a base on one of Mars's moons, and the enigmatic Hiroko, who establishes the planet's farm. As the group struggles to secure a foothold on the frigid, barren landscape, friction develops both on Mars and on Earth between those who advocate terraforming, or immediately altering Mars's natural environment to make it more habitable, and those who favor more study of the planet before changes are introduced. The success of the pioneers' venture brings additional settlers to Mars. All too soon, the first hundred find themselves outnumbered by newcomers and caught up in political problems as complex as any found on Earth. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The first men and women to colonize Mars bring to their awesome task not only their unique skills but also their private hopes, ambitions, and fears. As the demands of the red planet are met and overcome, differences of opinion and struggles for leadership threaten to erupt into open warfare. This first volume in a trilogy by the author of Pacific Edge (Tor, 1990) elicits a sense of drama from the dynamic interplay of diverse characters as well as from the risks involved in creating a human habitat in an inhuman land. Generously blending hard science with canny insight into human strengths and weaknesses, this suspenseful sf saga should appeal to a wide range of readers. Highly recommended.
School Library Journal
YA-Red Mars seems to have emerged the favorite of all of the recent stories about a rocket trip to Mars, showing up on many science fiction awards lists. It describes the progress of the first Mars colonists from Earth as they are selected and trained, travel, get to know the planet, and establish the first viable human settlement there. Personalities are powerful, and inevitable divisions develop. In short, it's a terrific story. The science is fascinating, and the humans are engaging and convincing. Throughout, the plot grows out of a rich mixture of perspectives-ecological, political, economic, psychological, ethical-all of which resonate in the here and now. Though it is a complete novel in itself, Red Mars is also the first in a trilogy. Major new sci/fi epics don't come along every year; YAs should enjoy seeing this one unfold.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
First of a projected trilogy about the near-future colonization of Mars, from the author of Pacific Edge, Escape from Kathmandu, etc. Robinson's Mars is realistically cold, arid, and lifeless; and even before they reach the planet, his first hundred scientist- colonists are hotly debating how Mars should be terraformed. Each phase of the latter process is told from a different character's point of view, and thus Robinson constructs an intricate and fascinating mosaic of science and politics, love and betrayal, survival and discovery, murder and revolution. Among further complications: practical immortality, discovered by Martian scientists; the building of a space elevator; ice asteroids to pound the Martian crust, bringing water and thickening the atmosphere; vast Moholes excavated to tap vital heat from the core; and the ingenious creation of life forms genetically engineered to survive the harsh conditions. Yet the constantly intensifying struggle between Mars's idealists and Earth's transnational corporate exploiters makes revolution inevitable; and a handful of First Hundred survivors flee into the Martian wilderness, where other idealists have secretly prepared hidden sanctuaries. Despite the imposing density of the narrative, a novel of splendid characters in a brilliantly realized and utterly convincing setting. A pity about the overfamiliar colonization- exploitation-revolution plot cycle; still, for power, scope, depth, and detail, no other Martian epic comes close.
From the Publisher
"The best tale of space colonization--a lyrical, beautiful, accurate legend of the future by one of the best writers of our time."--David Brin
Library Journal
This title begins Kim Stanley Robinson’s monumental trilogy of terra¬forming Mars (continued in Green Mars and Blue Mars). Scientists and engineering colonists are sent to fulfill the destiny of humanity by making the Martian landscape habitable. Multiple characters narrate as they lead the mission, influenced by their rivalries and relationships, as well as the intense politics surrounding the ethics and opportunities of terraforming a planet.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007310166
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 129 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 129 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    A rarity these days: A book you cannot stop thinking about

    How long has it been since I started reading a book that pervades my thoughts while at work? While watching a television program? While reading a newspaper or magazine? Too long!

    In Red Mars, Mr Robinson's first of three novels about colonization of Mars that is fascinating, engaging, thrilling and completely captivating; it is epic in scope and concept. Make no mistake, this is hard science fiction. Within this world I have found exceptionally great character development, especially considering the genre; a realistic philosophical debate about the use of current and near future technology; and a world that is stunning.

    If you like sci-fi, get Red Mars and place it immediately on the top of your stack of must reads.

    Final thought: this will be a book I look forward to reading again.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Great story, characters, and realistic technology

    Well formatted on nook and an unbelieveable read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    Finnaly a writer who knows what to do!

    Like Asimov and Anthony, Robison puts the science into science fiction. With a cast of characters to rival any Altman film. And a setting equally as exotic as middle earth and more real. This is one of the best books ever written. It takes everyone of of the literary senses into overdrive. A fantastic book especially for those not to keen on science fiction.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Love AND hate this book

    The highs on this book are very high, conversely the lows are just as bad. I will start with the bad.

    The characters are just plain irrational idiots except when they are passionless robots and no one has a personality worth a darn. There is rarely a character worth caring about.

    The politics which Robinson loves to focus on are terrible and tedious and almost (ALMOST) make the book unreadable at times.

    However, the science is rock solid and at once completely fantastic. When Robinson sends one or another of his characters to explore the world or to actually work to solve a real problem scientists today must solve if we are to ever colonize Mars, the story gets mind-blowingly good, to the point where I just can't say enough good about it.

    The scenes described during exploration will stick with me forever and make me wish I could live long enough to see them myself.

    If I am being totally honest, the characters and politics are very likely an accurate depiction of what you would see if a group like NASA were to send 100 of the most qualified scientists and engineers to begin the colonization efforts on Mars. It doesn't mean I like reading about it but it does serve to make a reader like me enjoy the science and exploration side of the story even more.

    This is a book I both rant and rave about to my friends, and I am so glad I read the book and it's sequels (including The Martians - also by Robinson, set even farther in the future), and I would readily recommend this book to any hard science reader, even even if at times they all completely tick me off, the payoff in the end is worth it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    made u look

    Red Mars is an awsome, inspiring and is the most well researched book about Mars to date. By itself it is one of the most compelling books that i have ever read, but combined with Blue Mars and Green Mars, makes the greatest Sci Fi trilogy ever written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Imagine the possibilities - especially with the current Mars rover missions! This book is a must read.

    Was not sure what to expect...however this book has turned out to be surprising good so far. Intend to get the next in the series.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Definitely A Good Read!

    I started this book, unsure of what to expect, and I can say it's definitely become a favorite. It's very interesting, and brilliantly describes the Martian landscape. The characters are engaging, and very interesting to read and see how the interactions change.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not for action seekers

    I typically enjoy things more on the fantasy side of scifi these days, but this was a long book, which I enjoy, and had decent reviews. Unfortunately it turned out that I really should've avoided this book. It's heavy on politics and detail, and very light on action. I will compliment Robinson on the detail. It's just amazing that someone did the amount of research required to write this book, and make no mistake Robinson is a great author. I just didn't like the story he wrote in this case. I won't avoid other books by Robinson, but my exploration of Mars ends with this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    for a specific audience

    Unfortunately, this book sacrifices engagement and involvement with the characters for a gritty, realistic scientific treatise. We want to care about the characters more than it is possible to do--given that at times we find several pages of carefully detailed technological and scientific exposition between even the smallest interactions. Mr. Robinson seems to lack interest in the inner world of his characters--hence the lack of development and complexity other reviewers noted. Very disappointing, unless you are seeking exactly what is here--a very techie exploration into what might or might not work in colonizing a harsh alien climate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    Excellent

    Excellent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Very Good

    This book was eye opening and with such wonderful details and imagery. I reccommend this to anyone interested in politics, science, space or just a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Very Boring

    I didn't finish it. I forced myself more then 3/4ths of the way through and then just couldn't go further. There are only a handful of books that I've done that with and I'm in my late 30's. Seriously, even when I hate a book I am compelled to finish it.

    This book reads like a future history book, only a boring one. I like history books! When Mars is colonized I'm sure it will look and feel exactly like this book portrays it. Political, back-stabbing, greedy normal human endeavors that begin as science but after get a charismatic political face it becomes all about exploitation and money.

    Give me books with alien viruses, secret abandon million year old Mars cities, plot twists Of Any Kind - you know not something so Boring!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Hard sci-fi at its best!

    The first and in my opinion best of his three book series. Engaging characters (Frank was my favorite) and great plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    O.o

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    the first of three of the finest works of scifi i've read

    they don't just hand out hugo and nebula awards to anyone and after reading all three books in this series it is obvious why so many regard this trilogy as the epitome of science fiction or just plain fiction for that matter. it just doesn't get any better than this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Matt

    Go to the sight resault 2

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    R.J.

    sucks on her nip<_>ples

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Jessica

    R.J...*she whispers in a moan*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Sam

    Two artificial ecosystems lay in a small indent in the ground.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Cali

    Headsto her lodge

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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