Red Mars

Red Mars

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel • Discover the novel that launched one of science fiction’s most beloved, acclaimed, and awarded trilogies: Kim Stanley Robinson’s masterly near-future chronicle of interplanetary colonization.
For centuries, the barren, desolate landscape of the red planet has beckoned to humankind. Now a group of one hundred colonists begins a mission whose ultimate goal is to transform Mars into a more Earthlike planet. They will place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels drilled into the mantle will create stupendous vents of hot gases. But despite these ambitious goals, there are some who would fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.
Praise for Red Mars
“A staggering book . . . the best novel on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written.”—Arthur C. Clarke
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553560732
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1993
Series: Martian Romance Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 42,972
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, Sixty Days and Counting, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Galileo’s Dream. In 2008 he was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment.” He serves on the board of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California.

Read an Excerpt

“And so we came here. But what they didn’t realize was that by the time we got to Mars, we would be so changed by the voyage out that nothing we had been told to do mattered anymore. It wasn’t like submarining or settling the Wild West—it was an entirely new experience, and as the flight of the Ares went on, the Earth finally became so distant that it was nothing but a blue star among all the others, its voices so delayed that they seemed to come from a previous century. We were on our own; and so we became fundamentally different beings.”

Excerpted from "Red Mars"
by .
Copyright © 1993 Kim Stanley Robinson.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Red Mars 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 172 reviews.
DevourerOfBooks More than 1 year ago
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.
sakabako More than 1 year ago
Well formatted on nook and an unbelieveable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a complicated and technical series, it's thought provoking and worth the patience
JGustav More than 1 year ago
Kim Stanley Robinson doesn't provide an amazing plot, nor does he give stellar character development. What he does do amazingly well in Red Mars is provide a visceral Martian experience. If you do not feel like you are on the surface of Mars alongside the first pioneering Martian colonists than something is wrong. Red Mars and the the two proceding books Green Mars and Blue Mars are pinnacles of the hard science fiction genre. You will be in love with tha little red gem in the sky when you close the cover that final time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slow and painfully boring read dealing with the first expedition and settlement on the red planet. Very disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit tedious.
Britt84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite enjoyed reading it, but found it a bit of a long read, hard to stay focussed on it. Didn't read it all at once. Interesting ideas about what mars colonization would be like though, and interesting characters. Will go on to read the second part...
Snakeshands on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As good as diamond-hard SF ever gets. This guy's on an old, old-school project done really well, with all the great things and all the limitations of his genre. Has time left over to be a decent leftist, make fun of Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and have a more staggeringly comprehensive view of terraforming than anybody i've ever read, even though the author admits he's radically compressed the timescale. Plus, he _nails_ some of the social consequences of the things he introduces. I don't think anyone will write something like this ever again in this post-Singularity-obsession, post-neo-space opera, post-post-cyberpunk world, but it's one hell of a way for old school Clarke/Niven SF to go out with a bang.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kim Stanley Robinson is not an easy author to read or to love. Some of his novels can be counted among my favorites (The Years of Rice and Salt), and others (The Gold Coast, Forty Signs of Rain) I simply hated ¿ or couldn¿t even get through to the end (Fifty Degrees Below). Even the books I loved required a lot from me: they are thick, dense and epic, layered with so much hard science and social science that they can sometimes read like textbooks rather than novels. But with Robinson¿s best books, the effort is worth it. Red Mars is a good example.Robinson¿s epic about the colonization of Mars (the first book in a trilogy on the subject) covers a lot of ground. Sure, it tackles the myriad technical problems involved in colonizing such a hostile planet, including how to build a space elevator for easier transport of settlers and exploitation of Mars¿s resources. But from there, Robinson takes on even more weighty themes: the clash between those coming to Mars to try to create an entirely new way of life and those back on Earth who want to retain control; cultural conflicts among the various ethnic and religious groups spreading out to Mars; the discovery of an innovative medical procedure that greatly extends the human lifespan and the implications for an over-populated Earth; all climaxing in a planetary revolution propelled by all of these issues.This is a ponderous book with a lot of big ideas. It may be a bit overlong ¿ sometimes it seems as if all the characters do is drive around by themselves for great distances over the barren Martian landscape ¿ but those sections may be excused by the action of the rest of the novel. Robinson actually helps us believe that living on Mars is something we can achieve, while showing us that these advances will probably only exacerbate our very human problems.
DSeanW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazing expensive novel of politics and science - I am not a big spacey science fiction person but I know this book will have a lasting impression on me and my thinking on a huge range of topics.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Superbly complex. Science fiction at its best, telling a gripping story but also blending in predictions about the future of mankind and the effect technology can have on society whilst also casting a sly glance at how we live today and the assumption of what we take to be normal.Although it feels like the middle of a trilogy this is actually the first in the series - and I'm not sure the rest can possibly be as good. Divided up into sections, each of which is devoted to the POV of a single character, this is a very neat way of writing that explores multiple views of the same situation - although they are generally (with the very annoying exception of the prologue) sequential in time - it avoids the disruption to the reader that shorter intervals produces, whilst still giving the work a huge scope. The characters chosen are a few leading figures in the first 100 people sent as a scientific exploration team to Mars. The First Person on Mars John Boone has rejoined them - and the importance of his original journey - that we only hear about in passing reference, makes this feel like the middle of the trilogy. The tight focus of each section really allows the reader to emphasize with the thoughts behind the different characters and their positions on both sides and those of the moderates - the only one I struggled to comprehend was Michael.Essentially a US/Russian operation additional funding from other countries enables a few members from elsewhere to join the team, but even on the 9month journey out other factions start forming within the team itself. Once on Mars itself the very act of forming a BaseCamp to work from splits the opinions - divisions which become ever more polarised. The basic issue is over impact - the balance between the 'Reds' who see mars as an unspoilt heritage to be carefully studied without contamination, and the others, who see it as a dead world of copious resources for the benefit of all mankind, the only question being over what timescale to extract them. The Martian years roll past, and the Treaty guiding the exploration is up for renewal, multi-nationals have become Transnationals with vast fortunes at stake. But even the 100 can't agree on the right course of action to take, some disappearing to avoid the compromises the rest may take, not in their name. And then the immigration begins, bringing tensions rocketing even higher.Written in '93 we now know a lot more about Mars than we did, and some of the postulates - thick ice caps and under surface aquifers - seem a lot less likely. But as a metaphor for the Antarctic whose own Treaty is due for renewal in only a few more years - it has a lot to say. There are also wide ranging discussions over how society can and maybe should be shaped. Who makes the decisions that effect the lives of countless billions?The couple of other points that grate; the Prologue that is set along way away from the start fo the story, so that it is hard to remember the details when it does appear. And KSR's dislike of characters called Frank. He's somewhat inexplicably weird in both this and KSRs other trilogy the Science in the Capitol series, hence even though they are worlds apart it is somewhat difficult to keep the two identically named characters seperate.It is a very wide ranging book covering a huge array of themes very well. Gripping and insightful, full of meaning and thought. I received this as a free ebook from Tor. Their cunning plan has already succeeded; I've bought the other two, and will buy the rest of KSRs works. Go out and read it now......................................................................................................
jonathon.hodge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Robinson's finest hour as a story teller - the first 100 settlers on Mars and the consequences of their intervention in the life of the planet
yosarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first in Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Mars Trilogy' this book receives all sorts of high accolades, winner of the 1993 Nebula award for best novel, Arthur C Clarke no less has called this the best book ever written about the colonisation of Mars and should be required reading for future colonists! The first question then is does it deserve such lauded trumpeting? Well, in my opinion, yes it does, to a degree. It deals with the first 100 colonists to arrive on Mars and tells of the consequences of colonising the planet and the economic and social changes that then follows with other people coming to the planet determined to make money, to make their mark or to try and keep the planet intact for future generations.There is a lot of hard science fact here but not too much to drown out the very human voices of the characters as they struggle with adapting to the new planet and problems. Because of the way in which it is written (the book is divided into eight parts all being narrated by a different person) you get a very rounded view of the arguements helping to explain why it all seems to go so horribly wrong so horribly fast leading to revolt and uprisings.There are unfortunately some aspects to the novel that seem to be papered over and not substantiated or explained fully, for example Earth seems to be on the brink of an economic, political and social explosion with resources strained to the very limits and space at a premium (hence the desperate journey to Mars in the first place), despite this the colonists seem to be the most fully equipped, funded expedition I have ever read of, even in the realms of fiction. I struggled towards the end of Red Mars as well, with the remnants of the original 100 colonists escaping the revolutions the book seemed, to me, to drag on a bit but I am undaunted and look forward readily to the sequel Green Mars and I hope this might help to answer some of the unanswered questions from Red Mars and maybe even lead me to re-read it and give it 4 stars.At the moment however even though I would happily recommend this book but I do not think I would read it again so it is 3 out of 5 from me.
albin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An epic novel with emphasis on the »science« part of science fiction; the book is full of engineering porn, and everything seems so concievable that you get a feeling it could happen tomorrow. However, the book is rather lengthy and full of roadtrips that does almost nothing to bring the plot forward.
Radaghast on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If we are going to terraform Mars, the Mars Trilogy is probably the most realistic guess on how it will go. Kim Stanley Robinson seamlessly weaves hard science fiction, and a human plot. He does not forget what some of his predecessors forget: In every science fiction adventure, there are real people involved and they may do unexpected things. The one criticism is Robinson's politics are extremely obvious. Ultimately, characters fall into two maybe three modes of thinking, and it isn't hard to guess which one Robinson favors. In the real world, there would be about five hundred different modes of thinking, and it would be much less clear who was good and who was bad.
conformer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When you conspire to undertake the narrative of the colonization of an entire planet from beginning to end, the prospects and the results can either be mind-breakingly brilliant or stupefyingly dull. A writer of impressive talent and reach, Robinson somehow manages to pull off both with the first part of his ambitious Mars trilogy. Some of the best bits involve philosophical debates about what it is to be a human on Mars, deep and dark discourses on the exploitation of human and natural resources, and the shattering consequences of irreconcilable differences between two worlds. The more tiresome moments come in the form of Martian geology lectures, structural engineering porn, and a seemingly endless series of boring road trips across the red wastelands. At least it has a decent payoff at the end.
TheBook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the third Robinson title that I've read and it will probably be the last. I appreciate the grand scale of the book and its insight into the sociology of the colonists. I think, as a textbook, it may be instructive at some time in the future. I should say that I enjoy character-driven science fiction and this is nothing if not that. However, as an entertaining novel it falls short. It drags in many places. There are a lot of holes in the plot and in the underlying assumptions - the speed with which the colony becomes self-sufficient, the ability of one group to move out on their own with very few resources and no reasonable way to create their own - these oversights bothered me. I like that the characters are not black and white and are fleshed out quite well. But even here some of their actions seem to make them into caricatures. Without giving away any plot points I don't think Frank's actions toward John are explained nor do they seem consistent with his personality. Arkady, who we don't know very well, seems to go to extremes. I think Robinson needs the characters to represent various viewpoints and often sacrifices realistic personalities when he does so. The book gave me a lot to think about but I had enough problems with it that I don't plan to read the rest of the trilogy.
korepersephone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started out loving this book and flew through it until the last two sections. Then it dragged on and on.The section with Frank's POV was the worst and when I learned his fate at the end of the book, I wasn't really bothered by it.On the other hand, my favorite section was the one with John and I wish that there had been more with his POV (and of course hated Frank Chalmers even more after what he did to John Boone). John was definitely my favorite character. I liked Maya during her section but was annoyed with her for the rest of the book. Anne grated slightly as well. Nadia was an okay character, I'd pick her sections second.Anyway, I finally slogged through the last two sections just to finish it because I can never leave a book unfinished and I am able to borrow the next two Mars books but I'm not sure if I want to read them yet, I feel like I need a break after taking forever to finish this one.
jprutter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't do it. I can not get into this story. It is supposed to be a classic, but I have been trying to read it for months and it just drags on not catching my interest.
Ginerbia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great story of colonizing Mars in the not-so-distant future. It describes the hardships the scientists went through when they were going through training in Antarctica, during the trip to Mars and when they finally get there. It also gets into the political impact colonizing Mars has on Earth. The different viewpoints of how to use the resources on Mars, whether or not to terraform Mars and the inevitable revolution that occurs as a result the many opposing views. Definitely worth reading the sequel Blue Mars - where the terraforming and revolution continues.