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Re read With buddiesI originally read this way back in the mid 90 s and was struck by how brilliant and entertaining it was of how wide a sweep of characters could bring Mars alive from inception to travel to the first habitats all the way to the first revolution 30 ears down the lineWhat I remembered with the most love however wasn t the characters It was the science and the various aspects of making Mars habitable That and I just geeked out I went on to read all the slew of Mars colonization novels that came out at the same time in response to how popular this one was and had to admit that none of them did uite the same job on the topic KSR Wins Woo WooBut now My re read isn t so much critical of the way the novel felt bloated with people stuff as it was only wishing that we could do away with all the people altogetherI was almost cheering with every death during the revolution Is that wrong of me sighDon t get me wrong I still love the novel but I m knocking off a star The science is fantastic and all the well researched ways to change Mars still makes me geek out It s STILL one of the very best Mars books INCLUDING The Martian I m not always a lover of what s known as hard sf sf that s filled with lots of hard science in this case science regarding ecology geology and all sorts of other brain straining disciplines But what s remarkable to me about this book is how complex and human Kim Stanley Robinson makes his band of scientists and how well he demonstrates over and over again how intertwined all of us are on a truly huge scale This book asks a very familiar uestion what would happen if we were able to go to Mars And it provides a sprawling fascinating at times horrifying answer that has a lot to do with science and even to do with the human beings who study and implement that science At times the book seems to have a very grim opinion on the failure rate of human societies to work well for everyone but there is also in this book a profound regard for our ability to survive just about anything and anywhereEdited on 9252019 after reread to addI was impressed by this novel the first time I read it but in this second reading of it I was ultimately blown away by its scope its depth its depiction of the weight of history on a vividly depicted group of brilliant difficult driven human beings This passage gives a sense of how beautifully Robinson is able to distill the individual human experience in the midst of global catastrophe Late in this uiet meal Ann looked around curiously at her companions suddenly awed by the spectacle of human adaptability Here they were eating their dinner talking over the low boom from the north in a perfect illusion of dining room conviviality it might have been anywhere anytime and their tired faces bright with some collective success or merely with the pleasure of eating together while just outside their chamber the broken world roared and rockfall could annihilate them at any instant And it came to her that the pleasure and stability of dining rooms had always occurred against such a backdrop against the catastrophic background of universal chaos such moments of calm were things as fragile and transitory as soap bubbles destined to burst almost as soon as they blew into existence Groups of friends rooms streets Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, years none of them would last The illusion of stability was created by a concerted effort to ignore the chaos they were imbedded in And so they ate and talked and enjoyed each other s company this was the way it had been in the caves on the savannah in the tenements and the trenches and the cities huddling under bombardment It s truly a monumental achievement In the Mars trilogy Robinson proposes to have us imagine a Mars that is terraformed initially by the First Hundred 50 woman and 50 men chosen after extensive training in Antarctica The story is told via third person narratives which each chapter focusing on a particular character in or less seuential order with the exception of the first chapter about the events in Nicosia leading to the disaster of 2061 The author does an excellent job of making the story and the characters are real as possible and using science to make it all geeky and interesting I really enjoyed many of the juxtapositions of the various characters If I did not give this first book of the trilogy a 5 star rating it is because there were certain plot devices no specifics given to avoid spoilers but feel free to ask me in the comments or via PM here on GR that I disagreed with and felt were unnecessary Overall the book is highly engaging and truly makes the reader impatient to read the seuel Green Mars When primitive man looked up at the heavens wondering what that red light was during the cold nights trying to keep warm in the long dark they told stories around the camp fires about the mysterious object the best liars and fables were remembered and from generation to generation these tales were believed until modern times Even at the start of the twentieth century some astronomers saw canals on the red planet But progress continues to roll relentlessly and science catches up and dull reality discovered People of Earth will have to make that distant hostile world livable and forever change the beautiful rock so the greedy and the adventurous can live there Finally technology arrives and spaceships are sent by the blue planet John Boone leads that first expedition in theear 2020 and steps down alone becoming an icon the man on Mars famous everywhere back home but radiation from the Sun causes major damage to his body the deadly will always harm humanoids unless the 4th planet is altered John immense prestige at the highest on Earth sends a second visit to Mars vastly advanced than the previous one with a huge sophisticated spaceship and 100 passengers inside biologists geologists physicians astronauts physicists and builders The colonists will need shelter little atmosphere breathable in fact deadly gases there AresGreek god of War the rocketship blasts off on December 21st 2026 from Earth orbit much easier than from below saving a lot of precious fuel but still takes an endless boring nine months to get to their destination by a slow rotation of that vessel a gravity one fourth of terrestrial is made but the leery Russians and Americans live separate existences on ship they comprise 70 of the crews members of eual numbers The other 30 are split from different nations After many tests along with everyone else John Boone gets on board also but so does his "rival and jealous friend Frank Chalmers a fellow astronaut but a politician with "and jealous friend Frank Chalmers a fellow astronaut but a politician with Maya Toitovna leader of the Russians falls in love with Frank and then John a sticky situation causing much friction but she can t make up her mind Landing at last the crew scatters to every part of the weird planet seeking a place to live The pink sky the desolate surface orange than red full of craters temperatures often 100 F brilliant stars in the evening the short horizons and the small dot above they say is Terra it will take a while to get used to it The building begins and very slowly the huge land starts to be modified a little Nadia Russian master builder from frozen Siberia makes homes for the people underground Arkady Russian engineer anarchi. In his most ambitious project to date award winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes A Fairly Honourable Defeat years of research cutting edge science in the 1st of a trilogy chronicling the colonization of MarsFor eons sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape For centuries Mars has beckoned humans to conuer its hostile climate Now in 2026 a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destinyJohn Boone Maya Toitavna Frank Chalmers Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission For some Ma. Condition Besides I want the mass markets I can only hope my used bookstore has them when I can ever get over there Anyway that was an impromptu rant So I loved it I want all three in the covers I want The end Mel An extremely detailed and ridiculously well researched novel on the colonization of Mars this book is absolutely maddening The characters veer from believable three dimensional humans to weird caricatures and plot devices within a few pages And the author s exploration of the political implications of a newly habitable planet filled with resources for civilization is at first fascinating and then just boring At least five or six times someone wouldell out This isn t like the discovery of the New World on Earth This is Mars And occasional flashes of drama are intercut with some of the most boring passages I have ever read I swear to god at least a fifth of this book was just descriptions of people driving endless distances around Mars and writing about the landscape in flat prose With a harsh editing job this could have been a great book As is it s a lumbering Frankenstein monster with all the seams showing I just finished reading this for the second or third time I wish I could bump this up to 35 stars which reflects what I feel about it To begin with I should come forward with my biases This is a book ou ll either love or ou will hate For my part I love the planet Mars Or at least I love the idea of the planet Mars because I ve never been there I d love to go though If someone from NASA told me that I could go to Mars and there was only a 5050 chance I d survive I d be like That good huh I m sold Let s do it When do we leave My wife might talk me out of it she hates the cold but if I didn t have obligations to family I d be there in a heartbeat I ve got this big wall poster of Mars laid out in all its plucky glory the Tharsis bulge the big volcanoes the massive flood erosion systems I want to walk on its surface under the red sky and feel the thin cold wind and this is a book for Mars geeks by a Mars geek Like Nadia I want to wildly dance for joy on the Martian dust If ou don t love or can t love the idea of Mars then all the talk of its ferrous oxides sulfer drifts salt pans and garnet sands is going to bore ou to tears If The Man Without a Face you do however love Mars reading this is something like biting into a big decadent layered fair trade organic chocalate bar with 71% dark rich Costa Rican cocoa So that s my bias and I think it s a good one but ifou can t entertain thoughts like that be prepared to be bored by like half this novelSo what is this novel about Well obviously it s about Mars but than that it is about humans on Mars and how people establish an identity and a cultural identity in particular It is a story about the tension between existing cultural identities and ways of looking at the world and adapting and adopting new identities It s a story about conflicting mutually exclusive goals and how we go about resolving or often than not failing to resolve our differences In that I think the book succeeds marvously because the resulting Martian culture with all its disparate influences seems in many ways believable to me and even in some ways compelling so that I m sucked into it and want to proclaim my allegiance to the Red or Green tradition and twitter stories about Big Man and where I was when Boone died around the nuclear powered blog fireThe best part of the story by far is that KSR doesn t attempt to tell a story as big as the colonization of Mars from the prespective a single person Instead the story sprawls across a huge cast of characters and expanse of time Our viewpoint shifts from one major character to another and people we thought we understood suddenly seem strange and different when seen from within or through someone elses eyes Like many sci fi authors KSR can have his didactic moments but elses eyes Like many sci fi authors KSR can have his didactic moments but many his are softened by the fact that none of his characters are in and of themselves really the voice of the author All of the characters even the most heroic turn out to have flaws of one sort or another and so rather than being forced to read the dialogue as KSR believes this and is willing to hit ou over the head with it ou can read the poltiics as John or Arkady or Saxifrage or whoever believes this just as many real people do The politics of Mars as KSR envisions them turn out to be messy very human often petty and with few simple answers and little in the way OF CLEAR ANSWERS AND SIMPLE SOLUTIONS THAT S REFRESHING clear answers and simple solutions That s refreshing when KSR s biases are showingSo why not stars Well the book has big Martian sized problems to go along with its delights For me the chief of these is how easy the conuest of Mars is made to seem It reads like the conuest of Mars as written by someone that has never even been camping much less someone acuianted with the hardships of an outdoor life Given the enormous challenges of living on a planet with a thin poisonous atmosphere a surprisingly small portion of the book is devoted to the theme of Man vs Nature and most of the time when it is the cause of the conflict is man s own efforts as if Mars in its natural state isn t absolutely deadly to human life I personally have a hard time imagining that something on the scale of the colonization of Mars would be safer less arduous and less frought with danger and hardship than say the colonization of the New World KSR just doesn t seem particularly interested in that part of the story which to my mind is perhaps the most critical part of the story Instead all the meticulous scientific research is undermined by hand waving all the hard problems away with a wave of the techno magic wand The colonization of Mars begins not on a comparitive shoe string but with an abundance of material massing at least one hundred thousand times the mass of everything we ve ever lifted into orbit Energy sources are never scarce and manufacturing capacity uickly soars to an unlmited degree Technological challenges are uickly overcome by the liberal application of newfoundium and sometimes unobtainium Almost everyone who dies dies through direct or indirect human agency Accidents especially serious ones just don t seem to happen Arkady s all to believable problem runs are confined to simulators Thus all the uite evident bloody striving of the author to create a believable story of planetary colonization is largely wasted and at times the story resembles just another escapist far future space operaBut most of the rest of the novel s problems are also its strengths It s "sprawling scale is suited to the story but makes it easy to get lost It s changing points of view "scale is suited to the story but makes it easy to get lost It s changing points of view flawed heroes means on the other hand that the book lacks a consistantly sympathetic protagonist to get behind and root for It doesn t help the matter that many of the most likable characters end up deadIt s not a book for everyone but since humanity seems unlikely to grow up and start thinking about leaving the nest in my lifetime this is probably as close to Mars as ou or I will come And though it is a flawed story it s still an extremely powerful and often moving one that I have little doubt will be read with interest and appreciation by anyone that actually does take up the struggle to live on and with Earth s redder sibling. Mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases Against this backdrop of epic upheaval rivalries loves friendships will form fall to pieces for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changedBrilliantly imagined breathtaking in scope ingenuity Red Mars is an epic scientific saga chronicling the next step in evolution creating a world in its entirety It shows a future with both glory tarnish that awes with complexity inspires with vision.

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St and independence seeker for his new world goes up to one of the two moons Phobos Deimos is the other it looks like a potato to help in communications with his former planet but has his own ideas Sax Russell American physicist who wants to transform Mars and make it like Earth Anne an American geologist she likes this sphere as it is and will fight for that Hiriko Ai Japanese biologist and a person who can grow anything on the surface of this unfriendly place in greenhouses they will need her the crops will save all from starvation These colonists will have cult followers soon The United Nations and big corporations who paid the bills want the benefits returned billions of dollars and conflicts begin immediately between the two worldsyou may change planets but humans never do If ou re into stuff like this Threads Of The Shroud you can read the full reviewGoing into this book 20ears later the feeling I had was one of trepidation Would the book have stood the test of timeAnd the answer is Unfortunately noOne of the things that I ve noticed almost from the onset was a huge dissonance I don t remember spotting it 20 ears earlier but now I did Why plan the mission without firmly establishing at least some sort of general idea about what sort of terraforming might be done Hard SF novel about the colonization of Mars An initial group of 100 colonists men and women is shipped off from Earth to Mars to try to terraform the planet and make it a better fit for human life Kim Stanley Robinson explores all of the science involved in doing that as well as the political collusions and maneuvering involved and the relationships and psyches of several of the colonists This is a well known and respected SF novel thoughtful scientifically minded and very detailed if a little dry at times There are two seuels I bogged down in the second one and never got to the third but this one is still downstairs in my collection of SF novels I should probably reread it sometime I d probably do better with it now than I did back in the 90s when this came out Christmas 2010 I realised that I had got stuck in a rut I was re reading old favourites again and again waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works Something had to be doneOn the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge to read every book to have won the Locus Sci Fi award That s 35 books 6 of which I d previously read leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to meWhile working through this reading list I got married went on my honeymoon switched career and became a father As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life so farStrictly speaking Red Mars wasn t part of my reading list as it didn t win the Locus Sci Fi award Bujold s Barrayar beat it to the 1992 award But it s the first book in Robinson s Mars Trilogy and as the second Green and third Blue books both were on the list for winning the award I felt I needed to read Red Mars to properly appreciate its seuels If I m being completely honest that should say re read because I had read Red Mars once before back in my early teens First time around I didn t really get it I remembered it being too slow too dry and too serious to enjoy As such when I began my Locus mission I was apprehensive about coming back to pick up the seriesAside from the Mars trilogy Robinson had one other book on my list The Years of Rice and Salt I plumped for that one first as it had less negative associations and took it on my honeymoon as holiday reading I loved it and have given it a 5 star review Rice and Salt convinced me to disregard my teenage impressions and approach the Mars Trilogy from a blank slate with an open mind The cover boldly declares Red Mars to be the ultimate in future history It s a phrase I found myself returning to repeatedly when describing the book to friendsLet me start by stating that this book is good It s very good It covers a broad spectrum of sci fi themes in a carefully considered extremely believable way The science politics sociology and philosophy all mesh together in a troubled terraforming tale of the first hundred scientists to settle on Mars The characters aren t always likeable but they are always utterly convincing The plot isn t uite a page turner but I freuently found myself pondering it whenever I put the book down I wasn t exactly amazed by the author s vivid Imagination But I Was Truly but I was truly deeply impressed with the depth of knowledge and scientific understanding that underpin every sentenceThe phrase future history seems so apt because Red Mars has the same devoutly researched feel of a historical novel We go through the story with a handful of characters feeling the twists and turns from their perspective but there s always an objective distance as if describing respected historical events There s very little levity or humour to be found it s inarguably a very dry bookTwo of the characters introduced in this book Nadia Chernyshevski and Sax Russell have secured their own little corner of my heart I feel as if I know them well like a dependable Aunt and eccentric Uncle Likewise I feel that if I climbed one of the salt pyramids outside Underhill and looked out over the Alchemists uarter I d feel a wash of nostalgia for a much loved old stomping ground It s a world ou can get lost in if Untitled. you letourself with people who will stay with ou for a long time I definitely really liked it so I had to give it at least 4 stars But I found Myself Reluctant To Go The Whole Hog And Give It reluctant to go the whole hog and give it starsDespite my best efforts I never completely shook my original teenager impression that this book is just too slow and too serious Opening the book with the flash too slow and too serious Opening the book with the flash to Boone s death puts a cloud over the rest of the tale dampening the mood throughout There s no joy taken in the telling and very little in the way of a playful spirit among the cast Some of the interesting plot threads mostly revolving around Hiroko the stowaway the secret settlement the details of the Marsviridatis worship etc are all covered from a distance by Robinson as if shying away to leave an air of mystery is somehow powerful than fully embracing their complexitiesI just couldn t bring myself to like Frank Chalmers or Michel Duval very much and although Maya Toitovna grew on me in the finale of the trilogy her constant melodrama grated in this first instalment John Boone is loveable but it s hard to get particularly attached when ou know he s due to be axed For all these reasons I liked Red Mars very very much but I couldn t bring myself to love it I am however very glad that I ve read the whole series PS This is the first review I ever wrote for GR After this I read Green Mars Update I found my copies on eBay Now let s hope they get here Son of a damn it I was surprised I loved the hell outta this book and of course I can t find my paperback copy I listened to this on the library s audio and I swear it better not have ended up in the trade in box I want the other two books in the old cover like this one I m supposed to own I went to order them and they changed the damn covers I mean the new covers are pretty FINE But I want the the covers like the one I hadhave Looked on one online used store and they have the hardbacks in good condition which means shit. Rs will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage madness For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches For the genetic alchemists it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle a breakthrough that could change all we know about life death The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth Massive tunnels kilometers deep will be drilled into the. Red Mars

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