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Moving Mars

4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Legend (Sept. 9 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071263892X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712638920
  • Shipping Weight: 503 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Amazon

In this 1995 Nebula Award-winning novel, a revolution is transforming the formerly passive Earth-colony of Mars. While opposing political factions on Mars battle for the support of colonists, scientists make a staggering scientific breakthrough that at once fuels the conflict and creates a united Mars front, as the technically superior Earth tries to take credit for it. Backed against a wall, colonial leaders are forced to make a monumental decision that changes the future of Mars forever. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Nebula Award winner Bear has long been known for novels of stunning scientific extrapolation and high literary quality from his early novel Blood Music to his more recent Queen of Angels . This new novel of Mars is his finest yet. Bear follows the unlikely career of Casseia Majumdar of the Majumdar Binding Multiple (a sort of cross between an extended family and a corporation) as she goes from lukewarm student activist to president of the fledgling Federal Republic of Mars. Beginning as a coming-of-age story, with Casseia encountering corruption as well as courage and determination in a student uprising, the narrative then becomes a fine, taut and realistic political novel, as Casseia travels to Earth as part of an ambassadorial retinue, and later serves as second in leader Ti Sandra's push for Martian unification. As conflict heats up between upstart Mars and Mother Earth, Bear introduces a wildly intriguing hard-science idea, and the novel spins into a tense science fiction thriller. Bear offers a fast-moving plot; realistic, appealing characters; a vividly imagined future Earth awash in "tailored microbes," nanotechnology and dirty dealing; and the most believable evocation of the workings of politics and science in any recent science fiction novel. It all adds up to a blowout of a book, perhaps the best of the recent Mars novels, and certainly one of the best sf novels of the year.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Moving Mars
Probably the best Science Fiction books I have read in years. Bear's fully imagined universe (not so, so, distant future) is simply amazing. He explains without getting lost in detail or glossing over key stuff. His New York of the future is a book in itself, never mind the complete and functional Mars he imagines. No puffy "terra forming" cop out for him, but realistic, hard scrabble living.
Key is his imagining of the future of nano technology, already being worked on in labs today, Bear puts his own spin on it. Fascinating stuff even if we are probably centuries away from the reality. Less clear are his "educational bacteria and virus" but that's ok.
The plot it not bad. It involves politics, but it is no Dune in those terms. I would guess that the political plot points are there to move the story along. The characters are all believable (even the bad guys have some dimension to them). The love life of the main folks seems a little thin, but hey, no room for everything!
One major problem I had was with the crucial plot point. Without giving too much away, to do what was done, even the first time, would in my mind create tremendous reactions on earth and mars. Neat idea but it strains credibility.
Still, a great read, lots of fun and well imagined.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The key failure of MM that greatly deterred my enjoyment of it is the flat characters and relationships. Bear's main character, Casseia, is a weak attempt at portraying not only a female character but a political power. It seems Bear attempted to give Cass a Heinlein-like, unassuming, brilliant, politician/scientist aura--but it falls flat. Completely flat. As does all his other attempts to describe human relationships. The personal interactions just did not seem real. FLAT seems to be the best word to describe them.
Bear's description of the political interactions also seemed flat. Here I refer to the entire build up of the Martian independence movement, the creation of the constitution, and the new government struggling to maintain power. The entire construct did not seem to fit very well and the evolution of this movement did not seem cogent. There just did not seem to be the kind of motivations necessary to sustain the impetus of the movement for a new government or a full explication of Earth's motivations in sujugating Mars. Further, while nanotechnology seems to be somewhat of a fad in SF these days, I felt the unexplained abilities nanotechnology in MM to be almost silly. And, even though the theory of the "descriptors" that were manipulated to change the "reality" of matter, by the end of the novel it seemed almost contrived.
So why did I give the novel 4 stars? I found I did enjoy reading the novel quite a bit.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Enjoying "Moving Mars" will depend on a number of things, particularly your attitude about how a science fiction novel "ought" to be. For instance, one of the below reviewers refers to the beginning of the book as being "fantasy," apparently for no other reason than Bear's emphasis on character development - fantasy novels, more often written for and about women, tend to spend a lot more time building their character's "back story" and emotional life. The payoff here is that Bear's careful development of his lead characters, and the strange yet familiar pioneer world of the Martian settlers, helps explain later choices.
More than with most books, the appeal of this work will depend on your own personality and interests. If you're the type of person who refers to him or herself as being "right-brained" or by contrast, essentially "scientific and logical," and tend to stick to one social sphere of people with similar bents, you may find half the book fascinating, and the other half cryptic or boring. Strictly hard SF readers who want nothing but science fact and science ideas may not like the strong social and emotional undertones; readers of historical, military and general fiction may find the heady physics of the latter half hard to digest.
If you like SF a lot but don't follow the news or read history, the many parallels here with real-life history may be lost on you. Frankly, I found another review quite amusing. The reviewer didn't like the lead character, stating that she was just another young woman with a lack of life experience, like herself, and how unrealistic it would be for such a person to ascend to the vice presidency. Actually, I think this is one of Bear's strongest points in the book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is quite a long book for a first-person narrative. Bear's other novels of comparable length feature half a dozen characters, but here we have only one - Casseia Majumdar, Martian citizen, college student, ambassador to Earth, and Martian political hero. The central conflict, though it takes a while to get burning, is the Martian colonies' fight for independence from Earth.
But this isn't a violent book. For the most part it's a political struggle, and Bear does an excellent job of breathing life into a potentially slow-moving and drab story. His science, as always, is impeccable, from the terraforming process of Mars, to the genetically modified humans who Casseia meets on Earth.
It is a little slow in places (the scientific info dumps are a bit more ponderous than in others by Greg Bear), and for a while the story seems to lose its way, but this is compensated for by the general smoothness of Bear's writing, and the depth of his narrator's voice. Greg Bear is one of only a few science-fiction writers who knows how to create real, believable characters to match the science of his books.
He also manages to drag you into the story, once the tension really starts mounting. By the end, I was screaming at the injustices perpetrated by the imperialistic Earth government.
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