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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely solid science fiction
There are lots of stories of meetings with strange alien creatures, and battles in space, etc.
This is not one of those books.
Red mars reads like high grade historic fiction, about the future.
The Book is strongly character driven, and manages to surprise without ever feeling planned or contrived. The descriptions are often long and heavy on science, so if...
Published 13 months ago by Babblefish

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book detailing a fictional colonization of Mars
I liked the concept, and was captivated almost immediately by the story. However, as the story progressed, the novel slowed down significantly, almost to a boring pace. There are several characters of which the story is told from their point of view, but the dry writing style makes it difficult to emphasize with any of the characters - the book feels too scientific and...
Published 7 months ago by David Sapira


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book detailing a fictional colonization of Mars, Sept. 6 2013
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I liked the concept, and was captivated almost immediately by the story. However, as the story progressed, the novel slowed down significantly, almost to a boring pace. There are several characters of which the story is told from their point of view, but the dry writing style makes it difficult to emphasize with any of the characters - the book feels too scientific and not fun. There is a dash of political intrigue built in which adds an extra layer, but I put this book down many times during my read (out of sheer boredom). If you're looking for good sci-fi, I'd probably start somewhere else.
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3.0 out of 5 stars really a 3.5 star book, April 2 2014
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Pretty good, creative but some of the characters were flat - responding typically. I will definitely read the rest in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, May 23 2013
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This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
Great research and discription went into this book really enjoyed it. The story on both Mars and discussion on what is happening on Earth are quite realistic. Although sci-fi the dates are not too far off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely solid science fiction, March 13 2013
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This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
There are lots of stories of meetings with strange alien creatures, and battles in space, etc.
This is not one of those books.
Red mars reads like high grade historic fiction, about the future.
The Book is strongly character driven, and manages to surprise without ever feeling planned or contrived. The descriptions are often long and heavy on science, so if you are hoping for a light read with action scenes etc try somewher else. If you are looking for a book that weaves togeather the lives of dozens of distinct and memorable characters, showing both their strengths and weaknesses and how the two are one and the same, with an accurate depiction of physics, history, biology and trust, then this is a book worth reading.
I swear the author must have had at least a dozen PhD's to write this thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Stanley Robinson Does Mars - RED, Jan. 6 2012
By 
fastreader - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
This whole series: RED, GREEN and BLUE, fully explores Mars like we wish we could, but can't afford.

Character development as is usual with Kim Stanley Robinson is great as are the various scientific aspects of the books [you actually learn some actual science ].

Lots of adventure and excitement throughout make it an enjoyable read from start to finish. I've read this series twice now, IT'S THAT GOOD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars God and the devil in the details, July 7 2004
By 
Dennis Grace (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
Kim Stanley Robinson does a masterful job of realizing a diverse array of characters, not the least of which is the planet itself. I found Ann and Frank exasperating, John and Nadia at times exhilirating and something of a disappointment, Sax and Hiroko equally inscrutable, and Maya making me wish someone would just slap her. I am astonished that anyone can keep track of so many personnae and keep their voices distinct.
Equally, I am astonished by Robinson's command of geology, meteorology, thermodynamics, and even economics. The details read well and ring true. For years, I wondered why no one had covered this sort of project in detail: terraformation, colonization, expansion. Most writers seem satisfied to take these things as read. Robinson shows what a great literary work a little delving (okay, a whole lot of delving) can produce.
On the down side, the details occasionally get in his way. In particular, I found three details more than a little discomfiting.
First, in the personna of Michel, Robinson outlines his personal psychometry of personalities. In doing so, he provides both an oversimplification of human character and an unwelcome glimpse at Robinson's methodology for building characters. Like sausage-making and legislation, perhaps this process would have been better left unexamined.
Second, I think the abundance of water in the substrate of Robinson's Mars is more than a tad optimistic. I realize that having to bring in water ice from the asteroid belt and Saturn's rings would have slowed the development quite a bit, but considering what a wealth of story Robinson typically finds in the details, I think this obstacle would have made for even more excellent writing opportunities.
Third, in a move that appears nothing more than a technique to allow character continuity, Robinson introduces the deus ex machina of a revolutionary new genetic longevity treatment. With no foreshadowing or side-plot leading to it, the main characters suddenly have a chance to live for a thousand years. My, how convenient. This device left he second guessing the author's motives through the rest of the series. I love the books, but I don't think this was a necessary addition. As the principal plotline of this first book readily demonstrates, key characters can die without compromising the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC BOOK, June 1 2004
By 
alex (Lewisburg WV) - See all my reviews
This review is from: RED MARS (Hardcover)
Everyone keeps talking in their reviews about how Robinson wanted to appear so clever, so smart in these books. I wonder if it ever occured to any of them that maybe they are just too stupid to understand. That's clearly the case in my opinion. I found the inclusion of all the technical details very informative and interesting. If you want to read moronic escapist garbage go to your local book store's sci-fi section, close your eyes, and pick the first book your hand lands on. Have a great trip!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a hard read, May 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought that this book was really great, but it was above my age level. I am an eight grader, and when I got to a part of the book when a phyciatrist, one of the characters, was explaining his theory I was lost. When I showed my teacher to ask for a little help, she was lost to. I was still able to follow the story, but be warned its a complicated, large-word book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red Mars- smart sci-fi, May 5 2004
By 
Matt (Princeton, WV) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
Red Mars was initially assigned to my utopian studies class at Concord College. While I neglected to finish the book on time, I found myself reading each night none-the-less, as the author had created a very real, very exotic world to become immersed in. The characters are varied and polarized, bringing necessary conflict and interest to the novel, while lengthy explanations of political, social, scientific, and environmental processes tend to add to the book's ability to capture the imagination. Sure, this book isn't laden cover to cover with lazer battles or other such cliche Martian filler, but the book still maintains an excellent medium of what can only be described as a cross between science class and some late night television drama.
The main appeal of this book isn't action, and it certainly isn't a quick read, but it is excellent sci-fi for those interested in a more thoughtful, not to mention politically and socially provocative, book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mars is Red - but not for long, March 22 2004
This review is from: Red Mars (Mass Market Paperback)
Robinson's "Red Mars" is a comprehensive and complete book on man's colonization of Mars. It is full of scientific, political and economic consequences of human settlement on Mars, and arguments from both sides are presented in detail through the opposing perspectives of different characters within the book. In addition, the book is full of symbolism, such as the "elevator" that is built, only to be pulled down by the hands of the revolution destroying much of the Martian surface and dispersing humans in a manner that made me think of the Tower of Babel.
The story begins on a spaceship of the "first hundred" people that are off to begin life on Mars. All of them are scientists, which of course makes for a less than complete representation of human kind, although full of intellectualism and nutty personalities. The mission is meant to be representative of the world's nationalities, dominated by American and Russian teams. Each group of scientists have their own tasks, whether it is flying the space craft, cultivating food, construction once on Mars, ecologists to study Mars, terraformers, biologists, physicists, and even a psychologist.
The 8 month journey to Mars is enough to drive some people crazy, and Maya, the Russian leader thinks that she is hallucinating when she unwittingly spots a man whom she does not know onboard the spacecraft. People develop relationships and hatreds, and their true personalities start to come out after hiding most of their peculiarities from the selection committee to be able to go to Mars.
Robinson follows different characters for each part of the book, and this makes it a more interesting and in-depth read, as we get different viewpoints on how the people see Mars and what they want from the planet. Some, like Ann, oppose its terraforming, whilst others, such as Sax, can think of nothing but. Hiroko suddenly disappears with a small group of the first hundred and no-one can find them. John and Frank hit heads about how the planet should be run, and one day John is murdered - a shock to everyone.
Politics starts to play an important role as the first hundred decide they will do whatever they want on Mars rather than be controlled by Earth. They are free. Only, they really aren't. Before they know it, waves of immigrants from Earth, sponsored by transnational corporations begin to live on the planet. But Mars is not its own nation and does not have a cohesive political or police structure. Problems quickly rise to a peak and the first hundred realise they are no longer in control.
A revolution begins and is chaotic and uncontrollable. Infrastructure collapses as it is sabotaged. Finally, Nadia the engineer, after finding out that her lover Arkady who began the revolution has been killed by it, decides that enough is enough and she blows up Phobos in an attempt to stop Earth and transnational control and interference. The first hundred realise that they will be seen as ringleaders of the revolution and that they must escape - will they be rescued by Hiroko's detachment?
The book is so complete and full of facts that it is a must for anyone with a passion for Mars and science. It is also a must for those that would think to colonize Mars in the future - as a guide of how not to do it.
A very realistic perspective, well thought out, and a foresight of consequences that gives me goose bumps.
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Red Mars
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (Library Binding - Oct. 1993)
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