- Publisher: COLLINS
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000224053X
- ISBN-13: 978-0002240536
- Parcel Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 4.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 839 g
- Average Customer Review: 321 customer reviews
RED MARS. Paperback
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"Behold the Dreamers" is an unforgettable debut novel about a family's struggle to make a new life in America from author Imbolo Mbue. Learn more
The first novel in the astounding trilogy, Red Mars chronicles the lives of the first arrivals to Mars. The planet that the settlers find is empty of life and many of the pioneers want to begin changing the ecosystem right away to be suitable for human life. But the purity of the stark landscape convinces some scientists that it should be preserved. The stakes are high and the players on both sides range from politically naive idealists to ambitious manipulators without discernible scruples. No one can be sure that "terraforming" the planet will succeed, but it is certain to change the face of Mars beyond recognition. Red Mars won the 1994 Nebula Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Robinson is gifted when it comes to characterization. There is an omniscient third person narrator, but each section focuses on a particular point-of-view character that sometimes subtly and sometimes drastically alters the way the story is told, depending on each character's interests and propensities. A scientist studying the changing planet, a politician dealing with an explosive political situation, and an idealistic and charismatic celebrity will all experience a shared series of events in very different ways, and Robinson gets this across with such finesse that you barely even realize he's doing it.
Robinson's Mars is a place that feels real. While scientific knowledge of the red planet has progressed over the last few decades and the science of his Mars is now somewhat out of date, he brings Mars to life at the same time as he describes his characters bringing life to Mars. Alien landscapes are not only effectively described, but Robinson helps the reader understand how and why these landscapes begin to shape the philosophies and behaviors of the colonists in the same way real Earth cultures are affected by their geography.
It's not a perfect book. An early point-of-view character is an engineer, obsessed with tools and construction projects, and this section has been a major stumbling block for several people I've spoken to. Readers expecting scifi action may be disappointed by the pages devoted to listing tools and digging trenches, but even though this character's section has a great and moving pay off, it may still be too much for some readers.
There is no book I have recommended to as many people as the Mars trilogy, and nearly all of them have loved it. You owe it to yourself to pick up the first volume, Red Mars, and check it out for yourself.
This first book focuses on the first colonization of the planet imagined in the very near future in respect of our present, while the book was written back in 1993. Then it continues in a time span of several decades describing the beginning of a terraforming project.
On the one hand we see the usual optimism of this kind of science fiction to imagine an event of titanic proportions in a relatively short time, which will certainly be denied by the facts. Beyond that, you can hardly call this book a novel. Sure, there are characters and their stories, linked with each other, but from a narrative point of view it seems more like a series of episodes, shown from different points of views, giving us a choral narration, in which there isn't a true protagonist if not Mars itself.
The individual stories, however, appear to be just an excuse for the author's attempt to immerse himself in other fields, mostly scientific ones, although he often tends to lead to sociology, politics, and even psychology. The result is a book that tends to look more like a speculative treaty than a true novel. The characters suffer about that, thus ending up in the margins. Most of them are not making much to be loved. I admit that I had trouble to get fond to them. The only one I really liked is Frank, maybe because I have found him the most human one, with his virtues and especially with his flaws. Too bad he was then hit by the karma of some too politically correct American stories, according to which, if you do something reprehensible, and at the end you have to pay somehow.
The book is still for the most part interesting, especially if you're looking for an in-depth pseudoscientific study. At the base of speculation there is a very accurate science, the result of considerable research. Perhaps the worst problem of this book is to have wanted to exceed in this sense, focusing too much on technical aspects at the expense of fiction.
In some parts I got bored and I skipped many pages. I do not regret it. At one point, in the part of the expedition narrated by the psychologist, the author leaves for a tangent with a very boring and unnecessary psychological disquisition. When the scope was more purely scientific, I read it with interest.
One thing that jars is the desire to be obsessively accurate from a scientific perspective and then expand without limits into the speculative part, arriving in my opinion to exceed.
The finale ends in catastrophism, an argument that I cannot generally stand, not only in the narrative, leaving you with a bad taste in the mouth, because the mood of the story starts with an optimistic base to arrive in a crescendo of drama to an excessive epilogue.
Having to give an overall opinion, it is undoubtedly a remarkable book, but not an easy read, due to its complexity and length. Certainly, however, it leaves you with something.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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