Nicholas Barone's Reviews > Moving Mars

Moving Mars by Greg Bear
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

really liked it

I'd probably place Moving Mars right next to Blood Music as my favorite novels by Greg Bear. The story is set in the same universe as Queen of Angels, Slant, and Heads - some 130-140 years after the events of QoA and Slant, about 50 years after the events of Heads. The story references the events of Heads, and Jill (the first self aware AI and a main character in QoA and Slant) puts in a brief appearance, but like the other three novels, the plot of Moving Mars stands on its own.

The story follows the life of Cassia Majumadar over a 13 (earth) year period that sees Cassia grow from a reluctant student activist to an important political figure in the nascent Mars state. Her growth is mirrored by the evolution of Mars itself as a political entity. As the book begins, Mars is governed by a loose collective of the extended family groups that colonized Mars over the previous century. Earth, however, is putting pressure on the Martians to form a more cohesive state government that Earth can more easily control. As Cassia's life unfolds, she puts herself in situations where she can have influence on this political growth, in hopes of making sure that the new Martian government serves its people, and not the powers that be.

Also central to the tale is Cassia's relationship with Charles Franklin - a physicist on the verge of a major breakthrough. Building off the results of the experiments described in Heads, Charles is part of a team that is about to unlock some of the basic ways that the universe keeps track of information. But the powers on Earth are fearful of having the power of this paradigm shift in the hands of people they don't control, which raises the tension in the Earth/Mars conflict up to a level that borders on military conflict.

Bear is at the top of his game here - great characters, gritty politics, more of the cool nanotechnology that the books in this setting are known for, and large scale physics/metaphysics that make you stop and and think. A very deserving winner of the 1994 Nebula award. Highly recommended.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Schnell ooh....I didn't know Jill appeared in another novel. I have not read QoA or Slant....yet.

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