Mykle's Reviews > Red Mars

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
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Jul 10, 2008

really liked it
Read in January, 2005

Robinson's Mars trilogy is the worst kind of trilogy: it hooks you with an excellent first book, then drags you through an uneven second book and halfway through a kind of boring third book before you finally scream "ENOUGH! I will no longer particiapte in this trilogistic marketing conspiracy!" (Then you skulk off to watch Star Wars Episode 6, and get even more depressed.)

But Red Mars, the first book, is really wonderful. Like a lot of SF, it gets away with some flaws because the ideas are so exciting and brought to life so well. The explanations of Martian geology in this book are probably the most exciting passages in the annals of geology, if that's saying much. Mars is the star of this story, more than any of the characters.

There's a beautiful mythic undertone through this book: it's got the hero, his murder, the birth of a people, the Big Man, a war of independence ... huge stuff. It's got explorations of the philosophies that drive us to explore. It's a smart, well-reasoned book. It's got a peak-oil backstory that's never resonated more than today.

But the best thing about it is: it makes you want to go to Mars.
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08/19/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Julie (last edited May 29, 2009 07:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julie Schneider I agree. I liked the first and second books, and gave up on the third. I think Robinson's a lot better with the science than with character development, although he's dead on about politics.


Kevin Aww. I hear you, the third book is really tough. But if you can wade though it there are definitely interesting ideas there. For example: the idea of backwards, 'Eco-economics' or based on abundance instead of scarcity -- it's a strange idea but a real one and something we can encounter in real life: at Burning Man, for example.

I enjoyed this series a lot.


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