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Red Moon

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  3,338 ratings  ·  631 reviews
American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China's Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding.

It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any
Hardcover, 446 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Orbit
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Brad Guy Frank? As in Frank Chalmers maybe? If so, Robinson would have to retcon his own history. By the blurb, it's "30 years from now", or about 2048. By 204…moreFrank? As in Frank Chalmers maybe? If so, Robinson would have to retcon his own history. By the blurb, it's "30 years from now", or about 2048. By 2048 Frank Chalmers had been on Mars for almost 20 years.

Or am I jumping to conclusions? 'Cos I do that a lot.(less)
Craig The story is self-standing but related to "Antarctica". While not absolutely necessary, I would strong recommend reading that one first. There are not…moreThe story is self-standing but related to "Antarctica". While not absolutely necessary, I would strong recommend reading that one first. There are not only some character overlaps but also some common themes--survival in extreme conditions, scientists vs. politicians, approaches to law and sovereignty in extra-national territories.

The Science in the Capital series (also published as Green Earth) also follows Antarctica closely; it doesn't impact this book but you may enjoy reading those two together.

There a few minor points that reading "New York 2140" first will make a bit more clear, but reading it just for those connections may not be quite as rewarding.(less)

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KSR is one of my favorite writers and even if I don’t always find the subject of his books to my liking, at least I enjoy his beautiful writing. This is the first for me which I did not like.

In a few words, it’s a heavy socio-political debate, with multiple references from Chinese culture and history, built apparently on a murder case on the Moon.

Page after page, following the convoluted path of the two main characters, an American and a Chinese, I kept wondering what happened to KSR writing st
Let's be real here. I didn't come to KSR's dinner table for a simple adventure story.

I always come to eat a novel so rich with ideas that I tent to forget that there's a core story underneath all the cool bits of political revolution, economic warfare, the problem of representation, quantum intelligence, cultural identity, and of course... CHANGE.

But like a rice dish with WAY too many spices, the core story to this novel is somewhat overwhelmed by this plethora of great ideas.

Did I enjoy the ch
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
A geopolitical allegorical story using the trappings of mid-21st century colonization of the Moon.

Fred Fredericks, a quantum mechanic, as he arrives at the Chinese moonbase at the Moon's south pole where he gets caught up in an assassination, nearly dying himself. He gets linked up with a pregnant young Chinese woman, Chan Qi, who has her own problems with the authorities. The story follows the two of them as they bounce between the Moon and various places there, China on Earth and back to the M
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having loved Kim Stanley Robinson's previous novels, I jumped at the chance to read this one. The story is a fascinating one which explores the current international relations between the U.S. and China, relations that are becoming increasingly more hostile. It takes place both on the Moon and on Earth, with wonderfully vivid descriptions that immerse you in the settings. Refreshingly original, stunning, with an authentic portrayal of the Chinese culture, something I have always been intrigued b ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Three and half stars

(my apologies for mistreating the English language)

Excellent ideas, good characters, but not a great-great story, or not enough captivating for me at least, if we except the last chapters. In two thirds of the novel it seems that the worldbuilding deserves a better plot (or more epic maybe) but at the end the whole story improves and all haves more sense.

As usual in the author, there are frequently infodumps (generally they are interesting and does not disturb the reading),
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Red Moon is a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson that covers some familiar territory. It is a near future science fiction story that uses a plot about Chinese political upheaval to explore politics, capitalism, climate change, dynastic change, lunar colonization, quantum mechanics, and popular uprising. Unfortunately, the plot is too meandering and poorly paced to carry all the commentary.

Kim Stanley Robinson is a very smart man. He studies a lot of subjects, and if you read his novels so will you. D
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a bit disappointing - not a bad story, not badly told, but rather average, a little too vague, and not what I thought I was getting based on the title. Red Moon? Well, it's about a possible social/economic revolution in China, so I get the "Red" bit. But the fact that the characters get ping-ponged back and forth from the Earth to the Moon didn't seem to matter that much. They're on the run - just some of it is in a more exotic and alien setting than others.

So, frankly, I was bored. I n
Dec 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: speculative
Too formulaic, too transparant. It seems like KSR is stuck in automatic mode in this part of his carreer - or maybe by now I know him too well as an author. Either way, I'm sad to say I DNFed after about 100 pages, totally bored.

Longer reviews & analysis on Weighing A Pig...
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a near future hard SF novel with political elements. I read is as a part of monthly reading for September 2020 at The Evolution of Science Fiction group.

The story’s start is quite interesting (spoilers of the first 5% of the book, setting the scene): an American IT guy Frederic Fredericks travels by a regular shuttle to the Moon, where he has to deliver a quantum phone (linked via entanglement to the unique other phone and hacking-proof) to a customer. The largest colony on the Moon is
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Many readers will recognize in Kim Stanley Robinson the writer known for thought-provoking science fiction stories, especially for his award-winning Mars trilogy. How he is known to enlighten readers through hard science while having a wonderful grasp on character development is not uncalled for, and rare are the times his books do not spark an interest within the community. After all, everyone has to wonder what new story the man has to tell wi
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Revolution in near future China affects the Chinese dominated Moon catching-up an unlikely cast of characters in the chaos. This book has no ending.

My hardcopy of the book was a moderate 450+ pages. The book had a U.S. copywrite of 2018.

Kim Stanley Robinson (KSR) is an American writer of science fiction. He has written more than twenty (20) novels, which include several series. Many of his books are cli-fi related, although some involve space travel. I have read several books by the author. The
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 1audio, 2fiction
I've never read anything by KSR before since reviews by GR friends & the community make it sound as if he's into intricate world building which isn't my thing. That was certainly true here in a near future story about social & political upheaval spurred by the wealth gap. It's focused on China & the moon with the US also playing a role. The overall idea wasn't bad, but it didn't do a lot for me since the characters were flat. There were a lot of opportunities for great characters, but he missed ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The book was not up to my expectations, it was a political SF with emphasize on the moon explorations, but it became really boring somewhere in the middle of the book and it became so predictable too.
I found some small similarities between this book and "Moon is a harsh mistress" by Robert Heinlien. I am not saying Kim stanley Robinson was inspired by that book, or something, but they had some points in common. like the political essence of the 2 books, the setting which was the moon, the role o
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

We open with a murder on the Moon (which is largely Chinese). Strange characterization of one of our main characters - does he receive any at all? By far the most interesting narrator is the elderly poet/travel guide Ta Shu. Suffers a bit at the end from deus ex machina. (view spoiler) Very abrupt ending.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Émigrés from the Gernsback Continuum
Recommended to Alan by: A veritable mountain of previous work
With just one hand
Held up high
I can blot you out
Out of sight...
—from the song "Hello Earth" by Kate Bush, on Hounds of Love (1985)

There is truly nothing new under the Moon, I suppose. Even Hugo Gernsback, the pioneering writer and editor who came up with the term "scientifiction" (and after whom the Hugo Awards are named) would recognize the beginning of Kim Stanley Robinson's 2018 novel Red Moon: two men, seatmates on a spaceship fast approaching its landing on the Moon, marvel at their surroun
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, science-fiction
I was so excited to read this but it just turned out just a smidge above okay. I don't know what happened and I've never had this experience with a KSR book but this just didn't captivate me and took me a week to get through. It had all the usual elements I enjoy, a murder on the moon, a lunar settlement/colony setup and a good amount of politics. I didn't find the main character terribly compelling either. The parts were all there, the mechanics proficient but this just wasn't the read for me. ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A new book by Kim Stanley Robinson is always good news and I jumped on this as soon as it arrived - a fascinating story that follows growing hostilities between China and the US, and particularly within China itself, as it plays out on the Moon and on Earth. Three people are caught in the middle - an activist (inconveniently heavily pregnant), a celebrity travel reporter and an American engineer. The wonderful descriptions of the habitats on the Moon are the novel's greatest strength for me - or ...more
Christine Thompson
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh. If it was written by anyone else, I probably would have loved it. It was painfully light on science, and read like it was ready to be adapted for Netflix. And I would watch every second of that.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Well, China has colonised the Moon and the rest of the world is playing catch-up, making the dusty, cratered lump of rock a giant political football. Shenanigans start up there, involving internal Chinese politics, but things turn international when a murder is committed and blamed on an odd series of chases and attempts to hide follow, as "global" revolution looms.

"Global" in quotation marks, becuase KSR argues that only the USA and China matter any more and that they have become
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Red Moon is quality science fiction. I've often found myself enjoying the marrying of this particular genre with the Chinese culture and this was no exception as it proved to be interesting, entertaining and also a little educational. At it's heart it is a murder mystery which I certainly got caught up in, it just didn't rock my world like some sci fi has recently.

Now I am new to the author. I have heard spectacular things about Aurora in particular and funnily enough picked it up at the shop ab
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
108th book for 2018.

I love KSR. I started reading him when he first started publishing short stories and so am always happy when he publishes a new book.

Unfortunately, this is not one of his better books. His characters are OK, but even more one-dimensional than normal. My favorite character in fact was a primitive AI. His descriptions of the Moon was OK, but again nothing really special.

The plot itself is (largely) a strange sort of roadtrip, bouncing a pregnant Chinese activist/princeling an
Patrick DiJusto
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Kim Stanley Robinson (henceforth, KSR) is one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived. He started writing novels in 1984, and one after another he kept hitting them out of the park. BAM! The Three Californias trilogy! BAM! The Mars Trilogy! BAM! Antarctica! Years of Rice and Salt! BAM!

And then in 2009 he released Galileo's Dream. Which I didn't care for.

And then he went right back to hitting them out of the park again! BAM! Science in the Capitol trilogy! BAM! 2312 BAM! Shaman. B
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 I thought this was great but I know why it’s not higher rated; as always KSR is very political which turns many off, plus he’s a socialist! So this has the usual KSR stuff but now we’ve expanded to the moon which gets caught up in the politics on Earth. I loved how this focuses on China, and I got an inkling into the different ways the Chinese mind views their country, history and philosophy so bravo. The plot moved quickly, lots of action. Plus we watch an AI evolve!
Bryan Alexander
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Red Moon is a good introductory book if you're new to Kim Stanley Robinson. It draws on many of his ideas, but it is also lighter and more focused than some of his others.

The plot starts off as a crime story, then morphs into political struggle. It takes place later in the 21st century, partly on the titular moon, largely colonized by China, and partly in China itself. We begin by following two characters on their first visit to the Chinese colony: Fred Fredericks, an IT specialist, and Ta Shu,
Debbie Notkin
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This might be the best page-turner Kim Stanley Robinson has ever written, without sacrificing any of the depth and complexity I read his books for. The year is 2047, the moon is inhabited – mostly by Chinese scientists, but also some American scientists and some multicultural anarchists. The primary viewpoint character, Fred Fredricks, is a clueless tech guy who is basically running an errand to the moon. Through no fault of his own, he gets accused of a murder which is part of a very complicate ...more
Doctor Science
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hugo-poss-2019
Probably my favorite KSR so far. It's about the Moon, it's about China, it's about our present global politics. Rotating POV where one is autistic. It's a novel of ideas (of all kinds), but also about revolution, changes in political and earthly climate, poetry. Very likely to make my Hugo-nomination ballot.

I would really like to see a review from someone who's spent a lot of time in China and really understands it. The China stuff--characters, politics, worldview--seems plausible to me, but I k
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe more 3.5 stars, but I'll round up because it's Kim Stanley Robinson. Red Moon is definitely not destined to be among my favorite KSR novels. This is nowhere near the Mars Trilogy, Aurora, or The Years of Rice and Salt (my personal favorites), nor is it quite as much fun as Galileo's Dream, as engaging as Shaman, or as wide-ranging as 2312. In fact, Red Moon may be my least favorite of KSR's novels I've read. But as I said in my review of New York 2140 (another book I liked but didn't love) ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Red Moon kicks off on the moon but quickly starts hopping locations! :D With Red Moon being an analogy to China and rebellion which becomes clear as the book shows it colours! :D The book is told primarily from the perspectives of Fred Fredericks an American Quantum Computer Engineer, Ta Shu a Chinese travel celebrity/blogger and through Chan Qi who is almost from what one one could consider royalty in China as she is the daughter of Chan Guoliang the Finance Minster! :D The characters are all v ...more
Dori Sabourin
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, hoopla
The year is 2047, Fred Fredericks while delivering a Swiss Quantum Works Unicaster 3000 to Chang Yazu, chief administrator of the Chinese Lunar Authority, located on the moon, is used to poison the chief and becomes sick himself. A very pregnant Chan Qi is the leader of a migrant workers rights movement. Both have become persons of Interest and find themselves being hunted by the Authorities. After being captured, they join forces to escape their captors. Ta Shu, a fellow passenger on the lunar ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I normally love the author's work, but this book did not work for me.

One of the main characters was too obviously the fish out of water used by the author to explain everything, and this character's constant inability to accept anything or solve any problems without asking for an explanation, or sudden leaps of unsupported exposition was incredibly wearying.

Most of the references to the Chinese (people, politics, culture) read like the diary of someone who excitedly visited the country once, an
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Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer, probably best known for his award-winning Mars trilogy.

His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the 15 years of research and lifelong fascination with Mars which culminated in his most famous work. He has, due to his

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Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times-bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He's written more than 20 books,...
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“Really?” “Yes. Lord of the Flies is like some Christian support group compared to the mean girls’ club.” 2 likes
“Analogies always deceive more than they reveal; I am no fan of analogies, I do not use them. Even metaphor, that mental operation we use with almost every word we speak, is slippery and deceptive. I always speak as plainly as I can.
And yet language, and therefore thought, is a strange and imprecise game of metaphors and analogies, one that we must play to stay alive.”
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