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Red Mars

(Mars Trilogy #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  74,768 ratings  ·  3,861 reviews
In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research & cutting-edge science in the 1st of a trilogy chronicling the colonization of Mars:

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulf
Mass Market Paperback, 572 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Spectra Books (first published 1992)
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Rodzilla Hmm, I found Rama much better. The science in the Mars trilogy is fantastic (I'm a science professor, so...). But the plot and characters never drew m…moreHmm, I found Rama much better. The science in the Mars trilogy is fantastic (I'm a science professor, so...). But the plot and characters never drew me in. Frankly, the characters were remarkably unstable and annoying, and the plot was annoying as well.

But I wouldn't read the Rama sequels. They aren't really Clarke books anyway. And there's nothing wrong with a book ending without everything answers (which is what happens in Rama).(less)
Sheila Jenné I didn't feel like it had much of a plot. At least, not *one* plot. Each section had some kind of conflict, but it's mostly a lot of driving around lo…moreI didn't feel like it had much of a plot. At least, not *one* plot. Each section had some kind of conflict, but it's mostly a lot of driving around looking at stuff.(less)

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a vision, what a detailed description of both the hard science and humanities escalating towards misuse by politics, economics, ideology, and faith.

The cognitive dissonance between high tech and naked ape primitivity
As always, by the way, there seems to be close to no sci-fi author who doesn´t include some kind of dystopic nightmare in contrast to the tech utopia, always with the soft, wet, biological components, us, lacking the competence to control primitive instincts, dominant alpha beha
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I just finished reading this for the second or third time. I wish I could bump this up to 3.5 stars, which more reflects what I feel about it.

To begin with, I should come forward with my biases. This is a book you'll either love or you will hate. For my part, I love the planet Mars. Or at least, I love the idea of the planet Mars, because I've never been there. I'd love to go though. If someone from NASA told me that I could go to Mars, and there was only a 50/50 chance I'd survive, I'd be like
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: hardcore sci-fi heads only
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
An extremely detailed and ridiculously well researched novel on the colonization of Mars, this book is absolutely maddening. The characters veer from believable three dimensional humans to weird caricatures and plot devices within a few pages. And the author's exploration of the political implications of a newly habitable planet filled with resources for civilization is at first fascinating and then just boring. At least five or six times someone would yell out "This isn't like the discovery of ...more
Henry Avila
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
When primitive man looked up at the heavens wondering what that red light was during the cold nights trying to keep warm in the long dark, they told stories around the camp fires about the mysterious object, the best liars and fables were remembered and from generation to generation these tales were believed, until modern times. Even at the start of the twentieth century, some astronomers saw canals on the red planet. But progress continues to roll relentlessly, and science catches up and dull r ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Update: I found my copies on eBay! Now, let’s hope they get here!

Son of a damn it!!! I was surprised I loved the hell outta this book and of course I can’t find my paperback copy! I listened to this on the library’s audio and I swear it better not have ended up in the trade in box!! I want the other two books in the old cover like this one I’m supposed to own. I went to order them and they changed the damn covers. I mean the new covers are pretty. FINE! But I want the the covers like the one I
J.L.   Sutton
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
“History was like some vast thing that was always over the tight horizon, invisible except in its effects. It was what happened when you weren't looking -- an unknowable infinity of events, which although out of control, controlled everything.”

Red Mars by CarlosNCT.deviantart.com | Red mars, Sf art, Kim stanley robinson

Red Mars is a fantastic beginning to Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. The book is part science, part character study and a lot of adventure as mankind colonizes (and begins to change) the red planet. But it's not just Mars that is changed. Those who co

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and beca
Mark Lawrence
I gave up on this book after 100 pages or so.

It's by no means a bad book, it just wasn't a book that I was enjoying reading. I came to the conclusion that life is short and I would, instead, read a book that wouldn't let me stop turning the pages.

This is a very dry, hard science book. I was a research scientist for 20 years so it's not a question of understanding, just interest. There was half a page where a new PoV character just listed all her tools. Later there were two pages and a diagram re
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Hard SF novel about the colonization of Mars. An initial group of 100 colonists, men and women, is shipped off from Earth to Mars to try to terraform the planet and make it a better fit for human life. Kim Stanley Robinson explores all of the science involved in doing that, as well as the political collusions and maneuvering involved, and the relationships and psyches of several of the colonists.

This is a well-known and respected SF novel: thoughtful, scientifically-minded and very detailed, if
Jul 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
As an avid reader of Science Fiction, this book bored me to tears with its utterly one dimensional characters and utterly predictable plot (once one figured out, in the first 50 pages or so, that the characters were entirely linear and incapable of deviation from their preassigned courses). The "climax" is like a tiny pimple of added dimension, which Robinson apparently thinks is somehow highlighted and made more dramatic by the 500 previous pages that scream "Look, I really am this flat!". For ...more
I'm not always a lover of what's known as "hard" sf -- sf that's filled with lots of hard science, in this case science regarding ecology, geology, and all sorts of other brain-straining disciplines. But what's remarkable to me about this book is how complex and human Kim Stanley Robinson makes his band of scientists, and how well he demonstrates over and over again how intertwined all of us are, on a truly huge scale. This book asks a very familiar question: what would happen if we were able to ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
In the Mars trilogy, Robinson proposes to have us imagine a Mars that is terraformed initially by the First Hundred - 50 woman and 50 men chosen after extensive training in Antarctica. The story is told via third person narratives which each chapter focusing on a particular character in more or less sequential order (with the exception of the first chapter about the events in Nicosia leading to the disaster of 2061). The author does an excellent job of making the story and the characters are rea ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Re-read! With buddies!

I originally read this way back in the mid-90's and was struck by how brilliant and entertaining it was, of how wide a sweep of characters could bring Mars alive, from inception to travel to the first habitats all the way to the first revolution 30 years down the line.

What I remembered with the most love, however, wasn't the characters. It was the science and the various aspects of making Mars habitable. That, and I just geeked out. I went on to read all the slew of Mars co
Apr 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on, sci-fi
As a matter of principle, I try not to review books that I don't finish. After nearly 300 pages of agony, however, I've decided to make an exception to that rule. I can't finish this book, but I can warn others not to read it. It's the least I can do.

In terms of plot and story, this book isn't *that* bad, and if that's all that was wrong with it I'd give it 2-3 stars. It's the type of sci-fi story that wins awards not because the story is any good, but because of how meticulously researched it i
Spencer Orey
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
For hard sf, there's a solid and relentless focus on politics here, which is cool. The book never quite loses track of the people doing the science.

There's a lot of drama, many long descriptions of scientific-sounding things, and some great landscape imaginaries of Mars.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
Instead of re-hashing my own old review (did one at Amazon already yanno), let me offer up this BRILLIANT routine about Jaws 4: The Revenge by the late (and lamentedly so!) Mr. Richard Jeni:

"Have you ever seen a movie where they don't even try to have it make sense, they just slap you in the face with how shitty it is? You're sitting there, and you're going, "Maybe this movie isn't so bad and maybe I'm not wasting my life," and the movie slaps you in the face and goes:

Yes you are.

and you say "Ar
A long time ago in a city far, far away, the end of a friendship began over a disagreement about Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. D--- was so close to the material, so desperate to relive the nostalgia of the original trilogy, so deeply invested, that when we left the theatre and I expressed not just my frustration but my rage at what I'd seen, he took it as a personal insult. A slag of his taste (or what he thought I must have been declaring was his lack thereof). A debate raged between us for ...more
Megan Baxter
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Red Mars looks at the first waves of emigration to Mars, through the eyes of certain members of the First Hundred, the original settlers. The world Kim Stanley Robinson paints is complex, filtered through the perceptions of different people, the politics intense and contentious, even the debate over terraforming itself is depicted with lively wrangling.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this d
5.0 to 5.5 stars. It has been said before but it bears repeating...this is the BEST NOVEL on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written. For all of the technical informaiton conveyed and the "hard science" employed, the book is amazingly readable and the characters are very well drawn.

Winner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1994)
Winner: British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel (1993)
Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1993)
Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Awar
Rachel (Kalanadi)
This was SO good! This is epic hard sci fi, where everything is large scale. It never lagged, I was always interested in each character and part of the story, and the final third was intense, exciting, and emotional. I can't wait for Green Mars! ...more
Alex Bright
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Two words: engaging and enraging.
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Powell's used book buyers
Shelves: action-adventure
Some interesting plot events (the space elevator, its destruction, the interplay between Earth and its "colony", some of the practical concerns about living on Mars [but not bathrooms]) cannot paper over the enormity of this book's mediocrity. Consistently boring word choice, ideas that get argued but not connected, looong descriptions of landscape that add nothing to the story, regular use of the run-on sentence and a general use of 10 words when one will do (JK Rowlings's editor...?). Only the ...more
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I hated this book. Here's why.

Endless, pointless, exasperating, excruciating descriptions of Mars. Fissures, mesas, volcanoes, canyons, north of the Fossae, south of the Mons, left at the mohole, orange red yellow pink -- NO ONE CARES. Red Mars taught me, more effectively than any other book I can remember, that detailed description of a place your readers have never been does not serve to make it more real. It serves to bore the pants off of them. And Robinson, bless his heart, just goes on and
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is well-regarded by SF fans, but it didn't really live up to the hype for me, though it's an excellent entry in the hard SF genre. Robinson's prose is not as lyrical as Ray Bradbury's, but it's not as dry as Ben Bova's either. Red Mars seems to synthesize elements from all of Robinson's predecessors — it's a Heinleinesque adventure at times, with hard SF infodumps, but actual characters, and shout-outs to every author who's ever touched Mars, including Burroug ...more
Allison Hurd
Phew! That was a long, fascinating, unpleasant journey. Which is really quite thematic if you think about it. I learned a lot and had some great conversations, but I really bounced off most of the characters and was angry at several of the assertions the author seemed to be making.

CONTENT WARNING: (just a list of topics)(view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The science. Some of it I don't think was t
Dawn F
An extremely fascinating, hard science fiction book about first settlers on Mars, with a writer who stays in the background and lets the characters tell the story through debate and experience. I felt it was fast paced, in constant forward motion, with ideas and arguments propelling the plot forward. Very impressive.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those scifi works that almost everybody has at least heard of, if not read. In my everlasting quest to read such "classics" and spurred by having read about Elon Musk and his plans for colonizing Mars, I couldn't help but pick this up.

The book starts in the future when cities have already been erected on Mars and people are emmigrating there. There's a murder plot underfoot, the motive of which gets explained afterwards by a jump back in time to how the first 100 engineers and sci
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have just returned from Mars.

Well, I haven't of course but it feels a little like that. I feel like I have been one of the pioneer colonists struggling to tame Mars for posterity. That is how immersive this book can be, though it is not actually quite so engrossing throughout every page but even to attain that level of engrossment at times is a significant achievement by the author.

I believe this is one of the most popular sf series ever, I have certainly seen it in many "best of" lists, each
Otis Chandler
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Jeff C. Kunins
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, space, mars
What an amazing, sprawling, realistic book. If we ever do populate Mars, I think this book will feel like a realistic blueprint of how it might go, complete with technology that is applied, inter personal dynamics, politics, and more. Earth is of course over-populated, pushing over 10M people, and so the space of Mars is appealing and we send a ship to start to populate it. By the end of the book, there are many, many people on Mars, all living in bubble cities. The book moves around in who the ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Mars Trilogy (3 books)
  • Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, #2)
  • Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, #3)

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