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Green Mars (Mars Trilogy)

(Book #2 in the Mars Trilogy Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel - Kim Stanley Robinson's classic trilogy depicting the colonization of Mars continues in a thrilling and timeless novel that pits the settlers against their...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Another classic

I'm not sure I liked it quite as much as Red Mars, but it's still amazing. It's just a totally immersive, thought-provoking work of tremendous detail. It's definitely not escapist or super-being type of sf. I enjoy those two, but this isn't it. It's unsettling, brutal... it's a very 'hard sf' kind of book. Allow me to address the complaints with this book: 1) Too long/boring: This is ridiculous. Every page contributes to the book. The pacing is rapid compared to what the characters experience. If you find yourself bored, or that it's going on too long, consider the characters. Perhaps Robinson wanted you to feel a little of their conflict. Personally, I was riveted, even at the parts with less action and more dialogue. See, I like books. I enjoy reading. 600 pages weren't a chore, they were a treat. I think people making this complaint would be better served reading novelizations of Star Wars or other action-packed space opera tripe. This one is for serious readers. Don't order espresso if what you really wanted was weak tea. 2) Political propoganda: This one actually cracks me up. See, whatever your political viewpoint, there are characters in the book who would sympathize with you. Unfortunately for our more myopic critics here, that means there will also be characters who disagree with you. They disagree with each other, too. See, it's like real life, with many different people and viewpoints. If you want your literature scubbed clean and sanitized of characters who might not vote the way you do, you are a sad, sad person and I feel sorry for you. The fact is, the characters in this book are trying to come up with a new way for human economics, politics, and even social structures to function. Because, like it or not, humans have not yet found a perfect method. Even capitalism has serious flaws, though I, personally, would tend toward it as a general rule. That's just me though. Are some of their ideas socialist? Yup. ARe some capitalist? You bet. Are ANY of their ideas original in the history of human administration? I didn't think so, but that's one of the themes throughout this whole series: can humans do anything original, or are they doomed to repeat themselves in perpetuity? And yes, a theme can be a question, the best ones are. It's not a love letter to either Adam Smith OR Karl Marx. It's just exploring the grey areas with some very well-developed characters and well-researcged fiction. The only legitimate complaint I can think of is the prose, which, like Red Mars, was a bit stiff. A lot of sf writers appear to be scientists or researchers first, poets second. Fans of the genre don't expect Faulknerian prose (though Delany and some others are fine). The plot, characterization, themes, subtext, even the much-beleaguered pacing are masterful. not to mention the unbelievable research. I read a lot of sf, so the less-than-poetic prose didn't hinder my enjoyment. To summarize, this book i

Classic science fiction in the best tradition

The best science fiction uses speculation about science to accomplish the projection of us as humans into worlds and situations outside of the everyday, to test and propose how we would act and react in such a situation. In other words, it's about people, albeit in the context of space, aliens, time travel, technology, etc. The best works of Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, etc are all science fiction, but even more they are great works of fiction. Robinson's Mars trilogy are in that tradition, and compare well to those classics. They provide not only a realistic (enough) projection of science and technology, but more importantly are about how we as people might behave under those circumstances. They are about not only science but also history, sociology, biology, geology, psychology, along with economics and politics. They are not just whiz-bang shoot-em-up rocket chases, but rather gripping human stories of how people can scratch out a living in a harsh environment, and learn to grow both as people and as a community. Robinson's technique of telling each major chapter from the point of view of a different character gives depth to each point of view, while maintaining the plot thread weaving it all together. These are books that will drag you into their world and make you think, as well as be entertained. And possibly learn how to skim ahead through the long, detailed descriptions of the landscapes after the first few.

Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

This second volume of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy is a very worthy Hugo winner. Although there are elements of RED MARS I did not like (which I'll not go into now), with RED MARS as a background, I found GREEN MARS to be brilliant. If you haven't read Red Mars, don't tackle this volume first.KSR really did his homework in studying the social scientific aspects of his novel (as he did with the rest). The metanational and transnational corporations are a believable outgrowth of current economic trends and their reactions toward Mars and its denizens in GM logically follows their development in the novel. KSR also did a better job of staking out the various issues and ideologies involved in terraforming, giving the policy and political middle-ground between the Reds and the policy of the Transnational Authorities (which is terraforming as quickly as possible moving toward a viable atmosphere on Mars). The Part entitled "What is to be Done" was excellently written and extremely realistic (even if I have trouble believing that with all the political elements represented that some didn't opt out because of ideological extremism). That the group left without any real political action plans made the section even more convincing. The culture of the youth born on Mars seen through the eyes of members of the First Hundred shows a wonderful sense of cultural development with all the elements it entails including genetics, the Martian environment, and how they were raised (interacting with the first two). KSR does not do quite as well at developing individual characters in GM but his characterization does lend itself to understanding the motivations of individuals and empathy The long descriptions of the Martian landscape is at times hard to appreciate given that I have never been to Mars and have never studied photos of Mars' surface and landscape. I like the two places where there were small maps of Mars in the text. The development of large, complex living environments with the limited resources of those outside "the net" or the umbrella of the metanational corporations that control most of Mars is hard to perceive too. But this is easily overlooked at the sake of the larger picture that GM paints.

Philosophical affinities & divergances demarcate 22nd c Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson's epic Mars trilogy proceeds with new characters and familiar ones. Robinson is now comfortable in his role as planetary surveyor and scribe; his scientific capacity and artistic bravery are equal to his first volume, Red Mars. New readers are introduced to those remaining from the original 100 settlers to Mars, and are given the opportunity to explore the red planet from pole to pole. Those familiar with the exploits of Maya, Sax, Ann, Nadia, and Coyote will be delighted to see the evolving planet through their friends' eyes for a few thousand more miles of adventure and another generation of time.Mars has experienced its first revolution and its people are now recovering and reorganizing. Several political factions exist: the Reds, those committed to the maintenance of Mars in its primal state, even if that means the expulsion of humans (the Reds were responsible for one wave of the revolution); then there are the Greens, those dedicated to terraformation and viriditas, life's natural pattern of growth and complexity... this group was driven south and underground, and here we find most of the original 100 settlers; next are the Transnationals, the Terran corporations that have spread to Mars (who unleashed a majority of the destruction during the revolution); finally, there are waves of Emigrants who simply have no room left on Earth, or wish to start a new life and family on Mars. Robinson's grasp of the political climate is impressive, as he juggles so many realistic and human motivations. With patience, you will discover the leaders and beliefs of all major groups (a welcome shift from sci-fi's traditional cardboard political cutouts). But it's still a small world, the population split into only a handful of communities, and the potential as great as ever. "Every human was a great power, every human on Mars an alchemist."Green Mars is essentially a collection of self-contained short stories, in the mode of Isaac Asimov's original Foundation series; Green Mars weaves fine threads through seven characters and 40 earth-years. In addition, each section is prefaced with a few pages written by other characters, major and minor... these introductories' relation to their following story isn't always clear, but it's often a nice, short respite from the just concluded 50-100 page tale.First, we travel to the south pole, into caves dug in the frozen ice-mass. Here, we find the Greens continuing both the education of their children and their social engineering; most of the children are test-tube creations, combinations of the strongest members of the community. "Hiroko, who seemed an alien consciousness, with entirely different meanings for all the words in the language" is the group's silent godmother and planner... their future lies in her enigmatic hands. All south-pole Greens travel about in camouflaged vehicles, but not for much longer... their preparations for re-assumption of Mars leadership proceed.The second sto

If you like Babylon 5, try the Mars trilogy

Warning: Green Mars doesn't stand alone; read Red Mars first.Fans of Babylon 5 and social science fiction should give Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy a try. Like Babylon 5, this science fiction epic will please people who enjoy speculating about political problems and seeing broad social conflicts played out with a varied cast of complex characters.The conflicts that drove Red Mars -- between those bent on terraforming Mars and those committed to keeping it pristine; between Martian settlers and those engaged in mining Mars for Earth's profit; and between different visions for the future of Mars society -- continue in Green Mars, but new complexities intervene. Children brought up on Mars, many of them in experimental communities organized around utopian ideals, don't share the views of the first settlers. And the first settlers, too, have changed, sobered by the failure of their first war of independence. Will the ever more fragmented people of Mars be able to agree on anything -- much less unite to win independence?I found Green Mars a satisfying, intelligent book which even nullifies my trifling criticisms of Red Mars: plot threads which seemed to have been dropped in Red Mars resurface here, not forgotten after all, and Robinson's seeming prejudice against Christians in Red Mars seems to be deliberately corrected in Green Mars. However, it's not for everyone: kids who can read Asimov and Heinlein easily may find Robinson's vocabulary too difficult. Adults wanting a very light read may find it heavy going, as well: this thoughtful book demands readers' full attention. R-rated sex scenes may bother some fastidious readers. And, as with all political stories, appreciation of Green Mars may depend on your politics. Here, again, Babylon 5 provides a good rule of thumb: I would guess that anyone who wasn't put off by the show's political content shouldn't be afraid of this book, either. Give it a try!
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