Friday, January 1, 2016

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars
by Kim Stanley Robinson
1993
****
4 stars - space opera
ALR Green - very few animals, some die, but that's space travel for you, don't worry, you won't be attached to any of them (I guess space people don't keep pets)



You know what's really cool? I might see a human landing on Mars in my lifetime! Wow! It's starting to seem like a possibility. So awesome!

Now, where was I?

Red Mars is book one of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. It follows the first few decades of the colonization of Mars, starting with the crew of one hundred sent to get things started. After nine months in space, they land and get to work. 

Their primary goal is to warm up the planet and start to make it more inviting to humans. As time goes by, people still can't walk around outside, but cities have sprung up, the atmosphere is slowly getting thicker and warmer, and the natural resources are being harvested.

But then, uh oh, well, things aren't so hot back on planet Earth. Way too many people, not enough stuff, so governments and businesses get more and more involved in the whole Mars thing. Now you've got significant migration from Earth to Mars as well as parties with differing agendas and, well, people, right? Stupid people always messing things up.

Sadly, despite being written over 20 years ago, the politics of the story are still very relevant (because people just don't learn from history and don't seem able to get along, whatever the consequences).

Almost five stars, but I'm deducting one because I found the middle of the book to be too heavy on politics and light on day to day technology for me. The characters are also a little bland. No worries. Still an epic space opera!

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