Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel • One of the most enthralling science fiction sagas ever written, Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic trilogy concludes with Blue Mars—a triumph of prodigious research and visionary storytelling.
The red planet is no more. Now green and verdant, Mars has been dramatically altered from a desolate world into one where humans can flourish. The First Hundred settlers are being pulled into a fierce new struggle between the Reds, a group devoted to preserving Mars in its desert state, and the Green “terraformers.” Meanwhile, Earth is in peril. A great flood threatens an already overcrowded and polluted planet. With Mars the last hope for the human race, the inhabitants of the red planet are heading toward a population explosion—or interplanetary war.
Praise for Blue Mars
“A breakthrough even from [Robinson’s] own consistently high levels of achievement.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Exhilarating . . . a complex and deeply engaging dramatization of humanity’s future.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[Blue Mars] brings the epic to a rousing conclusion.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Red Mars, the kickoff to Robinson's epic Mars trilogy, won the Nebula for best SF novel of 1992; its follow-up, Green Mars, won the parallel Hugo for 1994. The conclusion to the saga is not unlike the terrain of Robinson's Red Planet: fertile and fully developed in some spots, vast and arid in others--but, ultimately, it's an impressive achievement. Using the last 200 years of American history as his template for Martian history, Robinson projects his tale of Mars's colonization from the 21st century, in which settlers successfully revolt against Earth, into the next century, when various interests on Mars work out their differences on issues ranging from government to the terraforming of the planet and immigration. Sax Russell, Maya Toitovna and others reprise their roles from the first two novels, but the dominant "personality" is the planet itself, which Robinson describes in exhaustive naturalistic detail. Characters look repeatedly for sermons in its stones and are nearly overwhelmed by textbook abstracts on the biological and geological minutiae of their environment. Not until the closing chapters, when they begin confronting their mortality, does the human dimension of the story balance out its awesome ecological extrapolations. Robinson's achievement here is on a par with Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Herbert's Dune, even if his clinical detachment may leave some readers wondering whether there really is life on Mars. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Long but satisfying
This is a review of all three book with the spoilers.
If you expect an exciting sci-fi story such as by Hamilton or Simmons, for example you will be disappointed. Once I appreciated that Robinson was writing an almost documentary near future novel, I started to like it more. There are rather long boring sections where literally nothing much happens such as characters just wondering around Mars. But, Robinson has clearly done a vast amount of research into all the science of terraforming.
If you like long discourses on neuroscience, molecular biology, psychiatry, geology, quantum physics or even political science, there is a ton of this in this epic. The characters are interesting but also annoying like real people. Robinson’s thoughts about Antarctica are amazing considering when he wrote Blue Mars and the current 2018 research about its rapidly melting glaciers and their effect on global warming.
This is an incredibly well researched set of books that paints a realistic portrayal of how we could terraform Mars and even some of the other planets. I was expecting a story as per Dan Simmons Olympus set, but this is a different style of writing. For those readers would like to see maps of what’s going on, it’s kind of aggravating that the books have fairly lousy maps. However a quick Google search will allow you to download and access some pretty good maps from in the United States geological survey and Google.
One has to applaud Mr. Robinson’s incredibly thorough description of the Martian landscape, sometimes bordering on the tedious, but nevertheless impressive in their detail. The more exciting set pieces such as the flooding of the Marineris canyons and the epic ride by Sax and Ann are very well done. For those of us who would love to go to Mars with Space X, this is the closest we will get and, you get a truly grand tour of all the highlights of Mars; from Olympus Mons, to the Mariner canyons, to the polar ice caps, the great craters and on and on.
As I read the books, I was a little surprised that they won the Hugo awards, but taken as a whole this is clearly a landmark piece of literature that was set the bar for hard science fiction. Just don’t go into it expecting it to be a space opera or exploration adventure and be prepared to put up with some tedious sections. I think it may be wise for future explorers of Mars to read this book and see how good science fiction could well predict reality. Future terraformers are also likely to refer to this epic novel to see what can be done and what can go wrong.
Good not great
A good end to the trilogy. Not as dramatic as the previous two. The vivid descriptions of the land by Robinson have no rival. He truly knows what he is writing about, almost to the point where I thought he was showing off. There are stretches in the book where it gets boring but you have to stick through it because it pads the whole theme of the book... the areophany and what it means to be Martian .
I love the red mars green mars and blue as well. Will definitely reread the stories as long as I live!