Review of Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson


Orthodox Herbertarian

What one word best describes Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, or for that matter, the entire Mars trilogy? I'm not sure that there is only one word that can be used. But if there is, could it be something like "brilliant," or "genius?" How about "overwritten," or "ponderous?" I think that Red Mars is all these things. Robinson's Mars trilogy is an epic Utopian piece, wherein all the brilliant scientists who populate the story try to work through, on Mars, all of the things that devil our Earth-based society of today. In it Robinson presumes all the usual Earth-bound problems, such as uncontrolled capitalism, severe resource depletion and environmental catastrophe. But by keeping the focus firmly on Mars, which Earth wants as nothing more than a vassal, he tests the patience of Earth as a few renegade Martians make their own plans, many of which exclude the mother planet. So yes, to be sure, words like "brilliant" and "genius" and "ponderous" and "overwritten" do apply to this book. "Epic" certainly belongs in the mix too. Red Mars on its own may be about creating one's own future in the face of a powerful opponent who wants what you have. Or it's about the the ills of social darwinism. I'm not sure which, but I don't think that it matters in the end. Whatever else it is, first and foremost it is probably the most scientifically-passionate tale of colonization that is, or ever will be...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..