Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts. For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.
Although it is fiction, Red Mars is based on years of research. As living spaces and greenhouses multiply, an astonishing panorama of our galactic future rises from the red dust. Through Richard Ferrone's narration, each scene is energized with the designs and dreams of the extraordinary pioneers.
©1993 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2000 Recorded Books
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Critic reviews

"Generously blending hard science with canny insight into human strengths and weaknesses, this suspenseful sf saga should appeal to a wide range of readers." ( Library Journal)
"The ultimate in future history." ( Daily Mail)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Jason on 23-04-09


I note that it is highly rated by many people but I found it over-long with stereotypical characters one couldn't empathise with. The book is often commended for its well researched detail but the amount of detail acts as padding and gets in the way of the story - an encyclopaedia may have lots of well researched detail but that doesn't make it a good novel.

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15 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 11-11-16

Epic. very long but worth it!

very long but worth it! Thought provoking while being enjoyably. so many different aspects, philosophies and ideas combined into one great narrative.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By David on 17-05-14

The first Mars colony

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 Burroughs.

Red Mars is the tale of the first Martian colony, and covers a couple of generations of history. The "First Hundred" who established the original settlement become larger-than-life, almost mythical figures to those who follow after them, but as Mars begins to be taken over by political and economic factions bringing old issues of exploitation and oppression (followed by resistance and terrorism) from Earth, the Hundred are just as conflicted and prone to squabbling and working at cross-purposes as all the other settlers.

Early on, there is a huge debate over terraforming Mars, eventually becoming a conflict between the "Reds" and the "Greens." Eventually other cultures arrive on Mars and have their own ideas of what it means to be a Martian settler. Muslims make up a substantial segment of the population, as do Russians and other nationalities, all wanting to have an equal stake in Martian society.

The ending shows the surviving members of the Hundred witnessing what happens after decades of emigration and development on Mars, with much of what has been built up brought down by an uprising among the children of Mars.

If you are a space exploration geek, and especially if you are one of those who still dreams of a Mars expedition in our lifetime, then Red Mars may fire you up with a realistic view of what emigration to Mars might actually look like. It is almost certainly not an accurate picture of what will actually happen, should we ever get that far, but it's a realistic picture of what could happen.

I give this book 4 stars for being one of the best Mars books out there, but not 5 stars, because the story and the characters just did not grab me enough to wonder, "What happens next?"

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By JLM on 21-08-12

Old School Hard Sci Fi, but softly

What made the experience of listening to Red Mars the most enjoyable?

Science, yes, but also relationships, pathos and politics interact to make this a pretty fun listen. I like these long intertwined stories of science, world building, yet not necessarily space opera-y. Not so far in the future that you can;t imagine it ...kinda...
But you have to be interested in the science to enjoy this, it is an integral part of the story.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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