The Empress of Mars

  • by Kage Baker
  • Narrated by Nicola Barber
  • 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits, and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet - only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars.
This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It's also the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan; of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another company entirely - all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world. But Mary and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.
Based on the Hugo-nominated novella of the same name, this is a rollicking novel of action, planetary romance, and high adventure.


What the Critics Say

“Most writers’ alternate universes are fun to visit, but Kage Baker’s is one I wouldn’t mind moving to: the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs... seen through the eyes of a writer far more poetic, vastly more scientifically literate, and with an infinitely superior sense of humor. Even as science-fictional taverns go, the Empress of Mars is memorable, a joint I hope I’ll be able to return to many times.” (Spider Robinson)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Stellar Surprise

Having read the blurb about this book, I was a little cagey about how good it might be. Never heard of the author and the storyline didnt sound that exciting. But the empress of Mars was on offer, at a good price so I gave it a chance. The risk paid off. This is a well written story that is enjoyably narrated. The pace and tone of the voice is soothing and easy to listen to.

There are some interesting characters in the story, the main lady herself, her tenants/employees, the settling farmers and the shady players who seek to profit from subterfuge on the red planet. There are one or two interesting ideas on terraforming and the new technologies that might evolve to make it successful. But otherwise this story has a heartwarming character development and well paced story evolution that, though slow to start, draws the listener in by the end, so you have a real connection with what is happening to the characters in the story as it closes.

All in all the ending is a little crazy and you miss some closure with some of the most interesting characters but this is definitely a story worth spending a credit on, especially if you want to give a new author and reader a try.
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- Donal

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios