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The Complete Mars Trilogy: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars by [Robinson, Kim Stanley]
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The Complete Mars Trilogy: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7223 KB
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (30 July 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00T2HWI48
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Easy to by on Amazon. Story is slow to start with a mix of politics as well as SF. Does include long lists of items I felt was point less.I gets better the more you get into it.
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Such a good trilogy! Especially if you're into science, design, technology, and space!
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I used to read hard science fiction back the 1980s. I liked Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle etc.Their muscular individualism always grated a bit, though it was fun. There is a line in Niven in which a character says something like: 'He always lived as if the Universe was out to try to kill him'. It has an easy appeal as a way of thinking for a character or philosophical position, but it is not very sophisticated, nor even observant about how we all actually behave or how history happens.
The Mars Trilogy brings intelligence, complexity and rounded psychology to hard science fiction.
The criticisms I have seen here and elsewhere online about these books actually give away what is brilliant about this work.
Some say it is too full of nerdy science. Some say it is 'a soap opera', about characters and people's love lives rather than a proper piece of science fiction. Some say it is too political and full of theory.
It is all of these things - and therefore none of them. That is the point.
If you can only see one or two of these themes/styles then you are missing its brilliance.
This trilogy is about how all of these things interact and define and determine each other. To think of human lives or human history as having a single thread or single 'cause' is reductive. The nature of the world, particularly the human world, is emergent - it has qualities that are more than the sum of their parts and cannot be reductively deduced.
What is driving the history of Mars? People? Scientific discovery? Social forces beyond our grasp? Sheer physical forces of environment?
And can people really control any of these things? Can they choose who they are? Can they change their personality or the politics of their society?
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On 21 December 2026, one hundred of earth’s most skilled engineers and scientists begin a nine-month long journey to Mars. It’s a joint American-Russian undertaking, aimed at establishing a permanent scientific outpost on Mars with a view to possible settlement and colonisation. It’s one way to solve a number of serious overcrowding and other problems on the Earth.

In the first novel (‘Red Mars’), much of the debate/discussion is centred around the fate of Mars. The physicist Saxifrage ‘Sax’ Russell advocates a ‘Green’ position: arguing for the immediate and rapid terraforming of Mars to make it more suitable for human occupation. The geologist Ann Clayborne advocates a ‘Red’ position: arguing that Mars should be preserved in an undisturbed state. I found their debates are fascinating, even though some of the technical discussion forced me out of the novel to seek clarification of some of the terms. I loved the descriptions, the colours, the sheer size of the landscape.

And then, there are a series of disasters.

The second novel, (‘Green Mars’), picks up the story some fifty years later. While many of the ‘First Hundred’ are now dead, there are now children and grandchildren as well as those who have survived. The multinational/transnational control of Mars has sparked unrest. Corporations on earth seek to exploit rich mineral deposits on Mars. There are underground factions as well: those on Mars seek control over their destiny. Alongside the political machinations and the exploits and adventures of the characters, are beautiful descriptions of the Martian landscape. This book ends with a major catastrophe on Earth which has a huge impact on the importance of Mars.
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Rather an epic read, with a huge story arc and good characters. Not a fast-paced book by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it takes it time to unfold, with plenty of science, philosophy, and evocative description. My only complaint (and the reason for a dropped star) is that there are times when the scientific descriptions seem to be a bit of a 'brain dump' of all the research in a particular field (great long lists of technical terms; geological features is one example). Plus, they tend to feature across the trilogy, so you do get a sense of having read it before if you tackle the entire work in one go.
Nevertheless, very high quality sci-fi, with some thought-provoking questions thrown into the mix.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the three books when they first appeared in paperback, and I have to admit I was looking forward to having them as ebooks so that I could dip into them from time to time.

For those who are unfamiliar with them, Mars is colonised, but there are divisions amongst the first hundred on whether to keep Mars as found, or terraform it to make it a new version of Earth. There's a stretch to new technological capability as befits a work of science fiction, but nothing that's too far beyond what we can see on the horizon.

But there's a great richness to the story as you see tensions play out between Earth and its colony. Some of the darker protagonists you can see emerging today on Earth, so the political aspects of this story ring true.

My only regret is that at the snails pace that Humanity is actually making progress to getting to Mars, I'll never live to see just how accurate some of the technological predictions are.
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