Red Mars

I had a love-hate relationship with Red Mars.  Let’s start with what I loved.  There are lots of classic science fiction novels that incorporated life on Mars, and I have read a bunch of them.  This is the first that made it actually sound somewhat possible.  The concept of systematically terraforming a completely uninhabitable and hostile world, was cleverly made to sound believable and possible by Kim Stanley Robinson.  He really did his research.

I also loved the social aspects woven into the book.  Robinson does a terrific job of depicting how an advanced group of people might build a society and political structure if they were to begin from scratch.  Watching various groups and cultures evolve and interact under the harsh Martian environment was a lot of fun.

Now, here is what I did not love.  For me, the book read a little more like a history book than a novel.  Given the depth to which Robinson went to build this new world and society, he had to convey a lot of details from many different character perspectives.  It left me unable to get behind or really get into any one character.  It also made for a long, and at times, dry story.  There were not many places in the book where I felt like I just couldn’t put it down, and had to find out what happened next.

If you want to think ‘outside the box’ about science, exploration, and society, this is a must read.  However, if you are looking for a fast-paces sci-fi story with lots of action, this is definitely not for you.

Hope this helps you find your next book.



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