Red Mars
Kim Stanley Robinson
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Get Kim Stanley Robinson's *Red Mars* delivered to your door! Red Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson
Bantam Spectra
Copyright 1993
572 pages
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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With this admonitory foray into a foreseeable future, Kim Stanley Robinson won the 1993 Nebula Award for best novel. In Red Mars, Robinson imagines the political, environmental, and social implications of successful human colonization of the red planet. With meticulous details and keen insight into human nature, of both the individual and of groups, the author takes his readers on an odyssey of titanic proportions, a tale that is a journey without a knowable conclusion.

Curled Up With a Good BookIn 2026, a group of one hundred carefully selected scientists from around the globe become the vanguard of Mars colonization. These visionaries will grow to love and hate one another, to form coalitions and to break them, to together mold the future of a planet. Carefully screened long before launch, the select few endure a year in Antartica to determine if they can make a tenable community. Coming out of that ordeal to the satisfaction of mission psychologist Michel Duval, the first hundred set off on the long trip to Mars.

Through self-deception and subterfuge, the colonists navigate the shoals of the psychiatric testing. But as they near their new home, it becomes increasingly apparent that members of this first wave have ideologies, passions, and political philosophies that will cause factions to arise. Idiosyncracies become pronounced, jealousies develop, and the first hundred becomes more and more fractured after landing safely and beginning the long process of constructing outposts.

The politics and economics of Earth have followed this internationally varied collection of intellectuals. Deep rifts occur between those who want to make Mars another Earth and those who passionately believe that Mars should remain unsullied to the fullest possible extent. Arguments and feuds occur between those who want to make Mars fully accessible and subject to the needs and desires of Earth and those who want to be fully independent of the home planet. As more and more humans follow the path of the first hundred, Martian soil will be rocked by explosive acts of environmental and political terrorism, and the lives of many of the first hundred will become forfeit in the struggle to determine the fate of an entire planet.

Speculative-fiction patriarch Arthur C. Clarke called Red Mars "the best novel on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written... it should be required reading for the colonists of the next century." Indeed, this is a story of the inevitable human struggle that constitutes the history of our own planet, a series of cautionary and intelligent what-ifs that could serve as a textbook for the many things to be considered before we carry our earthbound rivalries and dreams outside our own orbit.

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