Monday, November 25, 2013

Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson

The first book of the series which describes how Mars was settled and terraformed. This might be called political science fiction as the emphasis in this book is on the people involved and what kind of politics and agreements are needed in such a major project. The actual mechanics of the endeavor is more on the sidetrack, and that part of the book isn’t really well thought out. The author seems not to have even a small grasp of the basic laws of thermodynamics or of the conservation of energy. (Using windmills to heat a planet is so gigantically idiotic premise, that it is hard to believe no one caught it during proofreading).Also, everything seems to happen extremely easily, and living in the Mars seems far too easy – it seems it is trivial to establish clandestine “underground” independent settlements. Everything happens on a planet where temperatures are much worse than in Antarctica on a cold day and the atmosphere is practically vacuum from a human point of view. The writing was very descriptive and everything is told is in almost mind numbing detail with long discussions. The actual plot was pretty interesting with a different points of view about what should be done with an unused planet – should it be “spoiled” and turned something more habitable for man, or should it kept as a some kind of (most likely totally sterile) nature preserve, where the original Mars is saved as far as possible. The writing was rather too loose for my taste - perhaps not as overtly descriptive as in Hugo nominated 2312. On the other hand it will be interesting to see what will happen to the slightly communistic Martian revolution in the next book, but on the other hand I am not looking forward to reading 1200 more pages in this style of writing.

592 pp.

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