- Hardcover: 609 pages
- Publisher: Spectra (June 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553101447
- ISBN-13: 978-0553101447
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, Book 3) Hardcover – June 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Red Mars, the kickoff to Robinson's epic Mars trilogy, won the Nebula for best SF novel of 1992; its follow-up, Green Mars, won the parallel Hugo for 1994. The conclusion to the saga is not unlike the terrain of Robinson's Red Planet: fertile and fully developed in some spots, vast and arid in others?but, ultimately, it's an impressive achievement. Using the last 200 years of American history as his template for Martian history, Robinson projects his tale of Mars's colonization from the 21st century, in which settlers successfully revolt against Earth, into the next century, when various interests on Mars work out their differences on issues ranging from government to the terraforming of the planet and immigration. Sax Russell, Maya Toitovna and others reprise their roles from the first two novels, but the dominant "personality" is the planet itself, which Robinson describes in exhaustive naturalistic detail. Characters look repeatedly for sermons in its stones and are nearly overwhelmed by textbook abstracts on the biological and geological minutiae of their environment. Not until the closing chapters, when they begin confronting their mortality, does the human dimension of the story balance out its awesome ecological extrapolations. Robinson's achievement here is on a par with Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Herbert's Dune, even if his clinical detachment may leave some readers wondering whether there really is life on Mars. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This third book in Robinson's hard-science Mars trilogy follows 1992 Nebula winner Red Mars (LJ 11/15/92) and 1994 Hugo winner Green Mars (LJ 3/15/94). In the 21st century, colonists almost succeed in terraforming Mars. While they fight for independence from Earth and attempt to avert a civil war, they find their new civilization threatened by an ice age. A well-written, thoughtful conclusion to the trilogy. Highly recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Blue Mars ties up the trilogy very neatly: the ideas started in Red Mars continue on toward their logical ends. I find that I miss reading the arguments and adventures of what remains of the First 100(+1).
The book isn't perfect: The segments on Earth drag on, it's never explained why the scientific communities on Earth and Mars don't seem to cooperate at all, and I really would have liked to have gotten a few dozen more pages about exactly how and why Hiroko started Zygote.
I feel like we completed this long journey and it was nice to see the first 100(+1) changing over time and becoming closer as they all get older. The scene with Sax and Maya coming up with new colors was very sweet, and wouldn't have worked without the first two and a half books to make the scene work.
Nirgal seems.. listless in the book, which is kind of a shame. But it is realistic. It seemed like the author didn't know what to do with Jackie, and the only options were political assassination or "I have to leave the planet now." We were clearly supposed to dislike
All in all this was one of my favorite hard sci fi series of all time. I'll really miss everyone.
I’ve read Sci-Fi voraciously since 1964. To me, this series seems prophetic. Perhaps some of the science is a bit dated, being conceived and written in the 1990s. We know a lot more now about the dangers and challenges we may encounter in our efforts to expand our reach into our solar system.
All that not withstanding, I believe we (humanity) will overcome those obstacles. Maybe we could even learn to live together more harmoniously and efficiently, as conceived here in this series.
I believe in the power of human ingenuity and creativity. We have a chance to truly find our place in the universe before we destroy ourselves. This series outlines one way that could come to be.
For the first two books they felt more like narrative devices than full fleshed out people - a way for the author to explore different aspects of colonisation. And that was fine, I was happily along for the ride.
But it's a long ride, and by the end they start to feel like old friends. And then those old friends start to reach the end of their run. They suddenly seem so much more human, so much more vulnerable. I found myself tearing up at several points during particularly poignant goodbyes.
Taken together, this book completes the trilogy by instilling it with the emotional investment that wasn't necessarily present in the first two. Bravo, Kim Stanley Robinson. Bravo.
Top international reviews
Like the first two books, Blue Mars is not your usual sc-fi. It's the story of the people who came and made it home; of their children, and their children's children.
The language is rich with detailed descriptions of the science and technology and biology. My vocabulary was sorely lacking, thank goodness for Kindle word look-up, keep a good dictionary handy if reading the physical book. Here are a few examples:
However lots of typos, is this the Kindle digitisation process?
I read the first two books in the trilogy in hard copy and did not find these kind of errors.
"Blue Mars" as the title suggests is set on a fully terraformed Mars. The atmosphere has thickened and heated up and the ice seas have melted and created a hydrosphere similar to Earth. The masks and walkers have now been disposed of. The scientific substance of the book now concentrates on developing the longevity treatment, ecopoesis and the psychological difficulties of coping with living for 200 years plus.
I didn't find "Blue Mars" to be as fascinating and exciting as the first two books of the trilogy and was a bit overlong. Perhaps that was due to over familiarity with the setting and characters and it was only when Nirgal and Zo featured heavily that "Blue Mars" had a character of its own and came to life , but unfortunately most of the book concentrated on the First Hundred whose lifes work was more or less complete by the end of "Green Mars". I would have liked to have read more about "The Accelerando" instead. I also didn't like the prolonged ending to "Blue Mars"; I thought it was lacking in impact somewhat and didn't bring the Trilogy to the spectacular end it deserved.
However "Blue Mars" is still a wonderful book, full of impressive and credible scientific detail, and if Mars is to be colonised then this trilogy is a perfect guidebook for its terraformation. However the timeframe for the colonisation set out by Robinson is slightly over-optimistic I think ; maybe by a hundred years or so. I cant see antelope roaming the forests of Mars until the 23rd Century at least ! Although technology is advancing all the time.
As I read through the Mars Trilogy, I couldnt help but think that science, in its entirety, the geology,biology,physics,chemistry and all its subdivisions , is nothing more than Man progressively trying to get into the mind of God, to be God. They are a very humanist and rationalist series of novels, however they promote a form of intellectual elitism. Science is worshipped,science can provide the answers to everything and highly intelligent elitists know best. There is no room for religion or the supernatural in this vision.
"Blue Mars" is a must read for those who have read the first two books, it would be incomprehensible if you haven't. It is a fitting conclusion to a remarkable series of novels. It is also easy to read ; I raced through its 800 pages in 9 days, so theres no excuse for not reading the whole series now !
that stuff was just a footnote to the main bit about forming a new govt, and the new ecology.
I stopped caring about Phyllis and her one dimensional "Mars is a national park" stick in the muddedness.
I had to skip Michael Duval's bloody sentimental holiday in his home region. It felt like a pointless dead end. I didn't see him as enough of a key character to devote so much page space to his attachment to his home town.
More long winded descriptions. These books really needed a handful of sketches in the back, maybe.
These books deserve a set of mini series though, say 10 episodes for each book.
OK, I'm going back to my short and sharp Kindle self publishing sets.
The picture in the minds eye became vivid & evolved as the books progressed.
One of these times when you felt guilty about putting it down.
I felt like one of the hundred & was on Mars with them.
It's a 'Must read".
These books and this author have defined it's every aspect.