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Green Mars (Mars Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 764 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dense as a diamond and as sharp; it makes even most good novels seem pale and insignificant by comparison.”The Washington Post Book World

“Grand in scope, meticulous in detail.”The New York Times Book Review

From the Inside Flap

In the Nebula Award winning Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson began his critically acclaimed epic saga of the colonization of Mars, Now the Hugo Award winning Green Mars continues the thrilling and timeless tale of humanity's struggle to survive at its farthest frontier.

Nearly a generation has passed since the first pioneers landed, but the transformation of Mars to an Earthlike planet has just begun The plan is opposed by those determined to preserve the planets hostile, barren beauty. Led by rebels like Peter Clayborne, these young people are the first generation of children born on Mars. They will be joined by original settlers Maya Toitovna, Simon Frasier, and Sax Russell. Against this cosmic backdrop, passions, rivalries, and friendships explode in a story as spectacular as the planet itself.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Spectra (May 1, 1995)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 624 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0553572393
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0553572391
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
764 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Second Martian Revolution
By Autonomeus on February 22, 2021
"Red Mars" ends in 2061 with the defeat of the First Martian Revolution. "Green Mars" opens in 2081 with our surviving protagonists having gone to ground, living in an underground dome at the South Pole, and it ends in 2127 with another revolution. While "Red Mars" features lots of Martian geology, "Green Mars" shifts to focus on botany.

The South Pole community of Zygote is part of an underground network, connected by the roving Coyote, a mysterious character who plays a major role in "Green Mars." We are introduced to the sansei (a Japanese term), the third generation, especially Nirgal, who features prominently in volume three, "Blue Mars."

A twist is the entrance of one of the powerful metanational corporations into the movement. Praxis is headed by the visionary capitalist William Fort, and he sends Art Randolph, engineer and manager, as a diplomat to join the Martian underground. I knew I loved KSR when he has Fort promote the theory of Herman Daly, one of the founders of ecological economics:

"Capital is a quantity of input, and efficiency is a ratio of output to input. No matter how efficient capital is, it can't make something out of nothing... Fusion power and self-replicating machinery have given us enormous amounts of power, but we have to have basic stocks to apply that power to. And that's where we run into a limit for which there are no substitutions possible" (78). And Fort uses Daly's image of Empty Earth Economics for mainstream (neoclassical) economics and Full-Earth Economics for ecological economics, which recognizes that there are limits to growth. Fort sees Mars not just as a source of minerals, but as "bioinfrastructure." He says "...its bioinfrastructure has to be *constructed* you see... Mars is bioinfrastructure investment..." And so KSR weaves an evolved type of ecocapitalism into his utopian vision, along with ecosocialism and ecoanarchism.

Eventually there is a big conference of the underground network to debate what sort of society they want to create, and to plan the revolution. And William Fort is there, along with Art Randolph.

Sax Russell, the physicist, becomes my favorite character in the trilogy in "Green Mars," continuing on through "Blue Mars." In "Red Mars" he has been the head of the official UNOMA terraforming project. In "Green Mars" Sax goes undercover in the metanats' ongoing terraforming project with plastic surgery and a false identity. He works with a team developing new lichens and plants to help the process of changing the atmosphere. So he becomes an expert in botany. He has further adventures which I will not reveal. Later he develops weapons technology for the rebels, and also works his way into politics and sociology -- social engineering. He is the hero in the long section called "The Scientist As Hero."

PLOT SPOILERS
As I have telegraphed, "Green Mars" ends with the Second Martian Revolution, which succeeds where the First Revolution failed. A key development that makes this possible is the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet on Earth, which results in massive flooding and the creation of millions of refugees and social breakdown. This crisis leads to a civil war among the metanats, and while the Earth powers are busy fighting one another, the Free Mars movement seizes the opportunity to strike, with a massive, coordinated uprising. This is a very realistic move on KSR's part -- revolutions often take place when the ruling regime is weakened. That was, for instance, why the October Revolution in Russia was able to win during World War I.

According to the principle that all fiction is necessarily about the time and place in which it was written, the trilogy is relevant to making the needed ecosocialist revolution on Earth in the 21st century.

It is a truism that the middle part of a trilogy is always the weakest. I did not find that to be the case at all with "Green Mars." It effectively builds on "Red Mars," extending the science, the politics, and the characters in a satisfying dramatic arc.

And so it sets up the action in "Blue Mars"!
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

BuboBubo
1.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but poor quality ‘printed by Amazon’ version.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but poor quality ‘printed by Amazon’ version.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2020
Poor quality book cover ‘printed by Amazon’

I’ve been wondering why some of the books I get from Amazon (such as this one), that appear from the description to be regular printed books, have such poor quality covers — the covers peel and become tatty and they are not editions that you would ever want to keep. I have experienced that with ‘print-on-demand’ books of course ... that is what you get, and may be appropriate for low print runs of that nature. Even in this case, I wouldn’t so much mind, if Amazon made it clear when you purchase this that it is ‘printed by Amazon’, but there is nothing to indicate that. This is making me very wary of buying books on Amazon. Surely they should describe the item correctly when they sell it?
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Andrew Lawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, very well thought out story line
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2017
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N. Harpur
4.0 out of 5 stars Great in parts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2013
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Happy customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Had to give up
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2014
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Nigel Bacon
3.0 out of 5 stars Would be better at half the length!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2018
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