Blue Mars

Blue Mars [EPUB] ✰ Blue Mars Author Kim Stanley Robinson – The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster Soon people look to Mars as a The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster Soon people look to Mars as a refuge, initiating a possible interplanetary conflict, as well as political strife between the Reds, who wish to preserve the planet in its desert state, and the Green terraformers The Blue Mars ePUB × ultimate fate of Earth, as well as the possibility of new explorations into the solar system, stand in the balance.


Blue Mars  ePUB ↠ Blue Mars  ePUB ×
    Import EPUB to the Program Import EPUB explorations into the solar system, stand in the balance."/>
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 768 pages
  • Blue Mars
  • Kim Stanley Robinson
  • English
  • 24 November 2017
  • 9780553573350

10 thoughts on “Blue Mars

  1. Henry Avila says:

    An independent Mars but not a peaceful one, Blue Mars, blue skies, a great , stormy, huge , Martian North Sea, of the same color, turning salty, fish swimming below, birds flying above, animals roaming around the land, majestic trees growing on beautiful hills, sparkling rivers gently flowing by, magnificent green vegetation everywhere on shore, dark clouds that cause showers to pour down, howling winds over 150 miles a hour, making powerful waves crash on pretty little fishing villages and resorts, gorgeous beaches full of Martians playing, boats tossed high in the breathable air, dazzling islands in the Sun, the mythical great canal built here, towering mountains twice the size of Everest, curious tourists from distant Earth arrive, yes a paradise, if no people lived on the 4th planet. The struggle always continues between crippled, crowded, desperate, over populated Earth and an almost empty Mars. Terra, needs to send millions, or billions to the former red planet. Nevertheless the Martian government resists this, treaty or no treaty, in the 23rd century, pressure from their population, both native and immigrant, who believe that already enough millions are there, and the Reds still actively blowing up things they feel are hurting their world, but you can not return to the pristine deserts, with a toxic, thin atmosphere, blinding, choking, dust storms, that last years, and circled the globe, brutal, sub zero temperatures, of past days, ( no more pink skies), only read or see ancient pictures, about them. After the second revolution succeeded, the reds tried to destroy the invaluable, ingenious, space elevator, controlled by Earth still, a threat but the green government, stopped it in a brief civil war, yet very destructive one ... The first hundred ( 101, in fact, there was a stowaway, Coyote), are fewer, even with the Treatment , less than twenty now, living to a ridicules age , over 220, some older but their minds are going, a new drug is needed or Sax, Maya, Ann, Michel , Coyote, etc., will be no more, sudden deaths will wipe them out . Nevertheless how can you relate to natives that are seven feet tall, and think you are a museum piece, from a history book (they still exist ! ) ? And what about Hiroko ? Is the great, enigmatic biologist, who could grow anything on the formerly desolate surface, here, alive. Sightings from Earth to every part of Blue Mars, are constantly reported, she has vanished, either killed in the rebellion against the UN, or hiding with her followers, the mystery has become a sort of joke...The Solar System is being inhabited everywhere, from steamy Mercury, cloudy Venus (in the future), to deep inside small asteroids, weirdly shaped, to the frigid moons of Uranus ... Neptune and Pluto are next, and they will not stop there, crossing to the nearest stars, with Goldilocks planets (not too hot, not too cold, just right), new technology is opening up the heavens , limits are falling, the human race feels that they can do anything, and solve every problem, overcome all, Manifest Destiny, in Outer Space. The Universe will be conquered, humanity needs elbow room ...

  2. Trish says:

    This book is the hardest to rate of all three in the trilogy. Why? Because it's also the best in the trilogy.

    Let's start at the beginning:
    The final volume picks up shortly after the end of the second. There is another revolution, this one slightly more successful thanks to Earth being flooded with problems (see what I did there? ;P). However, violent outbursts such as the Reds firing missiles at the new elevator are thwarted. A delicate balance is established that, through the course of the book, allows an equally delicate independent government to be erected on Mars and causing the third and final revolution to be rather peaceful. This leads to the contemplation of some interesting (and some rather ridiculous) concepts regarding politics, government and judicial systems.
    Moreover, the terraforming efforts on Mars have progressed and still are progressing more and more, leading to liquid water on the formerly red planet (it's warm enough now). Plants grow, animals get introduced (and thrive somewhat), there is farming and more. We get to see nature unfold and with it new technological advances and opportunities for a peace with Earth (as Mars feeds large chunks of the population). This success also has another effect: asteroids and other planets get terraformed as well, which means that humanity has more opportunity to spread out (relaxing the political/military tensions between Earth and Mars) and we get to use everything in our solar system (including metals from other planets).
    This leads me to the technology angle: the author always made sure to present development on the small(er) scale, such as the bird suits so people on Mars could actually fly, as well as the large scale, such as the mining efforts on Mercury or the new ship drives that make interstellar travel relatively fast and easy. Really cool how one thing led to the next.
    And medicine. A very important topic since health-care is an export from Mars and doesn't just consist of the longevity treatment but much more (up to and including genetic alterations in humans if they want to be more catty for example).

    All of the above had an incredible scale, making this book dense but also enormously interesting to read and I have no problem believing that no other author has ever done that (or only very few others have).

    However, the negative followed suit almost immediately. Again in the form of the people the author chose to populate his worlds with.
    I don't know if the author is this whacky himself, if he thought whacky would be what people turned out to be if they lived for over 200 years with such accomplishments or if he's just bad at characterisations but boy, was I annoyed once again!
    Many of the original 100 are dead and more are dying in here (some of nothing more than old age) but the remaining ones as well as some of their children (Jacky) and grand-children (Zoe) are at least as enragingly stupid/bitchy/annoying and it marred my enjoyment. From further sexual encounters ((view spoiler)[right at the end, there is even a sexual game between 200-year-old Maia and her 5-year-old son!!! (hide spoiler)]

  3. Bradley says:

    The first two novels in the Mars trilogy were pretty much a tight mix of colonization, politics, SO MUCH GREAT SCIENCE, and fairly interesting characterizations pretty much designed to carry the sprawling expanse of what MARS is more than anything else.

    Let's put it this way, and careful, because here comes a spoiler, but...

    Mars is the main character. :)

    The third novel has relatively little action in it, but that's okay.

    There's a new constitution being hammered out for the fascinating experimental political parts, new customs as both time and the planet changes radically with the terraforming, and the influence Mars has on a massively overpopulated Earth being driven crazy by the new life-prolonging treatments. (Designed and exported from Mars.)

    I squealed like a little fanboy with the endless wordcount of the science, from the physics of brain chemistry at the quantum level to the terraforming of Mercury and Venus and some of the bigger moons out by the gassy ones. :)

    What COULD be considered a negative to the novel was actually its biggest strength. Let me explain...

    This is about old people. Senescence. You could take it as a metaphor if you like, Old Blue Earth vs New Mars, memories versus living in the present, or even White versus Red thinking (It's a Thing).

    It's also about synthesis. As in alchemy. Mars is both its pristine red past and its new living, ocean-filled, green, boat laden glory. So are we. We're our memories, our hopes for the future, be it science, children, or ourselves, AND we are our present. Live your life, quick, the promise of immortality is an illusion. :)

    I will never call this novel a great one in terms of plot or characters, though I really grew to love Sax and Ann, our embodiments of White and Red thinking, by the end. Everyone else, nascent gods supplanting their titan parents, were amusing and fascinating, but in the end, unnecessary... EXCEPT for the character of world-building, science, the collective unconscious, the zeitgeist, the evolving thought, and the evolving planet.

    It's a sprawling jazz-filled explosion of life and erosion of time, water, and memory.

    At least, that's how I see it. :)

    If this novel had been presented today as a Hugo winner, I probably would have declined to nominate it, but for the time this won in '97, as well as the other two Mars novels, it was a revelation.

    Most other SF is weaksauce compared to the science and exploration of science in these novels. Truth is truth. All this glorious science doesn't always make for a good STORY, but the story was good enough to showcase a polymath brilliance spanning ethics, psychology, politics, terraforming, biology, quantum physics, and even the meaning of life.

    Come on. CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. :) :) :)

  4. Michael Finocchiaro says:

    [SPOILERS POSSIBLE BELOW, however, if you have come this far in Robinson's Mars Trilogy, there is little here that is really all that surprising.]

    So, I suppose I can be a bit more open and explicit about my likes and dislikes of the Mars Trilogy now that I finished Blue Mars.
    Science Geekout - For my inner geek, there was certainly a lot to enjoy overall. The concept of terraforming (and in this last book, colonizing the rest of the accessible solar system), fusion technology for space travel (although the inner workings of this were frustratingly lacking compared to the long passages about lichen, algae, and the regolith), the space elevator (with the cool mind-bending y-joint mentioned in Blue Mars) are just a few examples of cool tech. Robinson wrote these books in the 90s before Apple Watch (predicted here with increased visualization and AI capabilities), Facebook (there is a retro feel to his private band communication channels, but overall, the connectedness of the Martians is interesting), Google (the wrist AIs I mentioned above seem to be super amazingly good at searching), iPads (there are lots of tablets on Mars but for the life of me I can't remember the name he gave them and since I returned the books to the library already...) - so it was cool to see some of his predictions come true in our lifetime.

    Philosophy - There is quite a lot of philosophy in the Mars trilogy starting with the Russell-Clayborne Green/Red debates on terraforming vs leaving Mars as-is. I found this to be original and fascinating as these are questions which I think would definitely arise. I also liked the societal problems that he envisions and the unique Martian solutions to, say, the economy (the positive eco-economics of Vlad and his girlfriends in particular in Red Mars in particular)

    Immortality - I did not suspect that the Martians, Vlad in particular, would develop a cure for death (well, almost) and found the complications of this (memory loss in particular) to be fascinating and an interesting way to keep the story arcs alive over the nearly 200 year period during which the novels occur.

    Shunted character arcs I have been wanting to say for a while how pissed I was at the premature deaths of John, Frank, and especially Arkady in Red and Green Mars. I found Frank to be relatively uninteresting (and the Frank-John-Maya love triangle contrived and annoying to be honest), but I liked John and really loved Arkady, so when they were precipitously killed off, I felt a bit ripped off to be honest. I also felt that it was unfortunate that we didn't get a perspective chapter or two from the Vlad side of the First Hundred because I would have liked to look inside his brain.

    Non-sequitors I found that there were a few leaps the book made that were a bit artificial or that perhaps I entirely missed during this first read through the series. One example is Spencer, who we barely know, but who suddenly (was this mentioned in Red Mars because I could not find the reference) appears as a spy for 20 years at the transnat prison where Sax gets imprisoned in Green Mars. Really? That sounded rather convenient, but I'll retract if there was a mention of this posting back in Red Mars. Similarly, the character of Charlotte suddenly appears in Blue Mars and I was confused as to whether she was a issei or a nonsei because I don't recall her from Red Mars or Green Mars at all. Then there was the journalist from Red Mars that seemed to have disappeared (or was she killed during '61?). I found this quite confusing. Also, after using lots of tablets in Green Mars, they disappear completely in Blue Mars. There were lots of little things like this that bugged me, but I don't know if they were inconsistencies (which perhaps given the titanic amount of ground that Robinson covers is to be expected) or due to not reading close enough.

    Undefined terms and missing maps I enjoyed all the discussions on geology and biology, but I would have liked a glossary to define some of the more esoteric terms that are used in the long descriptions of areology (itself an admittedly clever term). Red Mars seemed to be missing some maps so that I could more fully appreciate the distances that were traveled by the characters. When there were maps in Green Mars and Blue Mars, they did not always note the craters or geologic features which were described in the text which meant that either they weren't detailed enough or that they were almost nearly superfluous.

    Overall impressions I would probably give the overall trilogy a 4 star rating for its originality and research. I think Blue Mars was the weakest volume as there was little action and I got a bit of Cheers syndrome watching Sax and Ann circle each other for so long without coming together until the end. At least Kim spared me the painful final season of Cheers when Sam and Diane were together. Well-worth reading and pondering and also researching as to the viability of some of these ideas 20 years later. KSR said in an interview in 2016, that the simultaneous discovery of bacteria on Mars and the almost complete absence of nitrogen detected during the most recent Mars probes would prove nearly insurmountable challenges to a Mars terraforming project in real life. I agreed with his conclusion that before terraforming another planet, perhaps we should be better custodians of our own. Because at its heart, the novel really is about the environment and its impact on the characters. The Red-Green divide is both psychological and societal and very real in our world now. This, for me, was the most enduring idea from the Mars Trilogy.

  5. William says:

    This review of Blue Mars is in fact a review of the entire trilogy, since it's one continuous story -- one that altogether weighs in at something around 2,300 pages. I've been living on Mars for the last 3 months and wish that, if it were possible, I could actually live there, at least the Mars portrayed in these books. It's certainly not a series for everybody -- all those lots of pages are filled with lots of science, lots of politics and political theory, and lots of philosophy.

    However, for such a long work, the story line is fairly straightforward. 100 super-scientists journey to Mars, establish a colony, and while they gradually terraform it, other Terrans settle it, fleeing an over-populated and rapidly declining Earth. The books describe the struggle of the Martians (Robinson's clever inversion -- those humans living on Mars become Martians) to transform Mars into a habitable world, a struggle that takes place in two dimensions: the scientific problem of turning barren, cold Mars into a new Earth, and the human problem of creating a workable society freed from the toxic ways of life still found on Earth. In this way, Robinson weaves together the old utopian impulses of science fiction with a kind of hard science style of sci fi that I've not seen in quite a while.

    Utopian fiction: Robinson knows his sci fi, and this trilogy in many places reminded me of a massively inflated version of LeGuin's classic The Dispossessed. The two worlds of Urras and Anarres are replaced by Mars and Earth, respectively. Just as Urras was cold and relatively desolate, compared to the superabundance of life on Anarres, Mars begins as a totally uninhabitable place, while Earth (to which the narrative moves twice) remains, even in its decadent state, almost inhospitably alive. LeGuin's novel famously created the genre of the ambiguous or critical utopia, and the Mars Trilogy follows out this idea. In passing from Earth to Mars, the first hundred decide that they are not beholden to their original mission, and that they have the opportunity finally to create a better form of human living, but like LeGuin's anarchist utopia, even a better form of human living is subject to the human frailties of fractured relationships, power, conformity, and xenophobia, so that the reader is treated to multiple revolutions as the colonists struggle to realize a new form of living. The first of these revolutions, in Red Mars (book 1) is a stunning page turner, the lengthy description of the fall of the elevator cable being one of the best moments in that book. Without spoiling too much, the second revolution in Green Mars (book 2) is almost as gripping, and more philosophically interesting, and sets the stage for the slower and more meditative Blue Mars (book 3), in which Robinson takes delight in exploring numerous post-revolutionary forms life: communal, neo-tribal, etc. The trilogy leans unapologetically to the left and toward environmentalism, although Robinson shares the old-school Marxist faith in technology as a solution to many problems.

    Science: Robinson is fairly obsessed with Mars, and any of my friends who decide to read this should use the specially constructed Google Maps for this trilogy (thanks, Dennis, Boccippio!) to follow the narrative -- there are many long travelogues in the narrative. Geology (technically, areology), biology, astronomy, psychology, physics, all get long discussions. If you're not a scientist, or don't find science interesting, you might zone out, but Robinson manages two remarkable feats: first, he folds the science into the narrative well, so that it becomes a part of the actual story, and he frequently uses the science as a metaphor for what's happening politically or personally with the characters. Second, he's about the best popular science writer around: he explains even the most technical scientific ideas with clarity and verve. Having just finished the book, I think know the geography (areology) of Mars better than that of Earth.

    Philosophy: Robinson wrote a doctoral thesis on Philip K. Dick. Although his style reflects little of that great writer, he certainly includes the philosophy in a way that echoes Dick. As a philosopher, I typically hate writers who explicitly discuss philosophical ideas in books. It takes something special to pull it off: Dick certainly had it, and Robinson has it. For one thing, he seems to actually understand the philosophical issues he raises, for another, just as with the science, the philosophy reflects events occurring in the novel and with the characters. Whole sections of the book are actually examinations of particular philosophical ideas folded into narrative. One is devoted to Kuhn's notion of the paradigm, a late chapter on the character Zo is lifted straight out of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, even Deleuze gets a chapter. I don't know that it would be possible to identify each section with a philosophical idea, but it would be worth trying.

    So, lots of ideas, obviously. But fundamentally, it's stories and characters that sell narratives, and Robinson manages to provide those as well. A convenient plot device, the gerontology treatments, greatly extends the lives of the characters, so that we are able to follow the first hundred through the entire 150-year span of the trilogy. In fact, many of these characters are killed off, lending a genuine sense of danger to the narrative and also providing a kind of woven structure to the narrative that's quite lovely. As some characters die, their story is taken by other members of the first hundred, or by new, native born Martians. If nothing else, the long story of Saxifrage Russell (not a subtle symbol, that name, as he is the main advocate of terraforming) and the hardcore Red Ann provides a remarkable continuity and also a terrific character development arc. I must say I was completely in love with Sax by the time the story was over: crazy, brilliant, compassionate, a sort of good mad scientist, he has become one of the my favorite characters in all of sci fi.

    Panoramic, epic, and yet intimate, filled with science and ideas and politics, it's really a remarkable read. I'll agree with the criticisms that Blue Mars is a bit slow, and that the travelogues can be a bit overlong (although having a good map makes it much easier), but if you want to really go to Mars, this is how you get there.

  6. Clouds says:

    Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

    On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

    While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father. As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life (so far).

    Blue Mars won the Locus Sci-Fi award in 1997, holding off stiff competition from Simmons Endymion and two fine Bujold novels ( Memory and Cetaganda ).

    I was reading Blue Mars while my wife was in labour. As she dozed under the effects of an epidural, I was sprawled across some piled up beanbags, working my way through this final instalment of Robinson’s terraforming epic. I finished it up while waiting for my wife and newborn son to be released and as such it will forever remain etched on my heart.

    Having read the entire Mars Trilogy back-to-back, I found Blue Mars to be a maddening and melancholy yet powerfully memorable book.

    The blurb on the back is misleading. It sets the scene for Blue Mars to be a showdown between Mars and Earth. That storyline does slowly grow in stature throughout the book, but it never really dominates proceedings and climaxes with a whimper – it’s probably the weakest strand of the story.

    The whole book is a melancholy affair. If Red Mars represented dreams crashing down, and Green Mars portrayed a new world being built up, then Blue Mars is about achieving a sustainable plateau. The characters are old, their memories are going, their goals have mostly been achieved and they don’t know what to do with themselves. It’s all a bit too reflective and listless to be truly gripping.

    In the same way that the introduction of Nirgal in Green Mars seemed to give the series a fresh dimension, I felt the arrival of the hedonistic young Zo Boone in Blue Mars could really add something sparkling and fun. As such, I was extremely disappointed that (view spoiler)[she was killed off so quickly (hide spoiler)]

  7. Anthony says:

    Ambitious and flawed, but still very special

    The lengthy time it took me to finish this lengthy final volume in the monumental Mars Trilogy was mostly due to the fact that my reading schedule has been severely truncated lately. However, I will also say that this was the weakest of the three books in the trilogy, with a bit too much material that felt like a travelogue padding it.

    Having said that, though, I am still very happy that I read the whole trilogy, which remains an incredibly ambitious and thoroughly fascinating epic. Robinson uses these three books to contemplate and investigate human enterprises and concerns such as colonization, revolution, history, geology, biology, senescence, memory, love, death, war, and on and on. I’m in awe of the scope of his mind, and continually impressed by his fluid, poetic, clean prose that he brings to bear.

    A remarkable achievement.

  8. Diane says:

    There’s lots left to the imagination but quite a satisfying ending to this epic story nonetheless.

    There were parts that dragged and sometimes I think that this book simply served as a place for KSR to satisfy his itch to expostulate on his research into fascinating subjects like memory, politics, biology and the like. But I’m kind of a nerd and KSR does a great job of making it really interesting even if it contributes absolutely nothing to the plot/story.

    I could’ve lived without the extended side track to other parts of the solar system with a character we’d only just met and who didn’t last very long after that.

    Those are the reasons for the deduction of a star on Story.

    Over all, the whole series is definitely worth taking on and enjoyable as a whole!

  9. Barry says:

    The science is great. I don't agree with all of it, but who am I to say? I would equate his use of science as a literary device to Asimov, except Robinson uses science that is reasonable within humanities grasp. The science is the real strength of this book and series. It is outstanding.

    His moving from character to character throughout all three books worked well. No points lost there.

    The real problem with this series and especially this book was that, even though parts of it were fascinating, parts of it were so incredibly dull that a Pelican History of Greece was exciting in comparison. These parts were so bad that I kept it in my car so I could suffer through a little at a time while waiting in the McDonalds drive through. This is why this book took months rather than days to read.

    If I wasn't anticipating a memorable endind, I would have given up despite having read the first two books with moderate suffering. Instead, when I reached the last page I had two questions.

    First: Was that the end of the book or did they forget to put the last chapter in my copy?
    Second: I thought I knew what the book (and series) was about, but was it about anything?.

    My impression. Robinson only wrote this story (If it was a story. There were lots of events but no viable plot.) as a means to present some good theoretical science.

  10. Gabi says:

    3.5 Stars

    This last volume couldn't suck me in like the other two did. But it is still an impressive undertaking filled with understandable musings about a wide variety of scientific areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *