Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson

Excellent sci fi from Kim Stanley Robinson, and the first of his Mars trilogy.

Red Mars is about the colonisation of Mars, initially by a team of 100, the creme de la creme of science and engineering drawn from around the world (Earth!). Kim Stanley Robinson delves deep into the social and political developments that surround and affect the initial expedition, not just on Mars but back on Earth too. As events unfold over several decades we get to see both how people develop and the changes they make to Mars, together with those that are forced upon them.

Although there is plenty of technology and science, it isn’t dry sci fi or robots taking over the world or galactic empires doing battle. It’s a convincing account of what might happen, how people will behave and why – not just as individuals but as groups / organisations / businesses / governments – and (at many levels) of the new world they live in, all set in the early decades of the 21st century.

This review doesn’t really do justice to the book, particularly the scale, the scope and the thinking that has gone into it. However, one Amazon review puts it beautifully:

“”Red Mars” is so realistic that it almost reads like a work of narrative history documenting events that have taken place many years ago.” Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson