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Green Mars

5 stars
12,216 (32%)
4 stars
14,298 (38%)
3 stars
8,252 (22%)
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2,016 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,251 reviews
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
469 reviews3,255 followers
March 27, 2022
After the failed bloody chaotic revolution of 2061 on Mars led by the first hundred settlers, ( less than half now) they laid low for decades deep inside the frozen, hidden ice sanctuaries near the greatly underpopulated south polar region of the Red Planet regrouping, living humbly and quietly awaiting for the opportunity to strike a second blow for independence. Time marches on the heavenly body recovers slowly, the "natives " become restless again and with the "Treatment", life is vastly prolonged nobody knows for how much, maybe a thousand years? Almost half the over a million Martians were born there, have nothing in common with their sister planet. And dislike being controlled by the big profit -hungry corporations that are so far away, and rule both worlds Earth and Mars cruelly. The atmosphere on the fourth planet thickens, full of rich oxygen but still the deadly co 2 levels are too high for people to breath. Vegetation sprouts on the cold strange surface, even as snow falls first algae, lichen and later small trees, cactus, pretty wildflowers, unknown ugly plants ... temperatures rise, the sky turns from pink to pale purple, the ice starts to melt thanks to transforming by the Big Terran Corporations. A huge Sea will soon appear, enormous dikes are built to keep the water from the growing cities, ships and swimmers will begin using it ( imagine, fishing here ) resorts, ports, curious tourists arriving to play no more tent towns, soon (Burroughs, 200,000 citizens) Red Mars is beginning to look like Green Mars ... However some inhabitants oppose this, ( the Reds, against the Greens ) the latter who approve change, the former wanting this weird exotic place to stay the same, a lonely desert ... civil war threatens. William Fort is a different kind of leader, the centenarian founder of Praxis, one of the biggest multinational corporations on the third planet, believes in freedom, called an eccentric by others he loves the beach, very active in water sports with his old cronies (as ancient as he). Sends Mr.Arthur Randolph to the rebellious distant colony, he is space sick during the extended three- month voyage, his first as a kind of spy ( an Ambassador, in fact ) yet the motives are good. At a secret meeting of thousands of the resistance, in a huge underground sanctuary Art sees their chieftains, Maya, Sax, Anne, Hiroko, Nadia, etc., of the original colonists who hate each other , the younger generations resent them too and don't follow their orders. Trouble breaks out as it inevitably would, exactly a century from the establishment of the Martian colony in 2027, a new war starts. Triggered when an underwater volcano in western Antarctica erupts melting rapidly the enormous amount of ice there , causing the Earth's Oceans to rise way above their normal levels, drowning anything in their path billions of people will have to escape this immense catastrophe or perish. The future of civilization is at stake. A fine book for those who like science-fiction epics that underneath are more about the human condition on Earth, than on another planet, well worth reading.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,634 followers
November 20, 2019
Green Mars takes place some time after Red Mars and describes the breakdown in relationships between the Earth and the Martian colonizers. Mars is slowly becoming green as Sax's terraforming is starting to bear fruit, but the Earth wishes to exercise increased control over their colony and this creates an explosive situation. The plot is exciting and, as in Red Mars, told through various characters in each chapter in roughly chronological order. I liked this device because it left the other characters that are not the focus of a particular chapter continue in their lives seen through the perspective of the primary character for the given chapter. I liked Art (although I have an issue with the idealization of William Fort) and of course Maya, Nadia and Sax around whom much of the action is focused. The science is once again fun (the space elevator idea being a nice move) and the plot moves along rather well. I think the characters are better developed here (and there are less throwaway moments as those I did not like in Red Mars)...Blue Mars review up on GR as well!
Profile Image for Clouds.
228 reviews633 followers
June 30, 2013

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).

Green Mars won the Locus Sci-Fi award in 1994 (after beating a different Mars novel by Greg Bear, Moving Mars ). I was reading this book while my wife was nearly nine-months pregnant with our son. Between antenatal classes and trips to Mothercare, it was Green Mars I sought to escape into during moments of peace on the bus, in the bath, or curled-up in the corner of my local coffee-shop.

I jumped into Green Mars immediately after finishing Red Mars . If pushed to compare the two objectively, I’d acknowledge that Red Mars is probably the ‘better book’, but personally I found Green Mars to be a far more enjoyable book.

There’s a switch-up amongst the cast: by the end of Red Mars we’d seen saw Frank Chalmers, (the most bitter of its main character) and John Boone (the most idealistic), killed off. Green Mars replaces them with Art Randolph (the undercover diplomat sent from Earth) and Nirgal (the series’ first major Mars-born character). Art is like a more down-to-earth and modest kind of Boone and Nirgal is a life-loving, sweet, naïve and all-round adorable guy – a complete contrast to Chalmers. Together, these characters breathe a pleasant and refreshing new life into the story.

But if Art and Nirgal are the new lungs of Green Mars – it’s Sax Russell who grows into being the heart of the story. His transformation from reclusive scientist to revolutionary activist is what powers the plot onwards. His name is Saxifrage (after the plant) and my wife became so used to me babbling about his recent adventures that she took to asking how my Sacks-of-Rage were getting-on that day!

Whereas Red Mars is a book about things eventually going wrong, Green Mars is the flipside up-curve of things slowly coming right. It’s every bit as deeply detailed as the first book, but with splashes of success and celebration throughout that made it a distinctly more pleasurable experience.

It’s still, without a doubt, a slow book. The whole Mars Trilogy moves like a sleepy tortoise - that should just be accepted - but large chunks of Green Mars are given over to details of scientific and political conferences (interesting, but hardly thrilling stuff). There’s a lot of time spent looking at rocks and plants, or thinking about the nature of memory. It’s not light, fun reading, but it is rewarding.

While there are personal and planet-wide obstacles to be ploughed through, the progress towards a successful second revolution does feel inevitable throughout. There’s never a convincing overarching reason to doubt, so the book suffered (for me) from a distinct lack of tension. There are some great short-term moments of conflict and adversary, but by-and-large the antagonism consists of the umbrella actions of faceless meta-national corporations, and the fragmented nature of the mars resistance itself.

I still struggled to enjoy the chapters focused on Michel Duval or Maya Toitovna. The ideas of space exploration and terraforming are exciting to me, so to read of characters in the midst of it all being bogged down by homesickness and moodiness was hard to empathise with.

The second installment in the Mars Trilogy is another fascinating story that I highly recommend to those with the patience to appreciate it. I considered giving Green Mars the full five stars because it was my favourite of the three books, but there were just a few too many issues for me to do so.

After this I read: Blue Mars
Profile Image for Vincent.
31 reviews4 followers
January 9, 2010
One of the chapters of Green Mars is called Long Runout. I think it would make a good subtitle for this book. Be prepared to spend dozens of pages reading about our protagonists driving around Mars. Just driving, driving and thinking, sometimes getting out and walking around. I swear if they get into that Rock-Mobile one more time! At times a labor to read.

I enjoy the wonderful detail of science and speculation and nothing pleases me more than when an character goes on a rant about a concept. I’ve included my favorites in the list below. These moments are few and far between and they are interspersed by a lot of non-action, chow-chow, and drawn out characterizations.

There are wonderful concepts and explorations here.

1. Planetary Population control. Everyone alive has a birthright which entitles them to parent three quarters of a child. So a pair of adults can birth 1 and ½ child. They can then sell the rights to the other half or purchase rights to have more children. pg 82

2. Terraforming. Gardens vs. natural growth. They discuss fellfields on Mars that consist of aided growth and not something naturally taking root. Chapters are devoted to discussing CO2 levels, controls and ecological balancing through science.

3. Space Elevator. That wonderful, wonderful space elevator. Detailed again, not long enough, explores and discusses the viability and logistics of capturing an asteroid, anchoring it to a planet and using it as a glorified elevator. Heady stuff.

4. Transnationals. Corporations so powerful they purchase countries and governments.

A surprisingly disappointing sequel to Red Mars; still worth reading for the nuggets of speculative science.
Profile Image for Meggan.
41 reviews52 followers
October 11, 2010
KSR has been described as writing philosophical sci-fi novels of suspense. To me his philosophical questioning in Green Mars goes as deep as Valles Marineris. This trilogy is about answering the question "how do we live together when we have no home." A similar sci-fi treatment, Battlestar Galactica, attempted to answer this--but KSR plays with the question without any heavy-handed mysticism, magic, or deus-ex-machinas. In other words, "how do we live together" can only be answered within the bounds of natural law (no faster than light travel here). In effect, when we move away from the fantastic and toward the mundane, the question of how we live together becomes more political: what happens when science has been appropriated by astro-capitalism? At what point is Mars a "colony," and at what point is it independent of Earth? With questions like these, Green Mars is about process of preventing dystopia, instead of making dystopia our starting point.

The second volume is just as good as the first, and here is why: the characters, like terraforming the planet, change. The stakes are higher for the small underground band of anarchists, revolutionaries, and scientists to succeed. Earth in the 2100's plays a much larger role than in Red Mars, resulting in richer world building. How genetic advancements stretch the limits of human memory is explored here. And a sense of history presses on every page, so that every action, every word of dialog, makes sense for the world they inhabit. KSR convinces you that if we were to colonize Mars, it won't go down any other way but this.

The Mars trilogy isn't for everyone. You really have to crave a steady diet of science and philosophy to love these novels. In Green Mars, a scientific conference takes up most of one chapter. A political conference takes up another. You have to deal with sentences like this:

"The halocarbons in the cocktail were powerful greenhouse gases, and the best thing about them was that they absorbed outgoing planetary radiation at the 9-to 12-micron wavelength, the so-called 'window' where neither water vapor nor CO2 had much absorptive ability."

Of course, I picked the most absurd example. Really the writing is quite literary, especially in the brief prologues that open each chapter. His Big Man mythos stories are stellar, for instance. Overall I can't wait to read the next volume to see how our future will play out 150 years from now.
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,233 reviews1,046 followers
May 10, 2013

If you liked 'Red Mars' a lot, and read it with sheer pleasure - then you should definitely go ahead and read 'Green Mars' and 'Blue Mars.'

If however, like me, you found 'Red Mars' to have some very interesting idea and details, and appreciated Kim Stanley Robinson's research into a broad range of fields for his epic dissertation on the possible ramifications of terraforming a planet, but ultimately found the experience of reading the novel akin to studying a somewhat-boring textbook, then you should probably skip these two sequels.

Unless, of course, like me, you have committed yourself to reading all the Hugo and Nebula award winners, in which case you will just have to go ahead and read them.

Basically, 'Blue' and 'Green Mars' are a lot more of the same, but with even more soap-opera-ish drama thrown in. The characters still exist wholly in service to the ideas/concepts of the book (and some get dropped unceremoniously by the wayside after having served their purpose, which makes the narrative structure feel a bit amorphous.)

Honestly, I found these sequels a slog. However, they did win awards, and other people obviously love them...
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,102 followers
May 18, 2018
Green Mars is, unfortunately, a bit dated.

The science is still freaking awesome and the sheer amount of cutting edge technology, be it biology, the physical sciences, the sheer insanity of terraforming a whole planet... still blows me away. Some of my favorite parts, or, indeed, *most* of my favorite parts, are the scientific expositions, ruminations, digressions, and especially the plot developments and twists that come from the science!

Where I have a little issue is where I had a little issue in Red Mars. It's the people. I don't really mind all the drug use or sex addiction or all the little social explorations when it comes to these brothers from another mother (world), but there *is* an awful lot of seemingly pointless, (if otherwise presented in a non-SF novel, rather decent) characterization and character studies that seem to go nowhere. Too much Phyllis and Maya, to be honest.

It's not true for all of them, of course. I love Nirgal (but not Jackie), Sax, and Art. It's really a toss-up between Sax and Nirgal, though. Nadia was nice to see, however. :)

And that leads us to the main focus of the novel. At first, I thought it was going to be mostly about a pristine Mars versus a terraformed one, but it wasn't to be. It's about Mars versus Earth.

It always was going to be this. It's kinda obvious, isn't it? :) Revolution!!! No more dictating terms, unlimited immigration, police forces, policies that can't really be enforced over THIS much distance! And then, of course, there's the other big snag.

Prolonged life. Overpopulation. Near immortality aside from all the degraded mental acuity and memory loss. :) The Earth is in deep shit. And it looks at Mars as a bolt-hole.

Good drama.

Now, aside from my personal complaints about too much character-study time, I have no doubt in my mind that this trilogy is STILL one of the greatest Mars books ever written. I did knock off a star and boot it from my top 100 list of all time, however.

I just don't have that much patience for characterizations that don't directly result in a better overall story or that don't affect the outcome of the plot substantially. A little or even a middle amount of it is no problem, but when all the awesome is skewed toward the science and the action and especially to the breakout emotional scene near the end where all those people hike it across the sands of Mars? Well, that stuff is absolutely brilliant and heartwarming and beautiful and whoop-out-loud amazing!

Comparing the character stuff to that... doesn't cut it.

A lesser novel could have rested on the character stuff. This is one of the most well-thought-out and scientifically researched Mars colonization novels ever. It shouldn't have to suffer from any side weakness... even though it does.
Profile Image for Ira (SF Words of Wonder).
64 reviews17 followers
July 6, 2023
Check out my full, spoiler free, video review HERE. More hard science and getting more into the characters. Plot and pacing is a bit slow but enjoyable. Excited to see what happens in the conclusion of the trilogy.
Profile Image for Jemppu.
501 reviews93 followers
September 14, 2022
Philosophy, social politics, sciences and engineering, and the marvel of nature, all put together in a beautifully balanced and immensely intelligent whole. Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy continues to captivate, touch and impress. The exploration of both the beneficial and unfavorable potentials along humanity's steps towards the habitation of a new frontier is insightful, inventive and convincing, and the admiration and dedication to the subject comes across every aspect of the visionary work.

Robinson has the ability to present comprehensive image of varied characters; several facets of their personalities brought forth by using multiple POV's, their sense of self and regard of others, ambitions, dreams and doubts, all evident through well parsed and astute inner dialogue and interactions of both intellectual and instinctual kind. So too is the environment, which the cast inhabit, painted into grand imagery, the scale of things and the affects of human presence continuously factored in to add to the scope of the gorgeous stage.

Every bit as marvelous, engrossing and inspiring work as the first part, Red Mars; ingenious trilogy which I'm most invigorated by, and compelled to continue to follow through.

Reading updates.
Profile Image for Trish.
2,018 reviews3,436 followers
May 19, 2018
Well ... that was ... as unpleasant as the first - more unpleasant when we follow certain characters but also more pleasant regarding the science.

This second book in the trilogy starts roughly 50 years after the end of the previous book. Terraforming has started to take hold, there are lichen and moss and some forms of grass growing but it is a complicated and slow progress because neither the temperatures nor the oxygen levels are ideal yet. Thus, the UN Transitional Authority (that are currently in control of the planet after the failed revolution of the previous book) try to heat the planet up through orbital mirrors.
We follow different characters - the surviving original 100 as well as their children and even grandchildren (none of them conceived the natural way but through Hiroko's weird breeding program) and even some new players from Earth.
Through the eyes of these people we see Mars changing little by little. Some, like Sax, want to help the planet along and thus change their outer appearance through plastic surgery so they can infiltrate laboratories; others, like Hiroko, keep staying underground and playing at their silly games of I-am-a-God.

What made this book such a slog to get through were, once again, the people. There might be fewer of the 100 now, but those that are left have become even more annoying in their old age!
Such as Ann with her militant position against terraforming (not even admitting that it's too late as the process has already begun and can't be reversed) or Maya with her manipulation of all kinds of men through sex followed by her judgement of another who does exactly the same.
There are a few "good" characters, such as Art (who is sent to Mars from Earth to negotiate some form of truce in the name of one of the bigger companies) or Nirgal (second generation of the Mars-born children), who is very scientific and level-headed considering his upbringing.
Sax, too, had his moments but especially before he slipped into old habits with Phyllis.

Anyway, the point is that I wouldn't exactly say that reading these books is "fun". However, the sheer scale of things is impressive and probably what gained the author the awards he has received for these.
I strongly disagree with and even loathe the personal explorations with the pseudo-intellectualism, spirituality and hippie-like sexualities presented here. As people knowing me are aware, I'm no prude, far from it, but at some point it gets ridiculous and it did read like the author's wet dream. A very disconcerting wet dream with questionable opinions on gender roles (see my status updates).

The science is well thought-out however. From the orbital mirrors that got installed to hasten the rising in temperatures and the installation of yet another space elevator, to melting the northern polar ice cap and digging moholes deep enough to form volcanoes.
Geological (changing the surface of Mars), biological (flora), econmical and political (regarding the future relationship with Earth) issues are addressed in great detail and those were points in the novel I really liked.
It was also interesting to see the failure of the first revolution and therefore revised tactics later as well as the status quo back on Earth. Who knows how this would have panned out if .

My hope is that certain characters are now finally dead (though apparently not all) so I don't have to deal with them in book 3. Hope dies last. ;)
Profile Image for Oleksandr Zholud.
1,118 reviews112 followers
November 17, 2019
This is the second volume of Mars trilogy, every volume of which either won or was nominated for major awards – Hugo, Nebula and Locus. This one won Hugo and Locus awards and was nominated for Nebula in 1994.

The story of Mars terraforming (or areoforming of earthlings) continues. Over 50 years since 2061 revolt, which took down the space elevator and significantly slowed inflow of immigrants. The new generations (up to a third, sansei) of Mars-born grew up, especially in Hiroko’s zygote. The surface of the planet is often covered in lichens and even sturdy grasses, temperature and pressure are up, far from breathable but quite a fit compared with the starting conditions.

The character cast has both old acquaintances like Nadia Ann, Sax, Michel and new, Nirgal, Jakey (from Zygote) and Art (sent from Earth by a multinational). Their stories remain quite interesting, especially of Sax, even despite on the first time it’s the same old: repression from Earth and new ways from Mars. Only now Multinationals are in cyberpunk-like way rule Earth and captured both UN and sovereign governments. The ‘immortality’ treatment isn’t available to all and there is a war of haves and have-nots. Meanwhile on Mars, followers of Ann, called Reds are sabotaging terraforming

Once again a broad range of topics is discussed, from gift economics and communes to ways of terraforming. While I cannot agree that a lot of author’s positions are correct (e.g. scalability of communes is questionable if you check real life examples), they are definitely interesting and worth knowing.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews805 followers
June 19, 2014
“Technically he weighed about forty kilos, but as he walked along it felt more like five. Very strange, even unpleasant. Like walking on buttered glass.”
This is my favorite feature of hard science fiction, the little minutiae that make the imaginary scenes not merely believable but also visceral; more vivid to me than riding on a dragon’s back and such. I like Kim Stanley Robinson’s conception of a Mars in the process of terraformation where global warming is actually a good thing!

Green Mars is the second book of KSR’s famous Mars trilogy, it follows on from Red Mars 50 years later where terraforming is in full swing. Many of “The First Hundred” characters (original colonists) from Red Mars play a significant part in this second volume, even the dead ones are often mentioned. The main story arc of Green Mars concerns terraformation and the fight for independence from Earth (bound to happen). Interestingly a faction of the Mars population, many of whom were born on Mars and have never been to Earth, are against terraforming and want to preserve Mars in its natural state. This is “The Reds” faction, their objection is (I think) for aesthetic reasons and to preserve what they perceive to be the purity of the pre-colonized planet. Their opposition comes from “The Greens” who want to fully terraform Mars so people can walk freely on the surface as we do on Earth.

Aside from the epic story arc the novel is very much a character study, to the detriment of my enjoyment of the book. The central characters are quite well developed, believable and complex individuals; the problem is that what they get up to is often not very interesting at all. There is a fascinating character named Sax Russell whose personal story is very dramatic at times and he ends up much the worse for wear. However, there are many pages where he is basically pottering around, studying plants, lichens, ice etc. This kind of narrative is very dry and my mind started to wander after a few such pages. Then there is Maya Toitovna who spends a lot of the novel inside her head, being very angry, resentful and unreasonable until she eventually works out her psychological problems. There are simply too many pages focused on her angst, which becomes quite tiresome, especially as I don’t personally identify with her problems

Green Mars has several protagonists (four or five I think) and the common problem with multiple points of view in a novel is very much in place here. Some characters are more interesting than others, and even the interesting ones spend too much time ruminating on issues, personal, scientific or philosophical; dragging the narrative down in the process.

Kim Stanley Robinson is an uncommonly good prose stylist for a hard SF writer. He comes up with pithy lines such as “It was not power that corrupted people, but fools who corrupted power.”; and almost lyrical passages like “In the first hour of the day all the ice glowed in vibrant pink and rose tones, reflecting tints of the sky. As direct sunlight struck the glacier’s smashed surfaces.”. However, he seems less interested in pacing and storytelling than to explore the issues that interest him, people, power, politics etc. I think he did a better job balancing the storytelling and the serious issue in Red Mars. Green Mars starts off well, gradually grinds to a halt, occasionally livens up with danger and explosive action, only to grind to a halt again. To be honest by the end of the book I have already lost interest.

Having read two volumes of the trilogy so far and really like the first one I am ambivalent about reading the final volume Blue Mars. It will be a shame not to read it having come this far, but at this point I don’t really know if I have the fortitude to plow through another volume so dry the book itself needs to be tarraformed.
Profile Image for Gabi.
698 reviews123 followers
November 17, 2019
Once again all the stars!

It is so seldom that I find SF books that concern themselves with natural sciences on a solid basis (or I'm looking into the wrong novels). As with his first installation of the Mars Trilogy Kim Stanley Robinson shines with convincingly thought through projections into a possible terraforming (or better areoforming) future on Mars.

The story picks up where "Red Mars" had left us. Again we follow different POVs of the First Hundred and some members of newer generations and so get to know various sides on topics of science, philosphy, psychology, culture and social structures. Again the author doesn't take sides but lets each of the conflicting opinions speak for themselves.

The Mars trilogy so far has proven itself as a masterpiece on all fronts (perhaps with the exception of the description of intimate relationships, which sometimes read quite awkwardly, but are thankfully extremely rare).

It burns slow in parts, because it takes such a loving care to details. So readers who need a faster pace or can't be enthused by the description of pioneer flora on Mars (but then … why does one read SF, if one is not interested in the S of it? ;)) certainly feel lost within those 600-something pages.

But this is my kind of SF. I adore it, I live it and I wished I would find some more authors who write novels like KSR.
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 4 books1,895 followers
October 28, 2019
Stunningly realized

This was a reread, and I have no idea why I didn’t enjoy this, the second book in the Mars Trilogy, more the first time I read it. It’s stunningly realized, proving once again that this trilogy is as deeply ambitious an undertaking as anything else I’ve ever read.

As we live through our current precarious political and ecological moment on our own planet, reading these books gives me no small amount of hope of what can be achieved through innovation, revolution, and moral courage. At the same time, Robinson never shies away from peering into the abyss that is humanity’s long, sad history of gigantic mistakes of attempts at governance. So these books become a wonderfully rich mixture of cautionary tale, future history, and utopian vision.

I look forward to finally reading the third book, Blue Mars, to see how well he sticks the landing.
Profile Image for Ron.
Author 1 book141 followers
February 23, 2011
I'd like to rate it higher, but it's too didactic. Too preachy. In many places, just plain boring.

Sort of an SF The Silmarillion—for better or worse. A great narrative story and in Robinson's case a firm scientific aura, but too many data dumps and too much historical narrative. The plots are good, but are slighted by the science and "history." And it's all too easy.

The cast is too large and sound too much alike.

Too many key points are made with little thought or reflection.

Interestingly, he pops Mars' first volcano in millions of years, then drops it from the story.

The rovers are miracles. They never break, they never run out of fuel, and they get tremendous mileage on hydrogen peroxide
Profile Image for Raffaello.
171 reviews46 followers
March 24, 2022
Questo secondo volume del ciclo, per ampi tratti, ha convinto molto più del primo libro. La gestione dei personaggi è stata forse la cosa più azzeccata, a partire dalla loro evoluzione, ma, anche la scelta del punto di vista in ogni macroparte del libro è risultata vincente. Poi c'è Marte che ovviamente è il vero protagonista di ogni singola (luuunga) descrizione in queste 760 pagine; scelta naturale - Marte è il focus del ciclo - ma così come nel primo libro, è anche la cosa che pesa di più in lettura. A lungo andare ci si ritrova esausti davanti alle infinite descrizioni e spiegazioni fisiche/chimiche/biologiche che teorizzano la terraformazione di Marte. Tuttavia non mi aspettavo nulla di diverso. È Robinson, è il fascino della saga Marziana ed è anche la cosa che lo rende una lunga lettura impegnativa: Prendere o lasciare.

Green Mars si perde un po' nel finale, risultando decisamente più ordinario, più prevedibile, rispetto allo strepitoso finale del primo capitolo. Resta un libro splendido, in cui l'autore mostra di aver fatto a sua volta un salto di livello, tanto che un sacco di volte durante la lettura mi sono detto: ma da quando Robinson è diventato così bravo?
Profile Image for Alex Bright.
Author 2 books42 followers
January 7, 2021
The fulcrum is in our minds.

Incredible! Especially considering the context of the last 24 hours.
Profile Image for Mareike.
Author 5 books56 followers
November 23, 2019
This was a 3- maybe 3,5-star read for me.
As with the previous book, I think KSR did a terrific job researching (at least were the sciences are concerned. When he strays into history, etc. it feels a little simplistic sometimes - though that might of course also be down to how the characters perceive history.)
I really enjoy his prose - there's some very, very beautiful writing in this book. Mycfavorite part is still the one focused on Ann.

I enjoyed his exploration of the remaining First Hundred POV-characters and the effects their long lifespans have on them. (Though there could have been more Ann!)

But as with the first book I'm having some issues, especially with how gender is portrayed. And very especially with the portrayal of Jackie and Nirgal.
For me personally, KSR did not do enough work to convince me that Nirgal is special. Or why he is. We're told from the beginning that he's the most special of his gebneration of Mars-children and later how he connected with everyone, but a lot of that is KSR telling us these things rather than showing them to us. So there's stretches where it felt like Nirgal was set up as a "chosen one" from the beginning, but without real narrative justification. (And given how much attention the adults always pay to Nirgal even as a kid, KSR maybe inadvertently showed us how those children who are encouraged and challenged more often become more self-assured and successful later on.)

And while Nirgal is represented in that way, Jackie kind of remained a caricature, right down to readers being told how she's just irresistibly attractive to men around her and using those men to get thec way (more or less). (In the first part, I thought this was due to Nirgal's youthful POV, but this portrayal stays basically the same throughout.) There's a lot of judgment put on her from other characters that felt....just a little charged. KSR could have turned this around by giving us her POV, but he doesn't. So she remains someone to create tension for Nirgal and be an antagonist of sorts for Maya. (Also, the possessive was Nirgal thinks of her and the way their on-again-off-again relationship is described was.....yikes. same goes for how some of the older men perceive her.)

And there was a bit too much of an uncritical reliance on American narratives of independence and exceptionalism. I commented on it in one of my updates, but if a cobstitutional scholar basically says "the Constiturional Convention was messy but look at America's cobstitution, they reached great compromises" without reflecting that the continuation of slavery and things like the Three-Fifths Compromise were part of that I'm gonna side-eye that.

Tl;dr there are many things I enjoyed about this book, but there are also some that annoyed me throughout and stopped me from loving it unconditionally. I will probably finish the trilogy eventually (cause I'm a completionist) to see how things play out and what happens to these characters.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karin.
1,413 reviews13 followers
November 24, 2019
Hard core scifi, and, as is common in this, sex, intrigue, politics, philosophical type debates, descriptions of the changing surface of Mars, action, in-fighting, out-fighting, etc--it's there. Also, Maps if you are doing the 2020 PopSugar Challenge (there are maps in the first one as well, if you opt to start with Red Mars, which I strongly recommend doing in order to save confusion, etc. Summary on the book page, but what I first wrote a couple of minutes ago:

Green Mars--the settlers on Mars--people from disparate backgrounds who are there for many reasons--and the Mars natives (descendants of settlers) have either been part of or failed to stop the transformation of Mars from inhospitable to life to fit for life. There is a great deal of strife not only between factions on Mars, but from enormous corporations and countries, etc, for control of Mars and its resources. The question is, who will manage to come out on top? Since this is the second book in the trilogy, rest assured that the final answer won't be there by the last page, but a number of years and plenty of things will have happened.
Profile Image for Peter Tillman.
3,682 reviews347 followers
September 16, 2023
2023 reread notes:
I rated it "A+" in my old booklog back in 1994. I was an easier grader back then ;-)
On rereading, this was the least successful of the three for me. Still a worthwhile book, but more padding and stuff that I skimmed in this one. For my reread, this was a 3.3 star book, rounded down.

Wikipedia has a good summary article on the trilogy:
-- but the individual books' plot summaries have HEAVY SPOILERS, so proceed with caution if you haven't read the books. Good memory-aids for me, since the books do form a single story. If you are a fan of the series, you'll likely find some cool tidbits here -- such as that NASA sent a copy of "Green Mars" onboard the Phoenix Mars lander in 2008!
Profile Image for Megan Baxter.
985 reviews663 followers
January 2, 2015
If I remember my review of Red Mars correctly, I spent much of my time wondering why we weren't spending time with what seemed the most interesting parts of the story - Hiroko's hidden colony and the rebels. Apparently I just need to be a little more patient, but that's never been my strong point. Green Mars is almost entirely from outside the official corporate structures of power, and spends most of its time with Hiroko's colony and the rebels, as they try to reconcile vastly different goals and methods and not have a complete catastrophe on their hands when it finally comes to open revolution.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Profile Image for Claudia.
960 reviews556 followers
February 26, 2016
Even more technical than the previous part, this second one focuses more on ecology, economics and politics.

Lead by those remained from the First Hundred, ~ 50 yrs after the events in Red Mars, the Martians (4 generations by now) try to gain independence while Earth is in chaos. Second revolution is in progress and old fears surface once again.

The amount of research for this book is simply overwhelming. The only other time when I was in such awe, concerning the dedication for details and information provided, was when I read A History of Religious Ideas by Mircea Eliade. At least Eliade was a religion historian among other specialties but KSR has no background in science, which I find to be even more mind-blowing.

All I can say is that this is high class literature.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,924 reviews386 followers
April 1, 2020
Part of my 2020 Social Distancing Read-a-thon

Once I got into this novel, my recall of the first book was sharpened and I got interested in the lives of the new generation born on Mars. First generation Martians. But, boy, was there a lot of terraforming detail to endure to get to those bits.

I'm reduced to pecking away at my tablet to write this review which is reducing my usual verbosity, which is probably a relief to some. 😊

Book number 357 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project
Profile Image for Robin Wiley.
170 reviews26 followers
September 12, 2009
For me, this trilogy is one of those life-changing books - something you talk about, and think about years later. If we ever go to Mars - this is the way it should be done. For those of you not familiar with Kim Stanley Robinson, his science is so grounded in real, hard, current science - it's called future history.

For those of you scared of sci-fi being too boring - much like that physics class you hated - relax. Robinson gives you the basic idea, without pages to describe just how a particular engine works. For those of you sick of Star Trek solutions - Reconfigure the tri-corders or the dilithium crystal and BAM - problem solved! I swear you will feel satisfied.

How would you decide how many people to send? How would you choose who goes? How would you design the ship so it would keep your settlers (cuz they are not coming back) alive, and sane for the 6 month trip? How would you design the ship so at least parts of it can be used immediately upon landing for something useful? Once you land, how does the human brain handle 1000 new colors that are ALL warm (yellow - purple) and NO cool colors. No blues or greens...ever. How do you MAKE water, and oxygen, and heat? What do you do to earn your money, or your food once you get there? How do you create rules, and a government in this completely alien place? How long would it take before you decided Earth's laws and rules no longer applied?

These are the questions he explores, discusses and answers.

If you like to think about stuff like this - start reading and make yourself a happy human. If "thinkin" ain't your thing - walk away slowly and no one will get hurt. John Carter this is not. You are participating in the dialogue, even if you are just watching the action. So this is a book for those who want to ponder, brood, wonder, think, debate and discuss.

What's to love?

ACTION - biblical-size natural disasters on Mars and Earth, and a revolution.
DESCRIPTION - lot's and lots and lots, but the scale is so HUGE it's cool. Instead of Grand Canyon, think Marinaras Trench, but not under the ocean.
CHARACTERS - Great! These people had to endure a year of isolated, highly-monitored living in a confined space to get a ticket on the spaceship. But think about it, what kind of people would want to do that - no family, no friends - move to Mars, face possible death, not come back. Just think about it. Bottom line - these are not mainstream, balanced people.
CREATION - creating a new world, new economic systems, new politics, new ecosystems, new species, new religions, new science. Every civilization is a possibility of what you can have, and an example of what you should dismiss. What would you do?

What's not so fun?

Sometimes the Tolkein-size descriptions of the landscape are too much. Skim a little here and there if you have to, but don't miss the EPIC size scenery, because it will stick with you forever.

Read this and for the rest of your life, you will perk up whenever someone mentions Mars. Oh, and you will have informed opinions.
Profile Image for Leo Robertson.
Author 36 books446 followers
May 2, 2017
Someone said if God wrote, he'd write like Tolstoy. That really depends what he's interested in! And reading what God wrote depends on what you're interested in. Unrest amongst 19th century Russian farmers? Ahahah—Anna Karenina is rubbish.

If God wrote about the colonisation of Mars, its long process, the terraforming, the space elevator construction, the asteroid mining, the religious upset, the marring of science by the oligarchical companies that back the scientists, the struggles of Martian-born humans to understand their identity, one another... he'd write like Kim Stanley Robinson.

Parts of this book were so good I wanted to put it down and rush out to buy everything Robinson ever wrote. Those were the parts about the science and the discussions about all the considerations when it comes to terraforming and the creation of an atmosphere, the evolution of lichen, the processes to extend human life, the types of trees that survive in the type of soil created, the fight for power on a new planet, the myopic aims of "transnational" corporations... At one point a character decides raising the average Martian temperature to 1 degree Celsius is sufficient and no higher than necessary, which is reflective of his own cold and practical nature. Like, where else in literature do you get such a weave of symbolism and infodump and... seriously! Parts of this book are transcendent, and I was going to save Blue Mars for next year but now I think I'll read it next!

That said, there's parts where the (tooooo maannnyyy) characters must traverse the Martian surface for various reasons, and there are long descriptions of their journeys. Now, Robinson couldn't dedicate himself to writing these novels unless he thought there was something interesting about the various features of the Martian surface, the names for the different parts etc—but I skimmed.

But I still think these are miracle books.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,138 reviews151 followers
October 14, 2019
This is one boring novel. Unless you are a geologist, climate change crier or fond of lichen and cold weather fauna. I finished it while hoping it would get better at some point. It didn't. 2 Stars
Profile Image for Otis Chandler.
392 reviews114k followers
September 23, 2019
A great continuation of Red Mars, which continues to build on the world, giving you a really deep sense of what Mars is like, and the politics it's undergoing. Long, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tons of science to be enjoyed. There was also a lot of descriptions of how people were figuring out how to survive and thrive on Mars, and I loved the science of all the attempts to terraform, mostly by our scientific hero, Sax. But I think my favorite were the space elevator and its construction, and the soletta - I mean what an amazing, big thinking idea to heat a planet using a giant magnifying glass in space?

"This huge delicate object, ten thousand kilometers in diameter, bright and stately as it wheeled along between Mars and the sun, was called the soletta. Sunlight striking the soletta directly bounced through its blinds, hitting the sun side of one, then the Mars side of the next one out, and onward to Mars. Sunlight striking the annular ring in its polar orbit was reflected back and in to the inner cone of the soletta, and then was reflected again, also on to Mars. Thus light struck both sides of the soletta, and these countervailing pressures kept it moving in its position, about a hundred thousand kilometers out from Mars—closer at perihelion, farther away at aphelion. The angles of the slats were constantly adjusted by the soletta’s AI, to keep its orbit and its focus. "

"And then, as when one tugs open venetian blinds, the sun came back all at once. Blinding light! And now more blinding than ever, as the sun was noticeably brighter than it had been before the strange eclipse had begun. Now they walked under an augmented sun, the disk appearing about the same size as it did from Earth, the light some twenty percent greater than before—noticeably brighter, warmer on the back on the neck—the red expanse of the plains more brilliantly lit. As if floodlights had suddenly been turned on, and all of them were now walking a great stage."

I also loved the descriptions of the politics on Earth, especially around Praxis and it's dynamic founder, William Fort, and how the interests of all the transnats (trans nationals) resulted in what was happening on Mars. Because it does seem we are headed that way, with a few corporations that will dominate and get larger and larger because in am era of software-has-eaten-the-world, and we-are-running-out-of-natural-resources-on-earth, these companies can and will simply dominate entire spaces, and eventually surpass governments as the dominant centers of power. However to keep growing revenues as we hit tipping point of running out of natural resources, human resources and non-natural (produced) resources - is a bigger and bigger challenge, especially as numbers get larger. So you have to think on truly terrifying large scales - and thus an opportunity like Mars seems very appealing. Anyways, this seems (to me) like the path we are on, so it was interesting to see how Robinson was describing it and playing it out. But as William Fort put it:

"They don’t see the possibilities.” “The possibilities for …” “For development! Mars isn’t just an empty world, Randolph—in economic terms, it’s nearly a nonexistent world. Its bioinfrastructure has to be constructed, you see. I mean one could just extract the metals and move on, which is what Subarashii and the others seem to have in mind. But that’s treating it like nothing more than a big asteroid. Which is stupid, because its value as a base of operations, as a planet so to speak, far surpasses the value of its metals. All its metals together total about twenty trillion dollars, but the value of a terraformed Mars is more in the neighborhood of two hundred trillion dollars. That’s about one third of the current Gross World Value, and even that doesn’t make proper assessment of its scarcity value, if you ask me. No, Mars is bioinfrastructure investment, just like I was talking about. Exactly the kind of thing Praxis is looking for."
Profile Image for Thomas.
244 reviews12 followers
October 23, 2022
I’ve had this on the back burner for a very long time, but I thought it was finally time to finish it. After my first experience with Kim Stanley Robinson, I expected a novel packed with hard, scientific research exploring the developing society of Mars, and this is exactly what Green Mars delivered.

Following the failed revolution at the end of Red Mars, most of the first colonists have fled underground or perished. Meanwhile on Earth, the powerful transnational corporations have realised the Red Planet can be used for profit and dispatch their agents to the newly colonised world.

Considering I was expecting the series to focus on the terraforming of the Red Planet from the start, I was very excited to see that the second novel finally got round to lots of terraforming rather than just colonisation. My only issue with this was the pacing of the novel, which was very slow and made it a struggle to progress with at times.

I enjoyed the fact that Robinson divided the novel by character sections. I was delighted to see more of my favourites from book 1, including Maya and Nadia. I especially enjoyed Sax’s scenes and was intrigued by the backstories of Frank Chalmers and Coyote. I was unsure about Nirgal at first, but once the story progressed, I warmed to his character and consider him a wonderful addition to the series.

I can see why Kim Stanley Robinson has won so many awards for his works and Green Mars is certainly a mighty novel. However, when it comes to my taste in books, I prefer something a little lighter such as Star Wars or The Expanse. I still enjoyed the majority of my experience though, so I’ll give this one 4 stars. I will eventually finish the trilogy with Blue Mars but not for some time since I definitely need a change of genre after this monster!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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