Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Blue MarsIn this sequel to Red Mars and Green Mars, the planet is past some revolutionary/civil warring, and another one is brewing as the book begins. Ann Claybourne is still a Red, wanting to keep Mars in the original state when the First Hundred explorers landed all those years before. Sax Russell still wants to see the planet grow and sustain itself. Hiroko supposedly was killed during one of the last battles yet people still report seeing her. Michel, Maya, Nadia, Vlad, the other surviving First Hundred, and their children are all following the paths that have pulled them along. Nirgal is looking for Hiroko as he becomes closer to the planet and the culture. Jackie is involved in planetary politics, wanting the leadership of Mars.
Earth has had a planetary flood as much of Antartic melted in freak conditions. The Earth’s water level rose six and more feet. The surviving population is coping with the new conditions, and wanting to send as many colonists as possible up to Mars. The Mars colonists are trying to keep the immigration levels low. The combined governments are helping to explore and start colonization on other planets in the Solar System.
This is the last of the trilogy of the Mars saga. The planet continues to transform and evolve. Although we still have a red, dry planet in our skies, by the beginning of this novel in a century and a half, it sustains growth and is developing an atmosphere. The book spans another hundred years or so of Mars, Earth, and the development of the Solar System. The different characters are followed throughout, with different chapters focusing on different people.
Like Green Mars, this book drags as Robinson explains and involves the science needed for the terraforming of the planet, the colonization of Mercury, the hollowing of asteroids, the development of the longevity treatments, exploration and colonization of the Solar System, and the expansion and growth of life on Mars. All too often I would barely skim paragraphs and pages of Robinson’s scientific explanations. Yet when the book focused back on the characters and the interaction, my interest was re-gained. This book takes a lot of concentration, and probably won’t appeal to those who haven’t read the first two. I recommend the trilogy, and this as the final portion, but not on its own. Its best appeal is to those people who want the real science of science fiction. People looking for an easy read won’t get very far in this novel.
Notice: Strong sexual content