April 2nd, 2007, 12:32 AM
A friend of mine who is a big KSM fan likened his writing to "future history" and, in reading Red Mars, and it's meticulously detailed hard scifi treatment of the colonization and subsequent political infighting, I couldn't have agreed more. Robinson certainly knows his stuff, fashioning a very believable setting for his occasionally not-so-believable characters. The incredibly thorough descriptions of the various aspects of the Mars mission and the terraforming process in particular lent the narrative a level of validity not found in most scifi - but, alternately, did prove incredibly tedious on many occasions.
I agreed with those who felt that the immortality treatment felt more a writer's contrivance and very unusual in an otherwise plausible novel. I didn't mind most of the characters and their occasionally juvenile decisions (I know otherwise mature individuals who behave like this), but found some of them - Maya in particular - just a little too emotionally unbalanced to be leading such an important mission.
Golinub - Bien fait! Great argument on the Red vs. Green debate. For my part, I would be a hardcore Green looking to establish a foothold on Mars that could be used to step out to other propsective worlds and potential future colonies. Onwards the Empire!
April 2nd, 2007, 03:10 AM
I agree with the sceptics.
I read the book some years ago when it first came out in paperback so I don't recall much about it, but I remember being underwhelmed. Exhaustive descriptive detail, but uninvolving characters and a plot I can't recall. The impression I had was that he allowed his obsession with world-building to dominate the story, which is always a Bad Idea IMO. All in all, one of those worthy-but-dull books; it didn't engage my imagination and I didn't bother to read the two sequels.
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