Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
I loved this book. I don’t know if it’s all the cool photos from the Mars Rover that I’ve been looking at lately:
LOOK AT THIS GUY! HE’S ON ANOTHER PLANET!
But I’ve had a major thing for near future space writing. And Mars in particular. Kim brings Mars to life in this book and it’s awesome.
I kind of agree with Joachim’s* criticism of Kim here about how Kim would jump between characters. I did find it jarring at first.
Kim does a great job of tying together a lot of different aspects of how a Mars colony might look both culturally and technologically. There’s discussion of the ethical considerations of terraforming, of what a mars society created entirely by scientists would be like. Of issues like emigration and how a successful Mars colony would affect people still on Earth.
Most of these are things I’ve never really thought about – would it be right to turn Mars into a second Earth, assuming you could? I don’t know. Would we just end up wrecking it once we finally made it liveable? Most likely! Would we be able to escape all the prejudices that we have here on Earth, by moving to another planet? Doubt it.
But it’s interesting to think about. Or not. I admit I don’t have much room in my brain for big questions like these at this point in my life. I just like imagining going on a cool space adventure to another planet. And since things like “warp drive” sound much too outlandish, I enjoy this kind of book.
That photo up there? It looks like home. I love the desert and Mars is the desert to end all deserts. I wish I could go there someday. I guess I’ll just have to imagine that I can.
*Joachim does a really cool Sci-Fi blog, if you haven’t been there you should check it out.