Kim Stanley Robinson

 

Red Mars

 

Epic. Very impressive - massive research and care in setting a novel around the colonisation of Mars. One critic made a valid comparison to Aldiss’ ‘Helliconia’ series, although this is science fiction not fantasy, and in the near future, so technology, geography and politics have to relate to a more factual base.

 

He also has characters. Moreover, he breaks the (large) book up by narrating from a different character’s point of view - and very effectively. When, for example, we have a psychologist centralised, we have several pages of interesting personality theory related to Robinson’s own characters - but we’re not forced into necessarily believing the way the psychologist (convincingly) perceives them.

 

Some parts are slower moving, and harder work when you’re with a character you don’t like so much. NOT a formula plot either: as with George R.R. Martin, you’re really unsure who will survive.

 

March 2002