Mars Trilogy 01 – Red Mars

The Red Mars trilogy is a series of novels by sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson. It explores the settlement and subsequent terraforming of Mars over the course of nearly two centuries. The series is known for its accurate science, complex characters, realistic portrayals of politics and economics, and for its ultimately optimistic tone, shading towards a utopia rather than a dystopia.

Red Mars depicts the settlement of the first Martian colonies. The initial group of colonists, known as the “First Hundred”, are tasked with settling and ultimately terraforming the planet. However, they’re almost immediately divided over the degree to which they should terraform, as well as how independent the new Martian society should be from Earth. This crystallizes into two major movements: the Reds, who want to limit terraforming and keep Mars as close to its natural state as possible, and the Greens, who want to fully terraform Mars into an Earth-like environment.

Green Mars depicts the fallout of a failed revolt, which has resulted in an underground separatist movement whose struggle for political freedom from Earth forms the bulk of the plot. Against this political backdrop, Martian society is strained by a massive influx of immigrants and increasing corporate meddling from Earth, and the terraforming process begins to proceed at a runaway pace as Mars begins to literally turn green.

Blue Mars shows the aftermath of Mars becoming fully independent. After a global disaster on Earth threatens to destabilize the already overpopulated and polluted planet, the new Martian government is thrust into the unexpected role as Earth’s savior. Meanwhile, the colonization of the rest of the solar system is explored as well as the continuing effects of the Longevity Treatment on both the main characters and society as a whole.

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