Essays and Criticism

A collection of peer-reviewed and/or academic publications relating to the work of Kim Stanley Robinson (chronological list):


Moylan, Tom, 'Utopia is when our lives matter': Reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge, Penn State University Press, Utopian Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1995), pp. 1-24 [online]

Franko, Carol, Dialogical Twins: Post-Patriarchal Topography in Two Stories by Kim Stanley Robinson, SF-TH Inc, Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Nov., 1995), pp. 305-322 [online]

Markley, Robert, Falling into Theory: Simulation, Terraformation, and Eco-Economics in Kim Stanley Robinson's Martian Trilogy, The Johns Hopkins University Press, MFS Modern Fiction Studies - Volume 43, Number 3, Fall 1997 [online]

Franko, Carol, Kim Stanley Robinson: Mars Trilogy, in A Companion to Science Fiction, edited by David Seed, Wiley-Blackwell, August 2005 [online]

Burling, William J., et al., Kim Stanley Robinson maps the unimaginable: critical essays, edited by William J. Burling, McFarland &​ Co., 2009 [online] (Several articles were previously published independently) Contents:

  • Pt. I Utopia and Alternative History
    • 1.Witness to Hard Times: Robinson's Other Californias /​ Thomas P. Moylan
    • 2."If I Find One Good City, I Will Spare the Man": Realism and Utopia in the Mars Trilogy /​ Fredric Jameson
    • 3.Falling into History: Imagined Wests in the "Three Californias" and Mars Trilogy /​ Carl Abbott
    • 4.Remaking History: The Short Fiction /​ John Kessel
    • 5.The Martians: A Habitable Fabric of Possibilities /​ Nick Gevers
    • 6.Learning to Live in History: Alternate Historicities and the 1990s in The Years of Rice and Salt /​ Phillip E. Wegner
  • Pt. II Theory and Politics
    • 7.The Density of Utopian Destiny in Red Mars /​ Carol Franko
    • 8.Falling into Theory: Simulation, Terraformation, and Eco-Economics in the Mars Trilogy /​ Robert Markley
    • 9.Chromodynamics: Science and Colonialism in the Mars Trilogy /​ Elizabeth Leane
    • 10.The Theoretical Foundation of Utopian Radical Democracy in Blue Mars /​ William J. Burling
    • Contents note continued: 11.The Politics of the Network: The Science in the Capital Trilogy /​ Roger Luckhurst
    • 12.Living Thought: Genes, Genres and Utopia in the Science in the Capital Trilogy /​ Gib Prettyman
    • 13."Structuralist Alchemy" in Red Mars /​ William J. White
  • Pt. III Ecology and Nature
    • 14.Ecological Newspeak /​ Alan R. Slotkin
    • 15.Murray Bookchin on Mars! The Production of Nature in the Mars Trilogy /​ Shaun Huston
    • 16.The Mars Trilogy and the Leopoldian Land Ethic /​ Eric Otto
    • 17.Dead Penguins in Immigrant Pilchard Scandal: Telling Stories About "the Environment" in Antarctica /​ Sherryl Vint /​ Mark Bould
  • Pt. IV Interview and Select Bibliography
    • 18.A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson /​ Irving F. "Bud" Foote
    • 19.A Select Secondary Bibliography /​ William J. Burling.

Pak, Chris, Ecocriticism and Terraforming: Building Critical Spaces, FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts, No 10 (2010) [online]

Cho, K. Daniel, Tumults of Utopia: Repetition and Revolution in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, Cultural Critique, Number 75, Spring 2010, pp. 65-81, doi:10.1353/cul.2010.0008 [online]

Johns-Putra, Adeline, Ecocriticism, Genre, and Climate Change: Reading the Utopian Vision of Kim Stanley Robinson's Science in the Capital Trilogy, Ecocriticism and English Studies, Volume 91, 2010 - Issue 7, Pages 744-760, doi:10.1080/0013838X.2010.518043 [online]

Cho, K. Daniel, "When a Chance Came for Everything to Change": Messianism and Wilderness in Kim Stanley Robinson's Abrupt Climate Change Trilogy, Criticism, Volume 53, Number 1, Winter 2011, pp. 23-51, doi:10.1353/crt.2011.0006 [online]

Trexler, Adam, Johns‐Putra, Adeline, Climate change in literature and literary criticism, WIREs Climate Change 2011 Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 185–200, doi:10.1002/wcc.105 [online]

Pak, Chris, ‘All energy is borrowed’ – terraforming: a master motif for physical and cultural re(up)cycling in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, Green Letters, Volume 18, 2014 - Issue 1, Pages 91-103, doi:10.1080/14688417.2014.890527 [online]

Pak, Chris, ‘The goal of Martian economics is not “sustainable development” but a sustainable prosperity for its entire biosphere’: science fiction and the sustainability debate, Green Letters, Volume 19, 2015 - Issue 1, Pages 36-49, doi:10.1080/14688417.2014.984316 [online]

Pak, Chris, Terraforming: Ecopolitical Transformations and Environmentalism in Science Fiction, June 2016, Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 55 [online] Relevant contents:

  • 5: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy
    • Gardens on Mars
    • “Stepping Back”
    • Visions Reflected Back to Earth
    • Closed Life-Support Systems, Soil and Cybernetics
    • Eco-Economics and the Landscape as Mirror
    • Science and Nature
    • On Martian Myths