1992-1996 (1999) Mars trilogy

Discuss the Mars trilogy (1992-1996) and the companion volume The Martians (1999)

Hi Kim,

I am an artist who lives and works in London, United Kingdom. My art practice focuses on moving image and sculpture. 

I am currently researching for a new work, which is titled Space Mongers. This is going to be a short film that will be filmed in Sutherland, Scotland. Where a partnership of UK space agency, Orbit and LockheedMartin are building the first European SpacePort, to launch small scale satellites from. 

The film is exploring how we arrive to perceptions of place and our relations to its ecology.  By looking into the past cultural histories and speculated futures of Space, Space Mongers, investigates how specific Private Corporate Bodies mediate our understanding of locations. By deconstructing these mediators, Space Mongers will examine the responsibility and power that mediation holds in altering collective relations. In doing, Space Mongers hopes to explore the ecological other of Space and considers how this newly tangible location should be processed and orientated within ecological thought. 

The film is going to be shot in one single take of 39 minutes - the length of time in the timeslip, so well articulated in your Mars Trilogy. The film is going to be set within this space and time.

I'm interested in exploring the conceptual context of the moment of the timeslip- for want of a better cliche- where time stands still. Within your literature, the timeslip appears to occupy the time and space as a wonderful abstract construct, I was wondering if you could share any insight into your thought on this time and what the TimeSlip means for you as a concept and construct. 

Thank you in advance for reading this email.

All my best,

Ted Le Swer


Hey everyone! 

Just finished the Mars trilogy. Can your boy stop punctuating every chapter with a stereotype about Arabs?

As an arab myself, I'm tired of every white person (wherever they stands on the political spectrum) giving their unsollicited two cents about my people.

I'm equally irritated at both positive stereotypes (ahah the arabs seem like savages but once you get to know them you might be surprised) to negative ones (ahah the women staying in the kitchen ohlala...). It doesn't produce any kind of relfexion or observation. It's just sport for white people. I say that because for every arab or POC of color who intervenes on a forum to say what I just said there is a torrent of negative reactions from white ppl getting irritated at any mention of racism. So at the end of the day, by doing this, your boy just created a bone for racist dogs to chew at at the expense of arabs.

This, in itself, is a form of cultural imperialism.  Please tell you boy to shut the F up. Thanks

I just finished reading the Red Mars chapter “Homesick”. It is a powerful state of mind that I’m left with. An incredible rush of new insight leading to nothing short of the peace and tranquility of love. But then I’m just an old hippie with unfinished dreams. Thank you Kim Robinson. 

I love The Martians and whole Mars trilogy.
I wonder if there's any chance yours books get a portuguese edition?

I am abundantly impressed with the level of research that is found in the Mars series. I am embarking on a research project with students in a School of Architecture. Rather than reinventing the wheel I was wondering if you could share some of your research resources that may be your favorites or may offer a concise account of the research that you engaged in

I am totally gobsmacked after finishing KSR's "Red Mars". The detail and world building, the character building and the explanations about the (not geology) aerology and everything else in this book totally amazes me. KSR's attention to detail is the best. If he is like this in real life, he is probably hard with which to live.  Amazing author, amazing story. I look forward to "Green Mars" (when I can afford it in an e-book format). Thank you so very much, KSR. Wonderful!


I am a space enthusiast.

recently I was in a conference from AIAA (53 confreence Atlanta 10-12 July). in that conference, in some speech some one talk above the possibility to using the sand of Phobos and Deimos for aerobraking on Mars.

I am not an engineer then  I don’t know if the idea works or is just poppycock. But if works, that means that Phobos and Deimos could

Currently I am enjoying reading "Blue Mars" in Japanese. Now I saw two characters' name which is Priska and Irishika. I am wondering if these two names show the different person. I think they are Swiss persons who is familiar with law and consitition.

On pp. 282-283 of Red Mars, the author has character John Boone drive a rover from Bradbury Point to Acheron, some 5000 kilometers to the west. From the map of Mars at the front of the novel, we see that Acheron is at the far left, and Bradbury point is well right of center. But since the map shows the entire planet -- i.e., all 360 degrees of Mars -- that would mean it would actually be a shorter distance to drive if Boone went east to Acheron rather than west. Can anyone explain this apparent discrepancy?

The Reds need to reconsider

They have not given enough thought to their position.

Everything is “natural” including humans traveling to the Mars and making a “nest” of it via terraforming.   Many living things migrate; alter their surroundings, nest – in different ways.     Computers and plastic are “natural.”   It is not possible for something to be “un-natural.”   We are such an arrogant species, that we feel that we have the ability to “create” matter that is assembled in some what that it is no longer “natural.”  So, what the Greens want to do on Mars is quite “natural.”

Or, if I am not allowed that – then allow me this – any action towards Mars “changes it” including looking at it.  So, if the Reds are so damned hell bent on leaving Mars in its pristine state, they not only should they not set one single foot or pod or wheel on it, but should not enter its orbit and should not even look at it from afar.  You cannot be “partially” pregnant.  You are either “changing Mars” or you are not.  It is like the joke:  A guy meets a woman in a bar and says, will you sleep with me if I pay you 1 million dollars, she says yes; then he says, how about if I pay you $10 – and she says, what do you think I am a prostitute, to which he replies, we have already established that, we are now only haggling over the price of the service.  Changing Mars is changing Mars.

I think this will be of interest to fans of the 'Mars' trilogy; the link is to part 3 of a blogpost on the 'VolcanoCafe' site about the martian volcanoes the first two parts presented as a fictional account


Best book I ever read. It has an epic sense of scale. The characterisation and dialogue is incredible - so believable. I'm hopefully meeting KSR this Thursday at a book signing in London!

I suggest setting up a shared set of markers for Google Mars that depict the sites from the Mars trilogy.

I've never read a quartet (including The Martians) twice with the possible exception of The Foundation Series but I'm too old to remember.

I just wanted to thank Dr. Kim for his work. I'm now back to Red Mars for the third time in a year.

It's the next best thing to being there.


Not sure if you're familiar with NASA's World Wind; it's similar to Google Earth. One of the users created an add-on that shows many of the features discussed in the Trilogy:



J'ai lu les 3 livres mars la rouge, la verte et la bleue, et ils ont littéralement changé ma façon de voir les choses.
Le système politique, basé sur l'éco-économie, est vraiment passionnant.

Bien que ces livres soient un peu longs parfois (les parties avec Ann me semblent un peu ennuyeuses), et qu'à d'autres ils ne le soient pas assez (certaines technologies sont peu décrites), la globalité de la trilogie est vraiment géniale.

Kim Stanley est à mes yeux un génie, et j'espère qu'il va poursuivre ses talents d'écrivain, sociologue, économiste et scientifique amateur.

I am currently reading Green Mars after enjoying Red Mars. I must tell/ask you about something I read in National Geographic (7/11). In Red mars, KSR wrote of a "tethered elevator" between Earth & Mars. Well, it is discussed as a potential reality in the above Nat'l Geo on pages 34-35!!! Is there is any way to tell KSR about this? So cool!

Yes, the space elevator concept was not invented by Robinson and has been around for some time!

It was first used in fiction by Arthur C Clarke, in "The Fountains of Paradise"

Check out this annual conference:

And yes, it's extremely cool -- and the obvious way forward!

This article in the BBC news entitled "Applicants wanted for a one way ticket to Mars" reads almost like the first chapter of Red Mars.

Knowing Jackie's character, it seems natural for her to single out *female* body mutilation, most likely forced upon them by men, rather than bodily mutilation in general -- I don't think a character's words have to be taken as KSR's opinions always.

On religious freedom being enshrined in the Dorsa Brevia document, I'm guessing there must be an article or clause stating that self-determination over one self takes precedence over all else, including religious freedom. I would have to check the Dorsa Brevia and the Mars Constitution to make sure.

I remember a lot of power going to women in Blue Mars, mainly due to the Dorsa Brevia Group and Jackie. I don't remember that necessarily "most" decisions went to women, however I would have to check.

KSR has mentioned woman empowerment (and widespread access to contraception) as perhaps the best way towards social justice and battling climate change, so this is something he talks about often. But apart from the Mars trilogy I don't remember him writing about how it would come about in other works -- it's just there, naturally! There's a lot about gender in 2312, and in the short story "Sexual Dimorphism" (The Martians); there's some of it from the evolutionary psychology point of view in the "Science in the Capital" troligy too.

There are a few. There's the Mars Initiative: http://themarsinitiative.org/
The Planetary Society: http://www.planetary.org/
New Mars: http://www.newmars.com/
The Mars Society: http://www.marssociety.org/
And check out Space X's Elon Musk too: http://www.academicearth.org/lectures/opportunities-in-space-mars-oasis/

hey everyone,
i wanted to buy the mars trilogy, but in amazon there's only mass market paperback versions. anyone knows where can i order not a mass market version?


was wondering if you guys have any links on the site to pro mars colonising websites like Mars-One

Hi all! I read the Mars series back in college, and was impressed by the way that the technology in Red Mars seemed to be well-researched, based on the technology of the day.

I'd like to ask KSR -- what would he change about that, given the events of the last fifteen years? The retirement of the shuttle program in particular and the unavailability of external tanks to build the [i]Ares[/i] would be an obvious place to start, as would the relative rise of China and India as spacefaring powers.

Does KSR still believe that it's plausible for the first man on Mars to have been born in 1976?

I have read the trilogy and 'The Martians' and found I am always trying to find a map or illustration... So I compiled a list. Here goes...

Frontispiece, Mars Map, 2 pages
Page 110 The Martian Calendar Year 1, (2027 AD)
Pages 196,197,198 Greimas Schematic Rectangle

Frontispiece, Mars Map, 2 pages
Page 30 Map: Mars Polar Region
Page 130 Map: Burroughs C. 2100 AD
Page 500 Map: Burroughs Region
Page 537 Diagram: Temperature Comparisons

Frontispiece, Mars Map, 2 pages
Sub-Frontispiece,The Martian Calendar Year 1, (2027 AD)
Page 6 Map: Pavonis Mons Caldera (Sheffield)
Page 208 Map: Tempe Terra (Kasei Fjord)
Page 308 Map: North Sea Polar Projection (North Pole)
Page 334 Map: Chryse Gulf (Da Vinci, Kasei Fjord, Sinai Peninsula)
Page 450 Map: The Grand Canal (Isidus Bay, Hellas Sea, Odessa)
Page 549 Map: Olympus Mons Caldera

The Martians
Frontispiece, Mars Map, 2 pages (From BLUE MARS)

Dear friends co-fans of KSR I have two questions about the story of Red Mars:
Why John Boon dies in the beginning?
And which is the exact year of the landing - 2027 according to 9 months flight from 21 Dec. 2026 or 2037 according to John Boon's calculation of year M 10 - 2047 when the truck falls?
Thank you!

Article includes comments from Kim:
Daring Mars Rover Landing Has High Stakes for NASA
by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 01 August 2012 Time: 11:44 AM ET

I love the Red Mars trilogy and was re-reading it, when I came upon something that Jackie said in Blue Mars: she mentions that if they allow individual towns and cultures too much autonomy, they could end up with a place that practices (gasp) female genital mutilation.

I'm wondering why KSR singled out female genital mutilation, and didn't mention male genital mutilation? Non-consensual circumcision is practiced by Judaism, and earlier in Green Mars the character create the Dorsa Brevia document which unthinkingly enshrines the right to religious freedom, without any mention of how to protect young boys and girls from having their bodies mutilated.

If KSR were to write these books today, would he still have Jackie single out only *female* circumcision and make no mention of the plight of young boys in these same cultures?

Hi. I am a fan of Red, Green, & Blue Mars (and any other color he might put together too.)

I don't have any of the Mars trilogy in hand, but I seem to remember a section where Robinson states that, by this time, most real political decisiveness [if not actual real power?] had transferred over into the hands of women, rather than the millennia old system dominated by male agendas. I could have this completely wrong, but if not, does the author go more into the where, how and why of this possible
future phenomenon (possibly quite desirable if the truth be known).
Perhaps in some essays?

Gene Partlow

A quote from Green Mars on www.breakingillusion.com

Kim Stanley Robinsons work is simply extraordinary.

I just finished Gretel Ehrlichs "This Cold Heaven" about her trips to northern Greenland and life among native people there. Climate, landscapes, vegetation and people are all evocative of the KSRs Mars books. The Inuit who (at the time of of writing - late 90s) were still doing subsistence hunting from dog sleds and kayaks trying to stave off a growing market economy, outboard engines and snowmobiles and worried about global warming....Good book! Wonder if KSR read it?

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <iframe>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Fill in the blank.