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Blue Mars

Cover of Blue Mars

Blue Mars

Mars Trilogy, Book 3
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The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world. But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster. Soon people look to Mars as...More
The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world. But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster. Soon people look to Mars as...More
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Description-
  • The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world. But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster. Soon people look to Mars as a refuge, initiating a possible interplanetary conflict, as well as political strife between the Reds, who wish to preserve the planet in its desert state, and the Green "terraformers". The ultimate fate of Earth, as well as the possibility of new explorations into the solar system, stand in the balance.

    From the Paperback edition.

 
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  • Chapter One Then the slope they ascended grew less steep, in a perfect sine curve, until they were on the flat land of the round summit plateau. Here they saw tent towns ringing the edge of the giant caldera, clustered in particular around the foot of the space elevator, some thirty kilometers to the south of them.

    They stopped their cars. The silence in the cabins had shifted from reverent to grim. Ann stood at one upper-cabin window, looking south to Sheffield, that child of the space elevator: built because of the elevator, smashed flat when the elevator fell, built again with the elevator's replacement. This was the city she had come to destroy, as thoroughly as Rome had Carthage; for she meant to bring down the replacement cable too, just as they had the first one in 2061. When they did that, much of Sheffield would again be flattened. What remained would be located uselessly on the peak of a high volcano, above most of the atmosphere; as time passed the surviving structures would be abandoned and dismantled for salvage, leaving only the tent foundations, and perhaps a weather station, and, eventually, the long sunny silence of a mountain summit. The salt was already in the ground.



  • A cheerful Tharsis Red named Irishka joined them in a small rover, and led them through the maze of warehouses and small tents surrounding the intersection of the equatorial piste with the one circling the rim. As they followed her she described for them the local situation. Most of Sheffield and the rest of the Pavonis rim settlements were already in the hands of the Martian revolutionaries. But the space elevator and the neighborhood surrounding its base complex were not, and there lay the difficulty. The revolutionary forces on Pavonis were mostly poorly equipped militias, and they did not necessarily share the same agenda. That they had succeeded as far as they had was due to many factors: surprise, the control of Martian space, several strategic victories, the support of great majority of the Martian population, the unwillingness of the United Nations Transitional Authority to fire on civilians, even when they were making mass demonstrations in the streets. As a result the UNTA security forces had retreated from all over Mars to regroup in Sheffield, and now most of them were in elevator cars, going up to Clarke, the ballast asteroid and space station at the top of the elevator; the rest were jammed into the neighborhood surrounding the elevator's massive base complex, called the Socket. This district consisted of elevator support facilities, industrial warehouses, and the hostels, dormitories, and restaurants needed to house and feed the port's workforce. "Those are coming in useful now," Irishka said, "because even though they're squeezed in like trash in a compactor, and if there hadn't been food and shelter they would probably have tried a breakout. As it is things are still tense, but at least they can live."

    It somewhat resembled the situation just resolved in Burroughs, Ann thought. Which had turned out fine. It only took someone willing to act and the thing would be done--UNTA evacuated to Earth, the cable brought down, Mars's link to Earth truly broken. And any attempt to erect a new cable could be balked sometime in the ten years of orbital construction that it took to build one.

    So Irishka led them through the jumble that was east Pavonis, and their little caravan came to the rim of the caldera, where they parked their rovers. To the south on the western edge of Sheffield they could just make out the elevator cable, a line that was barely visible, and then only for a few kilometers out of its 24,000. Nearly invisible, in...
About the Author-
  • Kim Stanley Robinson is a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. He is the author of eleven previous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Fifty Degrees Below, Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt, and Antarctica--for which he was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers' Program. He lives in Davis, California

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    Random House Publishing Group
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Mars Trilogy, Book 3
Kim Stanley Robinson
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Kim Stanley Robinson
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