Red Mars is the first book in the Red Mars Trilogy and takes place between 2026 and 2061.


In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

Back coverEdit

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.

Plot Summary Edit

Part One: Festival Night Edit

Perspective: Frank Chalmers

In the city of Nicosia, Frank Chalmers secretly plots and executes the assassination of John Boone to further his political goals.

Part Two: The Voyage Out Edit

Perspective: Maya Toitovna

31 years earlier, the Ares takes 100 people to Mars.

Part Three: The Crucible Edit

Perspective: Nadia Cherneshevsky

The crew of the Ares lands on the Martian surface and Phobos, and begins construction of the first settlement.

Part Four: Homesick Edit

Perspective: Michel Duval

Michel, the crew's psychologist, has fallen into depression and he is approached by a mysterious stranger, who takes him to meet with dissapeared crew members and joins the Areophany.

Michel has fallen into a deep depression and is struggling with his psychological issues. A mysterious stranger approaches him to Zygote, where he participates in an orgy involving Hiroko.

Part Five: Falling Into History Edit

Perspective: John Boone

Mars has been colonized further with several cities and a space elevator under construction, scientists have massively expanded human lifespan with medicine known as longevity treatments and tens of thousands of people are living on the planet. John Boone investigates a string of terrorist attacks on terraforming equipment. Realizing the incredibly growth of Transnational Corporations on Terra and the deteriorating living conditions on Mars, John starts the MarsFirst political party to resist the expansion of corporations and create an independent Martian government.

Part Six: Guns Under The Table Edit

Perspective: Frank Chalmers

Frank becomes depressed after assasinating John and tries to stop corporate expansion into Mars, and fails. Tens of thousands of cheap workers are shipped onto Mars to extract valuable resources, and giant slums form of giant workers in horrible living conditions. Strikes, sabotage, protests, riots and guerilla warfare consume the planet, beginning a revolution.

Part Seven: Senzeni Na Edit

Perspective: Nadia Cherneshevysky

With revolution in full swing on Mars and Terra consumed in a World War, survivors of the original Ares crew try to survive the chaos as whole cities are destroyed, the space elevator is broken and civilians are massacred by TransNat security.

Part Eight: Shikata Ga Nai Edit

The remaining crew from the Ares travel to the hidden colony of Zygote to escape persecution in the aftermath of revolution, which they are blamed for in the media.

Characters Edit

In order of appearance