on Aug. 6, 2017 :
The Colonisation of Mars
Larry William Richardson.
The author spent much of his working life in arctic Canada, which must be a head start for imagining the Martian tundra. Much of this SF novel is about the narrative characters roaming thereon. This makes for a lonely story, but that suited me, as I am a lonely story.
The plot hinges on actual plans for superannuated scientists to be shipped on a one-way voyage to Mars. The author is skeptical about the old-timers having much exploratory drive left. Apparently, once you’ve been out on the sands of Mars, you’ve seen it all. And the residents prefer to stay put in their Mars dome. However, the narrator is relatively young, younger than me, tho that’s not saying much. And he prefers the roving solitude of a computerised no-comforts-spared moon buggy.
The Martian geography is spiced up a bit by frequent encounters with Martian space junk, real and imaginary, in the shape of secret high-risk hapless voyages from earth. These scenarios are totally unbelievable yet they work. It is rather as if we are reading SF, over the decades, telescoped into one novel. These forlorn expeditions emphasise that the Martian desert is deserted.
Indeed, the narrative interacts increasingly, not with humans but with artificial intelligence. In an off-earth culture of unfettered innovation, they become the genies of the Arabian Nights working their magic, making the cavernous volcanoes of Mars habitable, and ultimately providing habitation to replace the human body before death, if in a somewhat limited form. As this book is the first in a series, however, it may be that better things are to come, in the realms of the authors imagination.
(review of free book)
on March 26, 2015 :
Epic, witty, entertaining novel. Somewhat daunting: the story is even realistic, as a view into the future.
Definitively more interesting than the naive Heinlein or Bradbury stories of a past age.
(review of free book)
on April 8, 2012 :
Always fasinated by anything Mars, I found TCOM to be on par with the best of efforts. I started reading on a Saturday afternoon,stopping when I could no longer prevent sleep. Continuing the next day, I finished that afternoon. Somewhere that first day my psysic became in sync with Sam. For the better part of those two days, I was on Mars, traveling, thinking and wordering. How could I be on Mars and not explore? How could I end, how could I leave? The answer was not a choice, but the next step. As the last page was read, it was right.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)