I think I am allergic to Kim Stanley Robinson. Loved the idea behind this book, extremely disliked the execution. I tried reading 2312 years back, and similarly, any cool tingly science feelings I got from that book (which if I’m remembering right, starts with a moving, mechanized city on Mercury) was completely murdered by the boring as hell characters and lack of emotional through-line. I just remember the boredom with that one, but here I was not only bored but frustrated and annoyed by KSR’s attempt at character work.
The first third of this book is practically consumed by a “love triangle” between a psychopath, a hot Russian astronaut who is supposedly smart but can’t manage to figure out how not to have sex with the psychopath, and the man that the psychopath hates but who is an international hero, the “first man on Mars.” What a boring, stupid fucking thing to put in your Mars colonization book! The rest of the characters are about as three-dimensional as soggy, moldy cardboard.
I mean, at this point, fuck character arcs, KSR. Just do a faux-history of colonization and include all the science and political evolution you want. Your characters murder everything else you do.
Oh my god it was interminable.
Also, it’s an older audiobook and the narrator wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t really good either.
I will admit as well that one of the central conflicts here I thought was dumb. There’s a philosophical argument about whether or not to terraform Mars, and a bunch of geniuses start following this idiot who came to Mars to colonize but doesn’t want to actually do anything to the planet that would make that possible. Who cares about preserving the lifeless red rock when humanity is fighting for survival! Why the fuck did you come!!?? Go home!