KSR: Man of Mars and Beyond

Digital Batman Recommends

A Five Star Review

Like everything else in life, all things are connected, such as medicine and physiology, astronomy and astrology, biology and technology, zoology and ecology, or digital tech trends and literature.

With visionaries and industrial pioneers such as Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis leading the way for the next phase of human civilization, we shouldn’t forget that without literary inspiration to fuel our imaginations, we would not be driven to such bold accomplishments like reaching for the stars.

The authors include (but not limited to): Edgar Rice Burroughs (of the famous John Carter of Mars/Barsoom series); Jules Verne (of the iconic steampunk adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea); Frank Herbert (of the socio‐economic‐political sci‐fi epic DUNE Chronicles); Sheri S. Tepper (of the Baroque interplanetary classic Grass); Ursula K. Le Guin (of the mind‐bending tome The Lathe of Heaven); and the eponymous novelist of this blog post, the highly‐acclaimed Kim Stanley Robinson.

KSR for short.

KSR — It doesn’t get any better than him!

Robinson has won a mountain of awards for his work in the genre of hardcore science‐fiction, eco‐fiction, metaphysical‐ fiction, and political‐fiction, including the Nebula and Hugo Awards (the Academy Awards for genre literature).

Of all his iconic works, his magnum opus, the Mars Series (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars—and The Martians), are seminal tomes that discuss in phenomenal detail the exploration and terraforming of the planet Mars. The books detail not only the intense scientific, technological, and biological challenges of human activities upon the red planet, but also the socio‐economic and political costs to both worlds (Earth and Mars). And there’s a huge genetic‐engineering component to these stories that clearly portends our real future.

The Martians is a collection of similarly-themed short stories set in KSR’s Mars universe.

The Mars Trilogy and The Martians by KSR

Extrapolated from the most cutting‐edge scientific discoveries at the time (ca. late 1990s), these books (like the aforementioned pantheon of works by the other venerated authors) are timeless due to the superior quality of the writing. The Mars books are literary works of the highest order as much as they are visionary tales to inspire people like Musk to build the rockets (such as Starship) that will actually take humans to Mars and beyond.

Robinson holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of California, San Diego. He is a staunch proponent of mitigating Climate Change and social equality. He lives in Davis California with his wife, and has two sons. He frequently travels the world giving lectures on topics that range from Climate Change, science/technology/humanism, to genre writing.

Without Progressive Pioneering authors like Kim Stanley Robinson, we would all be a little less inspired to transform our world and other worlds both scientifically and humanly.

Digital Batman can’t recommend reading The Mars Trilogy highly enough! Reading those books certainly influenced my life and my perceptions of…just about everything!

Watch the interview with Robinson below as he discusses his influences on writing The Mars Trilogy.

Kim Stanley Robinson: Origins of the Red Mars Trilogy — The Interval, 2016