Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Week Thirteen -- M is for Mars

M is for Mars - Red Mars, Blue Mars, Green Mars which are all the brain child of Kim Stanley Robinson.

Today I'm spotlighting Hugo award winner Kim Stanley Robinson.  He was born March 23, 1952 in Waukegan, Illinois, however he considers himself a California native since he has lived in California since he was two years old.    He discovered science fiction, much like I did in the 70's. During his college years, while working on his bachelor's degree,  developed an idea for a series set in Orange county, California taking one character through 3 different futures.  The very first book published in 1984  The Wild Shore (post apocalyptic), in 1988 The Gold Coast (dystopian) and in 1990 Pacific Edge (utopian)

After earning his Master's Degree in English at Boston University in 1975, he returned to California to complete his PhD.   In 1982 he completed his thesis on the works of Philip K. Dick titled:  The Novels of Philip K Dick - Studies in Speculative Fiction.

In 1982, he also married Lisa Howland Nowell, a environmental chemist whose work eventually took them to Switzerland where Kim was able to start writing full time, which results in the futuristic Mars Trilogy (Red  Mars - 1992, Green Mars - 1993 and Blue Mars in 1996) all about exploring  and establishing  a settlement on Mars.


After writing the Mars trilogy, Robinson decided to explore what would have happened in Europe if the black plague had wiped out 99% of the population and  Islamic and Buddhist societies emerged as the world's dominant religious and political forces which resulted in his alternative history novel:

He went on to explore how science and politics interact in Washington DC in the near future with the Science in the Capital trilogy exploring events leading up to and during a worldwide environmental collapse brought about by global warming.

Which brings us to his latest book, Galileo's Dream, a mixture of historical fiction, time travel and alternative history.  In Suduvu, Kim talks about Galileo's Dream - 400 years later.

Kim has won numerous awards and been nominated many times for his creative imagination

1984, World Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for "Black Air" 
1985, Locus Award for Best First Novel, for The Wild Shore 
1987, Nebula Award for Best Novella, for "The Blind Geometer
1991, John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, for Pacific Edge 
1991, Locus Award for Best Novella, for "A Short, Sharp Shock
1992, British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel, for Red Mars
1993, Nebula Award for Best Novel, for Red Mars 
1994, Hugo Award for Best Novel, for Green Mars
1994, Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, for Green Mars
1997, Hugo Award for Best Novel, for Blue Mars
1997, Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel, for Red Mars 
1997, Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, for Blue Mars 
1998, Ignotus Award for Best Foreign Novel, for Green Mars 
1999, Seiun Award for Best Foreign Novel, for Red Mars 
2000, Locus Award for Best Collection, for The Martians 
2003, Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, for The Years Of Rice And Salt

In 2007,  an autobiographical story - Kistenpass - was published in the webzine, Flurb about his time in Switzerland.

What's next from the imaginative mind of Kim Stanley Robinson?   In 2009, Orbit Publishing agreed to a three book deal with him and his first book, tentatively titled 2312 will be released in 2012.

"Tim Holman, Orbit VP and Publisher, says: “Kim Stanley Robinson is a writer who can make the future credible, no matter how incredible it might seem. 2312 will be set in our solar system three hundred years from now; a solar system in which mankind has left Earth and found new habitats. This will be a novel for anyone curious to see what our future looks like – a grand science-fictional adventure in every sense – and I’m thrilled that Orbit will be publishing it in both the US and the UK.”

Today, Kim is a stay at home dad, devoting his time to his kids and writing, while his wife continues her work as a full time chemist.  

I challenge you to read at least one of his books this year.  I'm coveting Galileo's Dream right now.


What have you been reading?   Post to your reviews and include the name of the book in parentheses after your name.   


  1. I'm not much of a sci-fi reader (actually, not one at all), but you've convinced me to give it a try!

    This is my first time linking up....thanks for the opportunity to check out some interesting reads!

  2. Sounds like an interesting challenge! I've been into historical spec fic lately, so maybe I'll give one of those a try.

  3. Hi Robin,
    I have finished my Book 13, Sons by Pearl S. Buck, but don't see a link to put it. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  4. I've always wanted to read the Mars books...they will be bumped further up on the reading list.


  5. I have not read much sci fi, but I have boys you love it so always appreciate the recommendations. I am a little behind in my reading. As soon as school is out I know I will catch up. Thanks!


Thank you for your kind comments.