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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire

It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »


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Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

mishellbaker, June 19, 2009

I approached this book with trepidation, as I normally don't read hard science fiction. I am frankly not smart enough to understand it, usually. But I found myself pulled into Red Mars almost immediately. Robinson's insight into human psychology borders on preternatural. As an example: the character of Maya resembles me so eerily that I found her voice very "neutral," and I didn't realize she/I was a little bit loony until I saw her from other characters' points of view.

Some have complained about the amount of detail in the descriptions, but I consider myself a fairly impatient, MTV-raised reader and I found myself fascinated by it. It's MARS. I want to know what it looks like! His descriptions of the landscape are haunting and multisensory; the science is presented in a way that makes it fascinating and enjoyable for even the most ignorant layperson (i.e., me).

The best thing to do is not to treat it like pulp sci-fi, but like literature: read it slowly, savor it, and let it affect you. You won't be sorry.
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