Mars Sci-Fi novel series by Kim Stanley Robinson

I continue these posts by looking though my collection of books. My fondness for science fiction will become apparent as I create more entries. But I begin with Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series, all written in the 1990s. Beginning with Red Mars in 2026 with a one hundred person crew set to colonize Mars, the stories are a series of personal accounts of the 200 years of terraformation and widespread inhabitation of the planet. The colony becomes one of great technological advancement, almost utopian socially, while the planet Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological instability. The titles also describe the state of Mars has been terraformed in each novel. Red Mars begins with the barren, cold, iron rust world of Mars as we know it; Green Mars is a transition period of introducing ecological systems; Blue Mars concludes the series with an ocean-covered, life-sustaining, Earth-like Mars. The last volume, The Martians, is a collection of short stories and poetry of the Martian inhabitants.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson

Although I have only read a portion of the first book, I eventually bought this series and remember how inspiring it looked when I first saw it browsing my local libraries shelves as a young child. I can’t help but wonder if the well-tied together look and feel of the covers are what sparked my interest to read them. The typographic system is consistent: a condensed version of Avant Garde Gothic that compliments the futuristic, technological aspect of the story. Each cover features paintings by Don Dixon, including a group of vignette images inspired from the stories in a column left of a dominant image depicting the state of the terraformation of Mars in the novel, complimented by an appropriate color scheme. Looking at the book covers together provides a captivating visual timeline for the potential reader of the events that unfold through the series.

1993, Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1994, Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1996, Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
1999, The Martians by Kim Stanley Robinson