Moving Mars by Greg Bear

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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What Greg Bear does well is hard science fiction, what he doesn’t do quite so well is intimate relationships between his characters and this is no exception; the first quarter of Moving Mars is an unnecessarily long drawn out account of the angst ridden first love of its main protagonist Casseia Majumdar. I found it painful to read and it almost stopped me continuing but I’m glad I persisted because it did eventually develop into an excellent work of science fiction.

Casseia, born on Mars and fiercely patriotic, finds herself slowly drawn into the centre of a long simmering row between the largely non-existent government of Mars and the domineering corporate biased government of Earth. Pushed relentlessly into an ever tighter corner the people of Mars must come up with something radical if they are to survive this dispute.

As ever Bear’s science is fascinating and very much at the centre of Moving Mars and his description of the Martian environment and how the human colonists have adapted to it both physically and culturally makes for fascinating reading, despite being a little out of date regarding Martian history (written long before Curiosity back in 1993). His extrapolation of the next big physics leap after Quantum Mechanics is interesting and gives a great impetus to the story which is, in itself (once past that terrible beginning), a great piece of political thriller writing. It is, apparently, set in the same world as his earlier book Queen of Angels book though I never noticed this whilst reading it and only realised after I’d finished. Which is probably a good job as I read Queen of Angels some two or three years back and frankly hated it – without doubt my worst read from Bear so far – and this is so much better than that earlier book.

If not for that dreadful teenage angst ridden start this would have been a five star read but even with it I can comfortably give it four stars!

4/5 stars
 
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