Earlier this week, Gina Minks posted an article called “The 1st Story I Never Wanted to Leave.” John Price also posted about this today. I thought the concept was fascinating, and I wanted to share something in this vein.
I was an avid reader when I was growing up. I was often reading something, and I loved hanging out in the Sci-Fi section of my local Barnes and Noble.
The book that really stands out to me is Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I don’t remember exactly when I read Red Mars for the first time, but the first book in the Mars Trilogy was extremely immersive. I could imagine myself riding along with John Boone, Maya Toitovna, and the rest of the First 100 as they explored the red planet and built a new home. Although this series did continue with two other books, by the time I got to Blue Mars, I started to lose interest in the series as the red planet became more earth-like and the feel of the story changed from colonizing a new world to politics and building a government.
I reread Red Mars earlier this year, and one thing that stood out to me was that there was so much I missed when I read it as a teenager. I didn’t have the life experience to really understand the characters or the situation they were in. As a teenager, I saw it as a cool story about people living on another world, but as an adult, I could relate to the characters better and understand the situation they went into. I could also better appreciate the language that Robinson used.
This book made a huge impact on me, and there are days where I want to sit down and write about intrepid explorers trekking across the surface of Mars.