At one point in Green Mars as a group of people are going around to try and figure out what type of government mars should have, a character uses the phrase “equality without conformity” to describe what he’d like to see happen. That phrase has stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it long after I finished the book.
This installment of the trilogy is about breaking free and becoming an independent Mars. But how do you do that? What type of government do you want to see on Mars? How do the disparate groups come together? It’s a fascinating question, given that all the groups have a legacy of how Earth is governed even if they are native Martians and have never lived on Earth, they’ve felt the governing forces of the planet.
And as they discuss, think, and argue, it becomes clear that they do have quite a bit in common. But the big points are big and the groups argue about them throughout the book. I really loved this book, there was so much going on and so much to think about as the people on Mars contemplated how to revolt, what they wanted life on Mars to be like, and how they would move forward. The idea of starting from scratch and being able to create the society you want is intriguing and they way the Mars inhabitants went about it was fascinating to me.
I’ll also say this: these books are hard in many ways, Mars isn’t easy, Earth is falling apart, but as is normal for KSR, I always end feeling hope. The people on Mars can figure this out and they can eventually have an influence for good on the people of Earth.