Robinson, Kim Stanley 1952–
Robinson, Kim Stanley 1952–
Born March 23, 1952, in Waukegan, IL; married Lisa Howland Nowell, 1982; children: two. Education: University of California—San Diego, B.A., 1974, Ph.D., 1982; Boston University, M.A., 1975. Hobbies and other interests: Mountain trekking, swimming.
Nebula Award nomination, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1981, for "Venice Drowned"; Hugo Award, World Science Fiction Society, 1982, for "To Leave a Mark"; World Fantasy Award for best novella, World Fantasy Convention, 1983, and Nebula Award, both for "Black Air"; Locus Award for best first novel, 1985, for The Wild Shore; Nebula Award for best novella, 1987, for The Blind Geometer; Nebula Award for best novel, 1993, for Red Mars; Hugo Award for best novel, World Science Fiction Society, 1994, for Green Mars, and 1997, for Blue Mars; National Science Foundation grant, 1995; Hugo Award nomination in best novel category, World Science Fiction Society, and Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist, both 2003, both for The Years of Rice and Salt.
SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS; UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
The Wild Shore, Ace (New York, NY), 1984.
Icehenge, Ace (New York, NY), 1984, Orb (New York, NY), 1998.
The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance, Tor (New York, NY), 1985.
The Blind Geometer (novella), illustrations by Judy King-Rieniets, Cheap Street (New Castle, VA), 1986.
The Planet on the Table (science fiction short stories; includes "Venice Drowned," "Mercurial," "Ridge Running," "The Disguise," "The Lucky Strike," and "Black Air", Tor (New York, NY), 1986.
The Gold Coast, Tor (New York, NY), 1988.
Escape from Kathmandu, T. Doherty (New York, NY), 1989.
Pacific Edge, Tor (New York, NY), 1990.
A Short, Sharp Shock, illustrations by Arnie Fenner, M.V. Ziesing (Shingletown, CA), 1990.
Pulphouse Science-Fiction Short Stories, Black Air, Pulphouse (Eugene, OR), 1991.
Red Mars, Bantam (New York, NY), 1993.
(Editor) Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias, Tor (New York, NY), 1994.
Remaking History and Other Stories, Orb (New York, NY), 1994.
Green Mars, Bantam (New York, NY), 1994.
Blue Mars, Bantam (New York, NY), 1996.
Antarctica, Bantam (New York, NY), 1998.
The Martians, Bantam (New York, NY), 1999.
The Years of Rice and Salt, Bantam (New York, NY), 2002.
Forty Signs of Rain, Bantam (New York, NY), 2004.
Fifty Degrees Below, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Sixty Days and Counting, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Stories represented in anthologies, including Orbit 18 and Orbit 19, both edited by Damon Knight, Harper (New York, NY), 1975 and 1977; Clarion SF, edited by Kate Wilhelm, Berkley (New York, NY), 1977; Universe 11, Universe 12, Universe 13, Universe 14, and Universe 15, all edited by Terry Carr, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1981-85; and The Year's Best Science Fiction 1, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jim Frenkel, Bluejay Books, 1984. Contributor to periodicals, including Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Science-fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson has written prolifically, but he is probably best known for Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, his epic trilogy about the twenty-first-century colonization of that planet. The trilogy, according to Edward James in the Times Literary Supplement, has established Robinson "as the pre-eminent contemporary practitioner of science fiction. He has earned that position by taking the central tenet of science fiction—the extrapolation of current history—to greater lengths than any of his predecessors, and the Mars books are likely to be the touchstone of what is possible in the genre for a long time to come."
Despite the rigorous scientific detail that characterizes his best-known work, Robinson is not a scientist. Instead, his credentials are decidedly literary. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1952, Robinson grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated from the University of California—San Diego in 1974 with a degree in literature. He went on to earn a master's degree in English from Boston University the following year, and then returned to the University of California to earn a doctorate in literature in 1982. He wrote his dissertation on the novels of Philip K. Dick, who is best known for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Robinson's first novel, The Wild Shore, was the eagerly awaited vanguard of a new line of science fiction books from Ace Books. With a reputation for discovering excellent and little-known authors, the Ace Specials were first published in the 1960s, eventually discontinued, and then resurrected by their former editor, Terry Carr, beginning with Robinson's novel in 1984. The Wild Shore depicts the United States in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust of mysterious origin as a country reduced to primitive technology and quarantined by an unknown outside force. Assessed Algis Budrys in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, "what [Robinson] has here is a Class A science fiction idea … a future which is both clearly possible and yet has not hitherto been notably proposed."
Throughout the novel Robinson concentrates on his protagonists, residents of a southern California town who generally know little and care even less about their history and about the world beyond them. According to Budrys, the regional flavor and strong characterization of Robinson's book recall the writings of John Steinbeck and Mark Twain; "Robinson has brought an American culture to life as surely as was ever done by anyone who had a real American culture to research," judged the critic. Writing in the Washington Post Book World, Stephen P. Brown praised the "vivid depth" of characterization "rarely encountered in science fiction."
In The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance, published the following year, music is the universal language of a space-faring civilization. With access to free energy, humanity has colonized all the sun's planets and developed a "rich mixture of cultures, based on divergent notions of political order, but unified by an appreciation of music," noted Gerald Jonas in the New York Times Book Review. A genius, Johannes Wright, attempts to use the language of music to express universal truths in his compositions for a computer-enhanced instrument known as the Orchestra, but enemies seek to destroy him and the Orchestra. Jonas expressed disappointment in being unable to identify with Wright, whose genius places him beyond the reader, but appreciated Robinson's variations on the theme of music's power. The critic judged the end, in which Wright lands on Mercury after performing on various other planets, "most spectacular."
A number of Robinson's short stories, originally published in the late 1970s and early 1980s, appear in his 1986 collection The Planet on the Table. Exploring future societies or alternate histories, Robinson "invests his flights of imagination with a palpable sense of place," asserted Jonas in another New York Times Book Review article. The stories earned praise for their merits as straight fiction as well as for their science fiction content and prompted Jonas's commendation of Robinson's "powerful and consistent science fiction voice."
Depicting another future society is Robinson's 1988 novel The Gold Coast, the second in his trilogy of "Orange County" books. (The first was The Wild Shore.) Set in twenty-first-century California, the book portrays a populace inundated by freeways, shopping malls, and apartment complexes, where the "people are as frantic as the landscape is dense, and there's a deadness in the soul of most," noted T. Jefferson Parker in the LosAngeles Times Book Review. The protagonist of the story, twenty-seven-year-old poet Jim McPherson, joins a terrorist group that sabotages national defense plants. Jim's father works for such a defense contractor, leaving Jim caught between his own idealist views condemning military buildup and his father's values. Parker commended The Gold Coast for the ideas that Robinson addresses, noting that the author has "extrapolated a future … that feels accurate, arresting and frightening…. Who among us, watching a wasteful defense industry that helps to drain an already overspent economy … doesn't share Jim's outrage and disgust?" In what the reviewer deemed an "ambitious, angry, eccentric" book, Robinson exhibits "breathless, headlong prose" and some "beautifully written rhapsodies." More important, concluded Parker, "Robinson has succeeded at a novelist's toughest challenge: He's made us look at the world around us. This isn't escapist stuff—it sends you straight into a confrontation with yourself."
In the trilogy's concluding book, Pacific Edge, Robinson creates his version of utopia. This novel's El Modena, California, is part of a new society brought about by peaceful revolution, where multinational corporations no longer rule and technology serves people's simpler, eco-friendly lifestyles. Newly elected town councilmember Kevin finds himself in the midst of a conflict when water-rights issues and the potential commercial development of a pristine hillside threaten to split the community. The political troubles are further complicated by personal relationships between allies and opponents. New York Times Book Review contributor Jonas maintained that "through a blend of dirt-under-the-fingernails naturalism and lyrical magical realism, [Robinson] invites us to share his characters' intensely personal, intensely local attachment to what they have. The result is a bittersweet utopia that may shame you into entertaining new hope for the future."
Robinson is an avid mountain trekker who loves wilderness landscapes, and much in his fiction seeks to shed light on the disconnection he sees between urban life and nature. "I spend about as much time as I can in the wilderness," he told Sebastian Cooke in an Eidolon interview. "It's got me thinking about the environmental catastrophe we're sitting on the edge of and solutions to that. It doesn't make any sense just to throw up your hands in despair and say, ‘The world is doomed!’" Robinson does not see environmental movements like those suggested in Pacific Edge as utopian. "There will always be competing interests that will be viciously fought over … to pretend otherwise is what makes people uninterested," Robinson told Cooke.
Just such conflicting human interests drive Robinson's award-winning and best-selling "Mars" trilogy. Totaling some 1,600 pages and taking six years to write, Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars chronicle human efforts over a period of several hundred years to colonize and "terraform" Mars. The colors in the books' titles represent the stages of Martian transformation: red for its original state, green for the successful introduction of plant life there, and blue for the eventual creation of oceans and an oxygen-enriched atmosphere. In Red Mars, the first one hundred colonists—carefully selected scientists with diverse views about the political and ethical aspects of their mission—journey to a lifeless Mars to begin the terraforming process. "The science of Red Mars is impeccably researched, convincing, and often thrilling in its moments of peril and grand implications," Faren Miller wrote in Locus. Liaisons and clashes soon emerge between strong personalities like those of team leaders Frank Chalmers and Maya Toitova, early Mars pioneer John Boone, political renegade Arkady Bogdanov, and subversive ecologist Hiroko Ao, among others.
Perhaps the most fierce and divisive is the argument that persists throughout the trilogy: whether Mars should be terraformed as quickly and fully as possible—a position advocated by the "Green" character Sax Russell and strongly supported by Earth governments—or whether its natural environment and evolution should be studied and preserved—a less-popular position held by geologist Ann Clayborne and her "Red" followers. By the end, initial visions for Mars's future are nearly subsumed by the multicultural complexities and mixed motives of an influx of new settlers, which lead to acts of sabotage and ultimately, a violent revolt. "In the debate over terraforming and its consequences, Mr. Robinson has all the makings of a philosophical novel of suspense. The stakes are high, the sides are shrewdly drawn, the players on both sides range from politically naive idealists to ambitious manipulators without discernable scruples," wrote Jonas.
Robinson's own views on the terraforming issue "are almost perfectly split down the middle, which I think is one of the driving emotional forces in me for writing" the "Mars" trilogy, he told Cooke in Eidolon. "There's a part of me that thinks that terraforming is a beautiful spiritual, almost religious project and that to be able to walk around on Mars in the open air … is absolutely one of the greatest human projects and ought to be done." He added, however, that he also thought this was a desecration of a unique, beautiful landscape. The different views give energy to the characters and the argument.
Red Mars begins with a murder in an established Martian settlement, then backtracks to the beginning of the colonization story so that readers may trace the motive, a plot device some critics found faulty. Many noted, however, that the plot is less important to Robinson than point of view: each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character, allowing Robinson to put forth a society of views that is in keeping with the scale of the terraforming effort. "His point is the reshaping of a world; people are hardly more than footnotes, and if their motives ultimately seem a little thin and their actions futile, never mind," concluded Tom Easton in Analog Science Fiction and Fact.
The colonists are eventually upstaged, many conclude, by Mars itself, through Robinson's descriptive landscaping and the science and technology he uses to bring Mars to life. "On one level, the planet itself becomes a major character," observed Jonas in the New York Times Book Review. The reader feels the changes in the atmosphere and the "beauty of this fundamentally inhuman setting and its effects on its all-too-human inhabitants," Jonas concluded.
Green Mars, which begins about twenty years later, chronicles the next forty years of life on Mars. Due to anti-aging treatments, many of the first one hundred colonists are still around, though driven underground by the failed rebellion which concluded Red Mars. Focusing on the coming-of-age journal of a new young character, Nirgal, who has grown up in a southern colony established by rebel Hiroko Ao, the plot recalls some of the pioneering spirit of Red Mars. For the most part, however, Green Mars is devoted to the process of creating a central Martian government out of its numerous colonies. It concludes with revolutionary war and an environmental disaster on Earth.
Some critics thought that Green Mars suffers from "the middle book problem," struggling to keep up the established pace while at the same time trying to be more than just a bridge between the first and final books. "There are just enough kidnappings, murders, rescues, disasters, and acts of sabotage to keep it all exciting, but the tale is driven by the problems of gaining independence from both earthly governments and the giant corporations who continually seek ways of exploiting the Martian colony. This leads to long passages of political and economic debate that slow down Robinson's momentum," remarked Gary K. Wolfe in Locus. Another Locus contributor, Russell Letson, asserted: "The breadth of Robinson's interests makes for a dense and intellectually ambitious book: psychology, political-economic theory, history, the planetary sciences and ecology, and the interactions of all these. Robinson often shows a reluctance to depend on plot as the driving force of the narrative." With most of the action taking place off stage, Letson noted that "it's as if Robinson were avoiding as much of the vulgarity of the action as he could and still have a narrative in which crucial events occur. What we get instead is a book tied together by thematics and character."
Having successfully gained independence from Earth, Martian society's biggest threat in Blue Mars is the ongoing battling between the Reds, who want to sever ties with Earth and protect what is left of untouched Mars, and the Greens who want to continue altering the planet for human use. At the risk of setting an ice age in motion, Green leader Sax Russell attempts to make peace with Red leader Ann Clayborne by removing from orbit the mirrors that create the atmospheric heat necessary for terraforming. As a result, the rival factions must together begin hammering out an appropriate government for themselves. Meanwhile, Earth faces a population crisis and impending planetary flooding, as its polar ice cap melts and ocean levels rise due to global warming. The crisis puts pressure on Mars to allow for the immigration of Terran refugees and leads to further Martian conflict.
"Robinson is as meticulous with his details as ever," noted Science Fiction Weekly contributor Clinton Lawrence, "whether he's describing the mechanisms of memory, the political and economic theories behind the new Martian constitution, or his characters' internal emotional and mental struggles." Lawrence added: "In Blue Mars it becomes clear that Robinson is writing about humanity's next great cultural leap as much as he is writing about the colonization of Mars."
Since completing the "Mars" trilogy, Robinson has moved some of his fiction back to Earth. In 1995, he won a National Science Foundation grant—the first science fiction writer to do to so—and spent six weeks in Antarctica accompanying a glacier research team on field work and visiting the McMurdo American base camp there to research his book, Antarctica. With Antarctica's oil riches at stake, the potential environmental, political, and territorial conflicts of the twenty-first century set the stage for this novel, which depicts a time in the near future when overpopulation, global warming, and deforestation have escalated to life-threatening proportions. "Robinson brings to this novel a passionate concern for landscape, ecology, and the effects of the ‘Gotterdammerung capitalism’ that he sees as the most serious threat to the survival of our species," explained a Publishers Weekly critic. The reviewer continued: "Moving back and forth between breathtaking descriptions of the alien, out-of-scale beauty of Antarctica, gripping tales of adventure on the ice and astute analyses of the ecopolitics of the southernmost continent, Robinson has created another superb addition to what is rapidly becoming one of the most impressive bodies of work in [science fiction]."
With his collection of short fiction, The Martians, Robinson returns to the planet Mars that figured so prominently in his Mars series. Although this book uses some similar themes to the trilogy, it is not an actual sequel. The stories focus on a group of colonists from Earth whose intention is to "terraform" Mars in order to make the atmosphere habitable for humans. Technology not only makes this process possible, but extends human life spans to the point where part of the original team sent to Mars to start the transformation of the atmosphere is still alive once the process has taken effect. Unlike the original Mars series, The Martians assumes that the colonists have political as well as scientific motivations for this journey. Gerald Jonas, in a review for the New York Times Book Review Online Web site, noted that readers unfamiliar with Robinson's "Mars" series might want to begin with those books prior to reading The Martians, despite its stand-alone status. He dubbed the sequence in its entirety as "a uniquely rewarding experience of state-of-the-art science fiction at the brink of a new millennium." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that "the stories are beautifully written, the characters are well developed and the author's passion for ecology manifests on every page."
Robinson is also the author of The Years of Rice and Salt, an alternative history for Earth that imagines that the Black Death which swept Europe in the fourteenth century completely extinguished the European way of life. Into this vacuum move Chinese and Islamic culture. Robinson proceeds to tell a tale that bears recognizable parallels to actual history, but a history as it might have happened if Western culture had not been the driving force in the world. "The book may challenge readers less historically versed, particularly in non-Western cultures, than its author," observed Booklist contributor Roland Green about The Years of Rice and Salt, which he nevertheless termed "vast" and "magisterial." Library Journal reviewer Jackie Cassada was similarly positive, praising Robinson's "superb storytelling and imaginative historic speculation" in this "standout novel."
In Forty Signs of Rain, the first novel of a global warming trilogy, Robinson tells the story of a climate catastrophe threatening the world and the struggles of sedulous scientists to convince a myopic government of the imminent disaster. Wrote Clay Evans of the Scripps Howard News Service: "Robinson is a smart, careful author and researcher. But the book is not very much fun." Evans thought the problem lies in Robinson's veering away from the natural drama of the story to focus on domestic tedium in the protagonist's life. On the other hand, Tampa Tribune contributor Amy Smith Linton remarked that Robinson "combines fiercely intelligent speculative science and a keen grasp of global economics, along with memorable characters. The result is convincing fiction that's spooky and thought-provoking." New York Times Book Review critic Gerald Jonas observed that Robinson provides "an unforgettable demonstration of what can go wrong when an ecological balance is upset," and while he does not quite succeed in making bureaucratic apathy exciting, "he comes close to making mathematics the stuff of drama," he concluded.
Fifty Degrees Below continues Robinson's series on global warming. Robinson continues to illustrate the decline of Earth due to the results of global warming that he began itemizing in Forty Signs of Rain. At this point in the process, the Gulf Stream is no longer providing any movement in water currents, creating a treacherously cold winter for Western Europe and the eastern United States. The collapse of Antarctica's ice shelves results in small island nations submerging entirely. Scientists, led by Frank Vanderwal, a sociobiologist working for the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC, are pitted against the U.S. government in an attempt to come up with some sort of measures that may forestall complete global catastrophe. Roger A. Berger, in a review for Library Journal, found the delivery of some of the scientific findings led to slow pacing and lack of interest, remarking: "Much of the well-researched scientific exposition emerges at inherently nondramatic NSF bureaucratic meetings." Acknowledging that the book is designed to cause conflict in both political and economic arenas, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly called it "the most realistic portrayal ever created of the environmental changes that are already occurring on our planet."
Robinson brings his global warming trilogy to a close with Sixty Days and Counting. In this volume, the United States elects President Phil Chase, a man whose friendship with scientists and understanding of the imminent global catastrophe faced by every person on the planet make him an appropriate leader for a time of crisis, and quite obviously a fictional creation, as was suggested by several reviewers. Chase calls on Frank Vanderwal to assist in the U.S. government in determining the best ways in which to attempt to reverse the damage caused by global warming, after Frank worked to help get him elected. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised the book for including "surprisingly interesting discussions of environmental science, … Robinson's trademark tramps through nature, and an exciting espionage subplot."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1985.
Contemporary Novelists, 6th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
St. James Guide to Science-Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1995.
Science-Fiction Writers, 2nd edition, Scribner's (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 178; August, 1990, review of A Short, Sharp Shock, p. 143; September, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 161; April, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 164; July, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 248; August, 1993, Tom Easton, review of Red Mars, p. 249.
Booklist, October 15, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 430; November 1, 1990, review of Pacific Edge, p. 504; October 15, 1991, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 416; January 1, 1993, review of Red Mars, pp. 795, 800; January 15, 1994, review of Red Mars, p. 866; February 1, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 979; July, 1994, review of Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias, pp. 1916, 1929; May 1, 1996, review of Blue Mars, p. 1469; April 1, 1999, review of Antarctica, p. 1401; July, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 1896; January 1, 2002, Roland Green, review of The Years of Rice and Salt, p. 777.
Book Report, November, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 66.
Books, July, 1989, review of The Gold Coast, p. 12; June, 1997, review of Blue Mars, p. 20.
Books and Culture, November, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 47.
Bookwatch, March, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 9; May, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 8; July, 1995, review of The Gold Coast, p. 9.
Columbus Dispatch, August 17, 2004, review of Forty Signs of Rain, p. 4E.
Davis Enterprise, November 2, 1997, Elisabeth Sherwin, "Next Stop for Mars Junkies? How about ‘Antarctica.’"
Eidolon, July, 1993, Sebastian Cooke, "An Earth-Man with a Mission."
Entertainment Weekly, June 11, 2004, review of Forty Signs of Rain, p. 129.
Extrapolation, spring, 1997, review of Red Mars, p. 57.
Independent (London, England), January 19, 2004, review of Forty Signs of Rain, p. 14.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 1506; October 15, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 1431; December 1, 1992, review of Red Mars, p. 1472; February 1, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 104; May 1, 1996, review of Blue Mars, p. 650; May 15, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 685.
Kliatt, September, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 24; March, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 20; July, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 18; September, 1995, review of Green Mars, p. 24; July, 1996, review of A Short, Sharp Shock, p. 22; September, 1997, review of Future Primitive, p. 23.
Library Journal, December, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 177; November 15, 1991, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 111; November 15, 1992, review of Red Mars, p. 103; March 15, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 104; July, 1996, review of Blue Mars, p. 170; January, 1997, review of Blue Mars, p. 51; July, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 141; August 19, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 147; February 15, 2002, Jackie Cassada, review of The Years of Rice and Salt, pp. 180-181; October 15, 2005, Roger A. Berger, review of Fifty Degrees Below, p. 48.
Locus, October, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 15; November, 1989, review of The Blind Geometer, p. 58; January, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 52; April, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 38; August, 1990, review of A Short, Sharp Shock, pp. 15, 31; October, 1990, review of Icehenge, p. 53; December, 1990, review of Pacific Edge, p. 55; January, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 15, and review of A Short, Sharp Shock, p. 54; February, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, pp. 17, 36, 58; July, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 48; November, 1991, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 15; December, 1991, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 17; January, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 59; July, 1992, review of Red Mars, p. 23; October, 1992, Faren Miller, review of Red Mars, pp. 19, 21; February, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 25; April, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 49; May, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 52; October, 1993, review of Green Mars, p. 23; November, 1993, review of Green Mars, pp. 17, 27; February, 1994, review of Green Mars, pp. 36-37, 74; April, 1994, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 50; May, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 50; July, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 60; September, 1994, review of Future Primitive, pp. 23, 64; November, 1994, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 68; April, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 19; October, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 13, 1988, T. Jefferson Parker, review of The Gold Coast; February 3, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 11; January 5, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 4.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May, 1984, Algis Budrys, review of The Wild Shore.
New Scientist, January 30, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 50; March 13, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 47; May 24, 1997, review of Blue Mars, p. 47; October 25, 1997, review of Antarctica, p. 49; July 31, 1999, review of Pacific Edge, p. 61.
New Statesman, December 5, 1997, review of Antarctica, p. 67.
New York Times Book Review, October 20, 1985, Gerald Jonas, review of The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance; September 21, 1986, Gerald Jonas, review of The Planet on the Table; December 9, 1990, review of Pacific Edge, p. 32; June 2, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 34; January 31, 1993, Gerald Jonas, review of Red Mars, p. 25; May 8, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 25; June 5, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 36; December 4, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 81; June 30, 1996, Gerald Jonas, review of Blue Mars, p. 28; September 26, 1996, review of The Martians, p. 26; July 12, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 1357; December 6, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 95; December 5, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 101; April 28, 2002, Gerald Jonas, review of The Years of Rice and Salt, p. 20; June 20, 2004, review of Forty Signs of Rain, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, October 20, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 44; October 12, 1990, review of Pacific Edge, p. 49; October 4, 1991, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 82; December 14, 1992, review of Red Mars, p. 54; February 21, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 249; June 20, 1994, review of Future Primitive, p. 98; November, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 41; May 1, 1995, review of The Wild Shore, Pacific Edge, and The Gold Coast, p. 53; May 13, 1996, review of Blue Mars, p. 60; November 4, 1996, review of Blue Mars; May 11, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 54; November 2, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 44; July 26, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 67; September 12, 2005, review of Fifty Degrees Below, p. 47; January 1, 2007, review of Sixty Days and Counting, p. 35.
Reason, December, 1996, review of Blue Mars, p. 37.
School Library Journal, May, 1994, review of Red Mars, p. 144; December, 1994, review of Red Mars, p. 39; February, 1995, review of Green Mars, p. 139.
Science Fiction Chronicle, January, 1990, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 34; June, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 35; February, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 33; February, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 32; August, 1994, review of Future Primitive, p. 38; October, 1994, review of Future Primitive, p. 47; February, 1995, review of Green Mars, p. 7; July, 1995, review of The Wild Shore, p. 37; August, 1995, review of The Wild Shore, The Gold Coast, and Pacific Edge, p. 48; December, 1998, review of Antarctica, p. 50.
Science-Fiction Studies, March, 1994, review of Red Mars, p. 51.
Science Fiction Weekly, June 17, 1996, Clinton Lawrence, interview with Robinson and review of Blue Mars.
Scripps Howard News Service, June 30, 2004, Clay Evans, review of Forty Signs of Rain.
Small Press Review, April, 1991, review of A Short, Sharp Shock, p. 10.
Tampa Tribune, August 8, 2004, Amy Smith Linton, review of Forty Signs of Rain.
Times Literary Supplement, December 8, 1989, review of The Gold Coast, p. 1368; October 2, 1992, review of Red Mars, p. 20; May 3, 1996, Edward James, "The Landscape of Mars," p. 23; June 18, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 24.
Village Voice, January 17, 1989, review of The Gold Coast, p. 58.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1991, review of Icehenge, p. 389; June, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 113; October, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 280; June, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 114; April, 1993, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 16, and review of Red Mars, p. 23; October, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 226; February, 1995, review of Future Primitive, p. 347; April, 1997, review of Blue Mars, p. 9; February, 1999, review of Antarctica, p. 447; April, 1999, review of Antarctica, p. 15.
Washington Post Book World, April 22, 1984, Stephen P. Brown, review of The Wild Shore; August 25, 1985; November 26, 1989, review of Escape from Kathmandu, p. 6; November 25, 1990, review of Pacific Edge, p. 8; January 26, 1992, review of Remaking History and Other Stories, p. 6; February 27, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 11; June 26, 1994, review of Future Primitive, p. 11; December 4, 1994, review of Green Mars, p. 16; December 7, 1997, review of Antarctica, p. 10; October 31, 1999, review of The Martians, p. 8.
West Coast Review of Books, Volume 16, number 1, 1991, review of Pacific Edge, p. 32.
Wilson Library Bulletin, February, 1993, review of Red Mars, p. 90; April, 1994, review of Green Mars, pp. 102-103; February, 1995, review of Future Primitive, p.75.
World and I, April, 1994, review of Red Mars and Green Mars, p. 324.
New York Times Book Review Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (September 26, 1999), Gerald Jones, review of The Martians.