Review of 'Moving Mars'

Moving Mars by Greg Bear

moving_mars.jpg A fan of hard(ish) Science Fiction, Greg Bear always does appeal to me but in “Moving Mars” he mixes in more than a bit of political intrigue.

Casseia is a student on Mars who stages a rebellion with a number of her classmates when the doors of the university are unexpectedly shut to them. Attracted to Charles, a young Scientist who talks vaguely and incoherently about the grand future he sees for himself, the relationship ends acrimoniously. Casseia is attracted to politics and travels as an aid to a politician on a trip to Earth. The trip ends unsuccessfully but after her return to Mars she realizes her fate is to reshape the planet she has known all her life, ushering in an era of democracy though there is the issue of Charles whose discovery threatens to destroy them all.

I found this novel a bit dull with the science elements somewhat far fetched though, admittedly, quite intriguing. There is a lot of handwaving here and even the social structure of Mars is never entirely made clear nor is it all that believable. I still don't entirely get the idea of “Binding Multiples” (BMs) least of it being because of the odd name. despite the political intrigue it seems here the central character is the discovery that is made that will change the solar system forever. Unfortunately, the politics does not really come across terribly well and neither does the tech…

The female lead character and narrator Casseia seems to be more a story element than a real person as she leads us to the inevitable conclusion (hint: the title of the book). A dried up pond has more depth of character. Similarly, Charles is an odd scientist who seems unable to explain in what any normal person would describe as easy to understand language exactly what they are doing (yeah, I sort of get it, they can change the parameters of matter, but it seems extremely armey-wavey to me). And speaking of shallowness, the reaction of Earth to the discoveries on Mars seems a bit hard to take, basically, an evil empire that cannot be trusted with vague notions of rogue states rather than the planet as a whole having it in for Mars.

At 450 pages long I struggled to get through this book but the chapters leading up to the grand finale are interesting and kept me reading up until the very last pages. The odd and completely out of character short “Afterview” chapter leaving me a bit puzzled. All in all, a huge disappointment.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2022-08-21

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Legend Books

Publication Date: 1994

ISBN: 009978050X

Other reviewed books by Greg Bear: