Blue Mars

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Robinson, Kim Stanley. Blue Mars. New York: Sprecta-Bantam, 1996.

Sequel to Red Mars and Green Mars, apparently completing the trilogy. A political, arguably utopian novel, with science and technology mostly in the background—but it is made explicit here that, in part, "Science is politics by other means" (389; "Natural History"), and we see a Mars significantly terraformed, with high-tech human culture expanding into the Solar System, and with domesticated, plausible AI and robots. See also for the effect of politics on science (581), and for an indirect critique of "strong artificial intelligence, as well as" our "era's version of the 'machine fallacy,' an inverse of the pathetic fallacy, in which the brain was thought of as being something like the most powerful machine of the time," e.g., the briefly popular hologram analogy" (584; "Experimental Procedures"). Note a character's thought (Desmond's): "Curious how useful Freud's steam-engine model of the mind remained, compression, venting, the entire apparatus, as if the brain had been designed by James Watt" (630; "Experimental Procedures"). Note also Sax's conclusion that "Patterns of quantum fluctuation, diverging and collapsing; this was consciousness" (586; "Experimental Procedures")—perhaps the near-future version of "the 'machine fallacy,'" with the brain thought of in terms of quantum computers. (RDE, 24/07/02)