by Kim Stanley Robinson
Science fiction is a genre that has long recognized the fragile balance between mankind and his habitat. Indeed, hundreds, maybe thousands, of science fiction stories have been launched from the point where humans have tipped this earthly balance toward oblivion .
The Mars Trilogy is a series of award-winning novels that chronicles the settlement and terraforming of the planet Mars by humans who have left a ‘tipping” earth behind. The story is told through the viewpoints of a wide variety of characters spanning almost two centuries.
Over the course of the trilogy, while Earth suffers from overpopulation and ecological disaster, Kim Stanley Robinson creates a complex Martian society – egalitarian, scientifically advanced, ecologically intelligent – that actually works.
The three novels are Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), and Blue Mars (1996).
Read a recent interview with the Kim Stanley Robinson
by Ernest Callenbach
As much political fiction as science fiction, this 1975 novel, recently re-released, may come off a bit dated, but it doesn’t spoil the fun of this seminal ecoBook. The story takes place pretty close to now, in the nation of Ecotopia, founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a “stable-state” ecosystem – take that Rick Perry.
Now, twenty years later, this isolated, mysterious nation is welcoming its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston. From the start, Weston’s alternately impressed and skeptical of Ecotopia’s earth-friendly agenda: energy-efficient “mini-cities” to eliminate urban sprawl, zero-tolerance pollution control, tree worship, ritual war games, and a woman-dominated government that has instituted twenty-hour workweek and employee ownership of farms and businesses. But when he starts a passionate relationship with a sexually liberated Ecotopian woman, he ultimately needs to choose between the new world and the old.
Callenbach was one of the first to illustrate what practical sustainability looks like. Now, over thirty years later, ecotopian ideas have become reality all over the globe.
An in depth interview with Ernest Callenbach