Ares Express (2020)

Ares Express Ian McDonald Ares Express A Mars of the imagination like no other in a colourful witty SF novel Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald s Desolation Road Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fus
  • Title: Ares Express
  • Author: Ian McDonald
  • ISBN: 9781616141974
  • Page: 297
  • Format: Paperback
Ares Express Ian McDonald A Mars of the imagination, like no other, in a colourful, witty SF novel Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald s Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet s circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second.A Mars of the imagination, like no other, in a colourful, witty SF novel Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald s Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet s circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second One young woman, Sweetness Octave Glorious Honeybun Asiim 12th, becomes the person upon whom the future or futures of Mars depends Big, picaresque, funny taking the Mars of Ray Bradbury and the recent, terraformed Marses of authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, Ares Express is a wild and woolly magic realist SF novel, featuring lots of bizarre philosophies, strange, mind stretching ideas and trains as big as city blocks.
Ares Express Ian McDonald

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    297 Ian McDonald
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    Posted by:Ian McDonald
    Published :2020-02-22T05:55:20+00:00

One thought on “Ares Express

  1. Terry

    Wow There s really something special about Ian McDonald s Mars books McDonald s Mars is a place I love to visit in all of its crazy, off the wall, illogical glory I ve rarely seen the numinous, and irrational, nature of magic so well displayed in fantasy books, let alone in a sci fi one the exception would have to be Sean Stewart who is also expert at such depictions, though in a very different vein Despite the strangeness of McDonald s Mars which as I noted in my review to Desolation Road smack [...]

  2. Bandit

    Desolation Road was epic Not perfect, but very good, an exhausting but fascinating read This one, its sort of kind of sequel, was just exhausting Naturally, having read Desolation Road and being so in awe of McDonald s world building, his manformed terraformed Mars seems like a place worth a revisit Sometimes a sequel is just as good as the original, sometimes it s inferior, but still quite good This one wasn t even in the same ballpark, the apple rolled so far from the tree, it became an entire [...]

  3. Carmen

    Props to Ian McDonald for cleaning up his writing this book made a lot sense than DESOLATION ROAD the sort of prequel to this book.Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey Bun Asiim Engineer the Twelfth is about to be placed in an arranged marriage She s always wanted adventure and to be a train engineer, but in her society women aren t allowed to drive.So she runs away from her destiny of a family strengthening alliance and a stainless steel kitchen and has many adventures.This book is The Wild West on [...]

  4. Jacob

    Previously Desolation RoadMay 2010In this quasi sequel to Desolation Road also worth checking out Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey Bun Asiim Engineer 12th, almost nine years old Mars time wants nothing than to command the mighty train Catherine of Tharsis, but girls can t drive It ll pass to her useless brother instead, father to son, just like it s always been, while Sweetness gets married off to a useless Stuard But then a chance meeting with a trackside fortune teller reveals that Sweetness i [...]

  5. Jason Pettus

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally This is being published today in honor of Ian McDonald Week at CCLaP For an overview of all the content regarding McDonald being posted here this week, you can click here One of the things I like most about British science fiction author Ian McDonald is that, unlike a lot of writers in his genre, he s able to slip e [...]

  6. Bookmarks Magazine

    Reviews from the time when Ares Express was first published in Britain, as well as recent reviews from the United States, expressed admiration for and awe at McDonald s imaginative clout Critics who had read Desolation Road, his first novel, were also happy to return to that universe What divided reviewers was McDonald s decision to bend the rules of SF world making to the point where the novel must almost be classified as magical realism with rivets Of course, there is a long tradition of such [...]

  7. Alan

    People who live in deserts are either mad, bad, sad or holy Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey Bun Asiim Engineer 12th, p.91All four types of desert folk and show up somewhere in Ares Express, Ian McDonald s sequel to his first published novel, Desolation Road which you really should read before tackling this book, by the way, even though their plots are mostly independent Ares Express took than a decade to come out in the U.K and than twenty years to arrive in the United States That s a heck of [...]

  8. Ralph

    A few brief thoughts This book is very, very funny The jokes are very well integrated into the characterization and plot, in such a way that it is difficult to quote them out of context I tried to repeat the jokes to people, because they are so thoroughly excellent, only to find that they required too much set up to be funny second hand I have decided this not funny second hand will be a virtue There are metafictional elements to the novel which are quite weak, and are the only thing which stopp [...]

  9. Suz

    Desolation Road was about a town Ares Express is about a person I hate to talk about another book too much in a review, but these books are very similar, and Ares is a quasi sequel It s not necessary to read Desolation Road first, but you will catch a few cameos and other things in this book with that background They re both very beautiful, both very lyrical However Ares Express is just better It doesn t suffer from the sudden jarring of character, it doesn t excuse the term go off the rails.Thi [...]

  10. Psychophant

    This book is not a sequel to Desolation Road However it takes place in the same Mars and has many references to it, including cameos by the usual suspects.It has some of the sense of wonder and imagination of that book, but much subdued Explanations kill the magic effect, and there are too many explanations in this book, so it moves from Magic to bad Space Opera The focus on one character and breaking the fourth wall at times weaken the effect, and the excessive use of Deus ex machina solutions, [...]

  11. Dan's Obsessions

    Quick reference notes This book is The Wild West on Mars Trains, petticoats, parasols, traveling extravaganzas, etc It s not necessary to have read DESOLATION ROAD, you can understand this as a stand alone.There are a lot of fun and interesting concepts here Siamese twins, ghosts, alternate dimensions, gambling for years of life, and time travel.Sweetness is a strong and likeable character, and her tough as nails grandmother, Taal, is a joy to read about She uses her feisty old woman role to get [...]

  12. AJ Nelson

    This was a fun ride, but I think seriously enjoying McDonald s writing and the Desolation Road universe are a definite prerequisites I wouldn t have thought I d be such a fan of the idea of massive trains on Mars, but dammit McDonald hasn t sucked me in Sweetness was a pretty awesome character capturing someone so full of life is rarely done so convincingly.

  13. Jeffrey Doten

    I love beautiful clever books and this may well be one, but it s making me work far too hard for the payout I ve read McDonald before and knew this might happen, but there are the times that it doesn t, so you just never know

  14. Niall519

    Colourful is about right I came to this without having read Desolation Road first, which may have increased the feeling of just being dropped into a whacky and and frenetic far future Mars I ll have to see what I think again, if I do manage to give Desolation Road a go The whole tone was very different from the only other book I ve read of McDonald s to date King of Morning, Queen of Day , and yet the oddball lyricism remains This one, however, put me in mind of Charles Stross or Iain M Banks, [...]

  15. Michael

    Well, just.Wow That s a lot of amazing book right there I m gobemouched, as McDonald repeatedly caused his characters to be This is some magnificent world building, so dense and beautifully unfolding I have to say you d almost be better off reading this before Desolation Road In that book, the big background was filled in too slowly a picture of the larger world became clear in fits and starts This book was straightforward even though it still built up gradually Great characters in this book, t [...]

  16. Isabel (kittiwake)

    We re in big trouble, Sweetness thought, face lit by the heat death of falling angels What s happening, why, who s doing it The questions answered themselves the moment she shaped them That man, up there, just a fistful of metres above your head But was this the big one, the Angels and Devastation Harx, duking it out, mano a mano, or was he merely testing the limits of his powers.On a terraformed Mars, trains powered by nuclear fusion carry goods and passengers around the world The families that [...]

  17. Vasha7

    This is a big, colorful, exuberant adventure story, with the energy and sense of mission of its seventeen Earth year old protagonist it has inventiveness in plenty, and rejoices in it.We are on a Mars that s been made habitable, but by art not evolution Implausible things happen constantly, in fact many events seem like magic, but it s really Sufficiently Advanced Technology AIs that can manipulate the quantum structure of the world shape reality nearly as they wish, but I imagine there must be [...]

  18. Clay Kallam

    Ian McDonald, an author I generally like a lot, had a completely different take on storytelling in Ares Express Pyr, 16, 388 pages , and though he had some interesting things to say about the classic heroic narrative, the book itself didn t work nearly as well as most of his efforts Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars which is crisscrossed by fusion powered trains, and the protagonist, Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey Bun Asiim Engineer 12th, is a typical young heroine who runs away from an [...]

  19. Fred P

    I have seldom read a book with such creative writing Science fiction has a long history of poetic writing Authors like Roger Zelazny and Samuel Delaney used a stream of consciousness style to convey a sense of the fantastic Colorful, expressive and non grammatical phrases evoke futuristic or fantastic scenarios that are slightly beyond our comprehension John Clute used a similar style to create an eerie futurism in Appleseed Now it s Ian McDonald, channeling an inner stream of consciousness to p [...]

  20. MeiLin Miranda

    While it s standalone, the beginning of this book is confusing enough that if you haven t read Desolation Road you ll be completely lost or I was, anyway Somehow I got this book first I read a chapter, put it down and got the first book, or rather, it arrived on the doorstep they d leapfrogged.MacDonald s story here is as over the top as it was in Desolation Road, not that it s a bad thing To the contrary the Mars he creates is a vivid world with teeming metropolises and vast empty spaces that n [...]

  21. Malquiviades

    Honestly, I was expecting quite from this book.The quite interesting world built on Mars is the background of a not so interesting teenager history, which at many points seems to be humorous than anything else Many of the side characters seem to be taken from a wild roleplaying session and are barely the only thing that kept my attention.So, might be, if there were not any Desolation Road a higher rating might be possible, but no way Besides, most of the charm that was in the previous book now [...]

  22. Fantasy Literature

    There s really something special about Ian McDonald s Mars books McDonald s Mars is a place I love to visit in all of its crazy, off the wall, illogical glory I ve rarely seen the numinous, and irrational, nature of magic so well displayed in fantasy books, let alone in a sci fi one the exception would have to be Sean Stewart who is also expert at such depictions, though in a very different vein Despite the strangeness of McDonald s Mars, I ve rarely seen such a consistently envisioned and joyfu [...]

  23. Gary

    An imaginative transcendental future history of Mars McDonald s characters belong to various families who run, service and maintain giant trains circumnavigating Mars The book is in some ways a Little, Big by John Cowley set on the red planet This book has been neglected I think because of his success with near future books set on a radically changed Earth River of Gods, Brasyl and The Dervish House Ares Express is poetically written and the strangenesses he introduces are interesting puzzles fo [...]

  24. Ron

    Basically the story revolves around an engineer on a huge train on some other planet I have read that this planet is Mars but no where in the book is that mentioned There appears to some magic with spirits of dead relatives and a grandmother that can cure constipation really, constipation The book was really out of my comfort zone It was aimless and wandering through the first 15% which is all I could make it through I had to stop a number of times and make sure this wasn t the conclusion of a s [...]

  25. Jesse Toldness

    What can I say The plot makes anywhere from some to no sense depending on the part of the story, but that doesn t really matter that much because, much like the post human Wizard of Oz it is, it s all about the journey And what a journey Atomic Trains Window Washer aristocrats Pedal powered floating cathedral Year stealing card sharps, etc etc Every page is so jam packed with the weird and the wonderful that it keeps you going even when you don t have any idea what s going on, you just want to k [...]

  26. Chanpheng

    I love the complexity and the incongruous groupings of people and imagery in McDonald s books It s really quite a space opera, but on the ground, swirling around the sands of Mars on and off trains which are cities in themselves.The only gripe about this book is that it s too action packed No time to rest as the main character literally falls from one action packed scene to another And it s not as tightly constructed as my favorite book River of Gods.

  27. Alex Borghgraef

    Musings on life and narrative structure disguised as a wild adventure on a batshit alternate Mars featuring fusion powered trains, a flying circus, human furniture, a madman waging war on angels in many universes, a magical grandmother and a plucky protagonist called Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey Bun Asiim Engineer 12th Really, what could you want from a book Even better than Desolation Road.

  28. Benny

    Desolation Road being one of my favorite science fiction fantasy novels, I enjoyed Ares Express, but sadly not as much as the first one At various times it evokes the mood of the original, but this new story is just as refreshing.

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