Published In

Western Historical Quarterly

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2003


Kim Stanley Robinson, History in literature, Science fiction -- History and criticism


Analyzes Kim Stanley Robinson's two science fiction trilogies, the "Three Californias" trilogy '(Wild Shore, Gold Coast,' and 'Pacific Edge),' published during 1984 - 1990, and the Mars trilogy '(Red Mars, Green Mars,' and 'Blue Mars),' published during 1993 - 1996, to show how they incorporate themes of the complexity and contingency involved in settlement of the frontier associated with the "new Western history" of the 1980's - 1990's. The Mars trilogy co-opts the American West's status as a place of resource development when Robinson narrates the conquest of nature through technology. The Orange County trilogy explores, inter alia, intentional communities, economic cooperation, governance within a frontier settlement, and the clash between nature and the human effects on landscape.


This is the publisher's final PDF. Copyright © 2003, Western History Association. Reproduced by permission.

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