Study Guide

Red Mars Part 3, Chapter 3

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 3, Chapter 3

  • The next day is much the same, as is the one after that… and the one after that… and the one after that.
  • Once they begin to truly build their settlement, though, Nadia comes into her element. Although she had nothing to do on the Ares but twiddle her space-thumbs, on Mars, she's the chief fix-it-upper person.
  • She helps everyone: Hiroko and her greenhouse, the construction crew for the Chernobyl, the medical team, you name it. She even helps Arkady figure out how to create a gravity-infused sleeping area on Phobos by way of speeding train—and she's not even on the moon.
  • Nadia attempts to start work on a permanent habitat for the colonists, but with everybody needing her help to solve every little technical hiccup, work on that project stalls to an snail's pace.
  • Add to that Maya yapping Nadia's ear off about the high school love triangle between her, John, and Frank—and well, actually, Nadia prefers the technical troubleshooting.
  • But things come along. The greenhouse has started living up to the green in its name, and the chemists are practically performing alchemy in their labs, minus, of course, actual alchemy.
  • One evening, Maya comes to talk with Nadia because Michel isn't any help, but Nadia ducks out of the talk and goes to chit the chat with Hiroko; they talk business.
  • Nadia gets the permanent habitat dug and pressurized, using bamboo for the floor and brick for the ceiling and walls. She stands in it without her helmet and wonders what future generations will think when they find this place hundreds of years from now.
  • Work begins to blur the days together, but at night, she sits up talking with Arkady on Phobos. Their favorite subject: Louis Armstrong. And for good reason—just listen to that man play.