Study Guide

Red Mars Part 4, Chapter 1

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 4, Chapter 1


  • Part 4 opens with an explanation that life adapts and evolves to meet the challenges of an environment, though the chapter is, of course, written far more artistically than that.
  • The algae and lichens created by the Underhill terraformers are no exception. Their DNA alters, providing them with new abilities to meet the challenges of life. Some strands die out; others thrive; still others consume the dead and the weak.
  • And as life changes, the conditions that changed life also change as a result of that life. Think of it as a circle of life. Or maybe a yinyang of life.
  • In the form of algae and lichen, the colors green, gray, yellow, and black have come to the Martian landscape.