Study Guide

Red Mars Part 6, Chapter 2

By Kim Stanley Robinson

Part 6, Chapter 2

  • Frank looks into the mirror, telling himself it was a matter of will; then it's off to the morning routine.
  • Maya joins Frank in the dining room. They watch the television showing massive protests back on Earth, some going a bit beyond peaceful assembly.
  • Maya wonders what they should do, and Frank says they should stick with the treaty. Wait, isn't that what John wanted? Hmm…
  • At the conference, Frank goes to work, helping India and China reach an agreement that will net them money if not emigration rights.
  • And the political wrangling takes much of the next month—which in political time is practically instantaneous.
  • Frank must not only work with the governments of the world, but transnats who also want their slice of the Martian money pie.
  • Although Frank tries to make everyone happy, some parties aren't pleased with his compromise. Sax is upset that transnat investors might limit their support of his terraforming; Ann worries about the mass emigration; but Maya's pleased with his progress (go figure). The lesson here: you've got to give a little, take a little, let you're poor heart break a little.
  • Their on-again, off-again turns on again, though Frank has no idea what she wants from him this time.
  • One night, Frank has a dream about John. The dream upsets him, causing him to get upset with Maya, and just like that, things between them are off again.
  • The new Mars treaty is signed. As Frank describes it to himself, "he had arranged the competing interests to strike together at angles that matched their momentum exactly, arranging a traffic accident so that all the vehicles would collide into a single solidified mass" (6.2.68). So… kudos?
  • Frank skips out on the party in the park, instead meeting up with Sax, who's still going on about his terraforming project and how the treaty will affect it.
  • Sax mentions that the treaty won't stop the transnationals anyway and Frank, upset, leaves.
  • Then he bumps into Ann who tells him he did the best he could with what he had to work with.
  • Finally, he runs into Jahns, transnat lobbyist extraordinaire. He's hunting for office space for his company. Yep, Sax might have been on to something there…