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Ranking Author Kim Stanley Robinson’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Kim Stanley Robinson’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Robinson’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Kim Stanley Robinson and looked at his Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Kim Stanley Robinson is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Kim Stanley Robinson



25 ) The Planet on the Table (1986)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 22
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 22

Short stories deal with the Spanish Armada, a sunken city, art forgery, asteroid miners, alternate worlds, and snow mirages

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23 ) The Martians (1999)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 21
  • LibraryThing: 22

“From a training mission in Antarctica to blistering sandstorms sweeping through labyrinths of barren canyons, the interwoven stories of The Martians set in motion a sprawling cast of characters upon the surface of Mars. As the planet is transformed from an unexplored and forbidding terrain to a troubled image of a re-created Earth, we meet men and women who are bound together by their experiences on Mars and with each other.

Among them are Michel, a French psychologist dazzled by the beauty around him; Maya, a woman whose ill-fated love affairs lead to her first voyage to Mars; and Roger, a tall Martian-born guide who lacks social skills but has the courage to survive on the planet’s dangerous yet strangely compelling surface.

Beginning with the First Hundred explorers, generations of friends, enemies, and lovers are swept up in the drama that is Earth’s tenuous toehold on Mars. International exploration turns into world building; world building degenerates into political conflict, revolution, and war.”

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23 ) 2312 (2012)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 21
  • LibraryThing: 16

“The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.

The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.”

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22 ) Vinland the Dream (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 19

A new collection of stories including previously unpublished material from the author of the seminal MARS series. Kim Stanley Robinson is one of science fiction’s outstanding stylists and storytellers. His award-winning short fiction shows off his versatility and talent. This new collection brings together fifteen memorable stories, some of them never before published.

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21 ) Icehenge (1984)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 22
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 21

An early novel from Science Fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, now available for the first time in decades: Icehenge. On the North Pole of Pluto there stands an enigma: a huge circle of standing blocks of ice, built on the pattern of Earth’s Stonehenge–but ten times the size, standing alone at the farthest reaches of the Solar System. What is it? Who came there to build it?

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20 ) The Memory of Whiteness (1985)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 24

“In 3229 AD, human civilization is scattered among the planets, moons, and asteroids of the solar system. Billions of lives depend on the technology derived from the breakthroughs of the greatest physicist of the age, Arthur Holywelkin. But in the last years of his life, Holywelkin devoted himself to building a strange, beautiful, and complex musical instrument that he called The Orchestra.

Johannes Wright has earned the honor of becoming the Ninth Master of Holywelkin’s Orchestra. Follow him on his Grand Tour of the Solar System, as he journeys down the gravity well toward the sun, impelled by a destiny he can scarcely understand, and pursued by mysterious foes who will tell him anything except the reason for their enmity.”

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19 ) A Short, Sharp Shock (1990) 

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 25
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 16

A man tumbles through wild surf, half drowned, to collapse on a moonlit beach. When he regains consciousness, he has no memory of who he is or where he came from. he know only that the woman who washed ashore with him has disappeared sometime in the night, and that he has awakened in a surreal landscape of savage beauty — a mysterious watery world encircled by a thin spine of land. Aided by strange tribesmen, he will journey to the cove of the spine kings, a brutal race that has enslaved the woman and several of the tribesmen. That is only the beginning of his quest, as he struggles to find her identity in this wondrous and cruel land — and seeks out the woman whose hold on his imagination is both unfathomable and unshakable.

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18 ) Forty Signs of Rain (2004)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 20
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 16

“When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.

It’s an increasingly steamy summer in the nation’s capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it’s too late—and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain.

While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming—if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work—one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.”

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17 ) Galileo’s Dream (2009)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 20

At the heart of a provocative narrative that stretches from Renaissance Italy to the moons of Jupiter is the father of modern science: Galileo Galilei. To the inhabitants of the Jovian moons, Galileo is a revered figure whose actions will influence the subsequent history of the human race. From the summit of their distant future, a charismatic renegade named Ganymede travels to the past to bring Galileo forward in an attempt to alter history and ensure the ascendancy of science over religion. And if that means Galileo must be burned at the stake, so be it. From Galileo’s heresy trial to the politics of far-future Jupiter, Kim Stanley Robinson illuminates the parallels between a distant past and an even more remote future—in the process celebrating the human spirit and calling into question the convenient truths of our own moment in time.

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16 ) Remaking History (1991)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 25

For the first time in one volume: the collected short fiction of the award-winning author of Red Mars.

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15 ) The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 11

With the incomparable vision and breathtaking detail that brought his now-classic Mars trilogy to vivid life, bestselling author KIM STANLEY ROBINSON boldly imagines an alternate history of the last seven hundred years. In his grandest work yet, the acclaimed storyteller constructs a world vastly different from the one we know….

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14 ) Fifty Degrees Below (2005)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 14

“When the storm got bad, scientist Frank Vanderwal was at work, formalizing his return to the National Science Foundation for another year. He’d left the building just in time to help sandbag at Arlington Cemetery. Now that the torrent was over, large chunks of San Diego had eroded into the sea, and D.C. was underwater.

Shallow lakes occupied the most famous parts of the city. Reagan Airport was awash and the Potomac had spilled beyond its banks. Rescue boats dotted the saturated cityscape. Everything Frank and his colleagues in the halls of science and politics feared had culminated in this massive disaster. And now the world looked to them to fix it.

Whatever Frank can do, now that he is homeless, he’ll have to do from his car. He’s not averse to sleeping outdoors. Years of research have made him hyperaware of his status as just another primate. That plus his encounter with a Tibetan Buddhist has left him resolved to live a more authentic life. “

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12 ) Pacific Edge (1990)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 21
  • LibraryThing: 7

2065: In a world that has rediscovered harmony with nature, the village of El Modena, California, is an ecotopia in the making. Kevin Claiborne, a young builder who has grown up in this “green” world, now finds himself caught up in the struggle to preserve his community’s idyllic way of life from the resurgent forces of greed and exploitation.

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12 ) The Wild Shore (1984)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 11

2047: For the small Pacific Coast community of San Onofre, life in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear attack is a matter of survival, a day-to-day struggle to stay alive. But young Hank Fletcher dreams of the world that might have been, and might yet be–and dreams of playing a crucial role in America’s rebirth.

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11 ) New York 2140 (2017)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 16
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 8

“As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear – along with the lawyers, of course.

There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building’s manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don’t live there, but have no other home – and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.”

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9 ) Aurora (2015)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 5

“A major new novel from one of science fiction’s most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.”

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9 ) Sixty Days and Counting (2007)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 13

“By the time Phil Chase is elected president, the world’s climate is far on its way to irreversible change. Food scarcity, housing shortages, diminishing medical care, and vanishing species are just some of the consequences. The erratic winter the Washington, D.C., area is experiencing is another grim reminder of a global weather pattern gone haywire: bone-chilling cold one day, balmy weather the next.

But the president-elect remains optimistic and doesn’t intend to give up without a fight. A maverick in every sense of the word, Chase starts organizing the most ambitious plan to save the world from disaster since FDR–and assembling a team of top scientists and advisers to implement it.

For Charlie Quibler, this means reentering the political fray full-time and giving up full-time care of his young son, Joe. For Frank Vanderwal, hampered by a brain injury, it means trying to protect the woman he loves from a vengeful ex and a rogue “black ops” agency not even the president can control–a task for which neither Frank’s work at the National Science Foundation nor his study of Tibetan Buddhism can prepare him. “

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8 ) The Gold Coast (1988)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 15

2027: Southern California is a developer’s dream gone mad, an endless sprawl of condos, freeways, and malls. Jim McPherson, the affluent son of a defense contractor, is a young man lost in a world of fast cars, casual sex, and designer drugs. But his descent in to the shadowy underground of industrial terrorism brings him into a shattering confrontation with his family, his goals, and his ideals.

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7 ) Shaman: A Novel of the Ice Age (2013)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 6

Kim Stanley Robinson the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy and 2312 has on many occasions imagined our future Now in SHAMAN he brings our past to life as never before There is Thorn a shaman himself He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories to teach those who would follow in his footsteps There is Heather the healer who in many ways holds the clan together There is Elga an outsider and the bringer of change And then there is Loon the next shaman who is determined to find his own path But in a world so treacherous that journey is never simple and where it may lead is never certain SHAMAN is a powerful thrilling and heartbreaking story of one young man s journey into adulthood and an awe inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago

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6 ) Antarctica (1997)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 10

“It is a stark and inhospitable place, where the landscape itself poses a challenge to survival, yet its strange, silent beauty has long fascinated scientists and adventurers.

Now Antarctica faces an uncertain future. The international treaty which protects the continent is about to dissolve, clearing the way for Antarctica’s resources to be plundered, its eerie beauty to be savaged. As politicians wrangle over its fate, major corporations begin probing for its hidden riches. Adventurers come, as they have for more than a century, seeking the wild, untamed land even as they endanger it with their ever-growing numbers. And radical environmentalists carry out a covert campaign of sabotage to reclaim the land from those who would destroy it for profit. All who come here have their own agenda, and all will fight to ensure their vision of the future for the remote and awe-inspiring world at the South Pole.”

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5 ) The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson (2010)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 1

Adventurers, scientists, artists, workers, and visionaries — these are the men and women you will encounter in the short fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson. In settings ranging from the sunken ruins of Venice to the upper reaches of the Himalayas to the terraformed surface of Mars itself, and through themes of environmental sustainability, social justice, personal responsibility, sports, adventure, and fun, Robinson’s protagonists explore a world which stands in sharp contrast to many of the traditional locales and mores of science fiction, presenting instead a world in which Utopia rests within our grasp.

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4 ) Escape from Kathmandu (1989)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 9

Living in the city of Kathmandu in the Kingdom of Nepal are dozens of American and British expatriates who are in love with the Himalayas. George Fergusson is one of them–he works as a trek guide for “Take You Higher, Ltd.”, leading groups of tourists into the back country and occasionally assisting on serious climbs. George “Freds” Fredericks is another–a tall, easy-going American who converted to Buddhism while in college. He visited Nepal one year and never went home.

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3 ) Red Mars (1993)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 4

For centuries, the barren, desolate landscape of the red planet has beckoned to humankind. Now a group of one hundred colonists begins a mission whose ultimate goal is to transform Mars into a more Earthlike planet. They will place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels drilled into the mantle will create stupendous vents of hot gases. But despite these ambitious goals, there are some who would fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

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1 ) Blue Mars (1996)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 1

The red planet is no more. Now green and verdant, Mars has been dramatically altered from a desolate world into one where humans can flourish. The First Hundred settlers are being pulled into a fierce new struggle between the Reds, a group devoted to preserving Mars in its desert state, and the Green “terraformers.” Meanwhile, Earth is in peril. A great flood threatens an already overcrowded and polluted planet. With Mars the last hope for the human race, the inhabitants of the red planet are heading toward a population explosion—or interplanetary war.

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1 ) Green Mars (1994)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 3

Nearly a generation has passed since the first pioneers landed on Mars, and its transformation to an Earthlike planet is under way. But not everyone wants to see the process through. The methods are opposed by those who are determined to preserve their home planet’s hostile, barren beauty. Led by the first generation of children born on Mars, these rebels are soon joined by a handful of the original settlers. Against this cosmic backdrop, passions, partnerships, and rivalries explode in a story as spectacular as the planet itself.

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Kim Stanley Robinson’s Best Books



Kim Stanley Robinson Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Blue Mars (1996) 171 1
Green Mars (1994) 153 1
Red Mars (1993) 354 3
Escape from Kathmandu (1989) 479 4
The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson (2010) 8131 5
Antarctica (1997) 6710 6
Shaman: A Novel of the Ice Age (2013) 1536 7
The Gold Coast (1988) 12115 8
Aurora (2015) 10155 9
Sixty Days and Counting (2007) 14313 9
New York 2140 (2017) 1678 11
Pacific Edge (1990) 5217 12
The Wild Shore (1984) 61611 12
Fifty Degrees Below (2005) 13714 14
The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) 111311 15
Remaking History (1991) 8725 16
Galileo’s Dream (2009) 21220 17
Forty Signs of Rain (2004) 201616 18
A Short, Sharp Shock (1990)251616 19
The Memory of Whiteness (1985) 181624 20
Icehenge (1984) 221621 21
Vinland the Dream (2001) 172419 22
The Martians (1999) 182122 23
2312 (2012) 242116 23
The Planet on the Table (1986) 222422 25