With the recent landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, I was put in mind of my favorite science fiction Mars books. Red Mars is the first entry in this venerable trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. The story of the first settlement on Mars touches on many themes, but I was fascinated by the utopian thinking most of all. The scientists who devote their lives to this cold, lifeless planet have the highest ideals; sadly, they are undermined by the corporate interests and politics of Earth.
Blue and Green Mars continue this theme, and expand to include immigration issues and tensions within the First Hundred families. As the settlers' children mature, they exhibit many of the same tensions and behaviors that second-generation immigrants face here on Earth.
Overall the trilogy does an excellent job of what science fiction does best: extrapolate what scientific advances will and won't do for the human condition.