Finches of Mars by Brian W. Aldiss

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In other words, Finches of Mars is an uneven novel. Some of it is stimulating. Some of it is actively bad...The sensibility at work is more discursive, literary, even symbolist.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Doomed by overpopulation, irreversible environmental degradation, and never-ending war, Earth has become a fetid swamp. For many, Mars represents humankind's last hope. In six tightly clustered towers on the red planet's surface, the colonists who have escaped their dying home world are attempting to make a new life unencumbered by the corrupting influences of politics, art, and religion. Unable ever to return, these pioneers have chosen an unalterable path that winds through a landscape as terrible as it is beautiful, often forcing them to compromise their beliefs-and sometimes their humanity-in order to survive. But the gravest threat to the future is not the settlement's total dependence on foodstuffs sent from a distant and increasingly uncaring Earth, or the events that occur in the aftermath of the miraculous discovery of native life on Mars-it is the fact that in the ten years since colonization began, every new human baby has been born dead, or so tragically deformed that death comes within hours. The great Brian W. Aldiss has delivered a dark and provocative yet ultimately hopeful magnum opus rich in imagination and bold ideas. A novel of philosophy as much as science fiction, Finches of Mars is an exploration of intellectual history, evolution, technology, and the future by one of speculative fiction's undisputed masters.
 

About Brian W. Aldiss

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Brian W. Aldiss was born in East Dereham, Norfolk on August 18, 1925. In 1943, he joined the Royal Signals regiment, and saw action in Burma. After World War II, he worked as a bookseller at Oxford University. His first book, The Brightfount Diaries, was published in 1955. His first science fiction novel, Non-Stop (Starship in the United States), was published in 1958. His other works include Hothouse, The Helliconia Trilogy, The Squire Quartet, Frankenstein Unbound, The Malacia Tapestry, Walcot, and Mortal Morning. His short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long was the basis for the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He has received numerous awards for his work including two Hugo Awards, the Nebula Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is also an anthologist and an artist. He has edited numerous works including Introducing SF, The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus, Space Opera, Space Odysseys, Galactic Empires, Evil Earths, and Perilous Planets. He is an abstract artist and his first solo exhibition, The Other Hemisphere, was held in Oxford in August-September 2010.
 
Published January 1, 2013 by The Friday Project/Harrper Collins. 400 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Adam Roberts on Jun 05 2013

In other words, Finches of Mars is an uneven novel. Some of it is stimulating. Some of it is actively bad...The sensibility at work is more discursive, literary, even symbolist.

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