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Finches of Mars
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Published:
Open Road Media 2015
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

Colonists on Mars fight to prevent their own extinction in "a suspenseful genre-bending combination of straight SF and mystery" (Booklist, starred review). 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.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/04/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781504005890
ASIN:
B00TAJXCXO
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Brian W. Aldiss. (2015). Finches of Mars. Open Road Media.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Brian W. Aldiss. 2015. Finches of Mars. Open Road Media.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Brian W. Aldiss, Finches of Mars. Open Road Media, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Brian W. Aldiss. Finches of Mars. Open Road Media, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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11
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Grouped Work ID:
27e97c5e-4434-d9ba-2fd4-8f0cfae2d6cc
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No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:07:40
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 16:07:40
Last Metadata Check:
Nov 24, 2020 18:56:42
Last Metadata Change:
Aug 06, 2020 17:21:32
Last Availability Check:
Nov 24, 2020 18:56:44
Last Availability Change:
Oct 12, 2020 15:08:03
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Dec 04, 2020 02:27:49

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        Brian W. Aldiss was born in Norfolk, England, in 1925. Over a long and distinguished writing career, he published award‑winning science fiction (two Hugo Awards, a Nebula Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award); bestselling popular fiction, including the three‑volume Horatio Stubbs saga and the four‑volume the Squire Quartet; experimental fiction such as Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head; and many other iconic and pioneering works, including the Helliconia Trilogy. He edited many successful anthologies and published groundbreaking nonfiction, including a magisterial history of science fiction (Billion Year Spree, later revised and expanded as Trillion Year Spree). Among his many short stories, perhaps the most famous was "Super‑Toys Last All Summer Long," which was adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick and produced and directed after Kubrick's death by Steven Spielberg as A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Brian W. Aldiss passed away in 2017 at the age of 92.

      • name: Brian W. Aldiss
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shortDescription

In this thoughtful meditation on the future of humanity, colonists on Mars struggle to prevent their own extinction
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...

isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Finches of Mars
fullDescription

Colonists on Mars fight to prevent their own extinction in "a suspenseful genre-bending combination of straight SF and mystery" (Booklist, starred review).
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.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 1, 2015
        Those expecting a feather in the cap of Aldiss’s long and distinguished writing career will be disappointed by the utter failure of this disjointed series of vignettes, set in a vague near future. It’s meant to tell the tale of a major problem facing a Martian colony: the colonists’ inability to produce live offspring. As a narrative, it lacks cohesion, jumping back and forth between Earth and Mars and among characters with little apparent point. Aldiss belabors the tragedies of the stillbirths and the seemingly endless wars that have embroiled the entire Earth (but that don’t seem to personally affect any of the characters). The story is further clogged by scientifically nonsensical elements—with no mention of terraforming, the pressure and outdoor temperatures on Mars are now comfortable—and wrapped up with a textbook case of deus ex machina that renders the entirety of the story utterly irrelevant.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        July 1, 2015

        Sf grandmaster Aldiss carries on his tradition of readable hard speculative fiction in this brief yet thoughtful exploration of life on Mars. The Martian colonists are happy to have escaped the environmentally devastated Earth, yet they struggle to attain independence on the red planet. Most important, they are unable to procreate successfully, a matter that becomes urgent as the situation back home deteriorates. VERDICT Exploring many of the same issues as the late Kage Baker's Empress of Mars, this novel offers a serious take on life after Earth that is likely to appeal to fans of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" trilogy. With a more limited readership than Andy Weir's recent blockbuster The Martian, this is best for fans of Aldiss and classic sf.--JM

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2015
        Aldiss, who's been writing science fiction (along with nongenre material) for about 70 years, has said this will be his final SF novel. It may not be his crowning achievementhis most influential, genre-defining work came in the 1960s and '70sbut if the book really does mark the end of his SF career, he's going out with a bang. The opening of the book suggests a Mars-colonization storyKim Stanley Robinson territorywith a group of colonists trying to establish a self-sufficient community. But soon the author's true intent becomes apparent, for there is a compelling mystery element here: it's been 10 years since humans went to Mars, and in that time none of the children born on the Red Planet has survived. Desperate to figure out why, the colonists are forced to confront a disheartening reality: back on Earth, not many people seem to care what happens to the Mars colony. The survival of the colony could depend on the sacrifices the colonists are forced to make. With shifting narrative focus and multiple chronologies, the novel has an experimental feel to it (recalling Aldiss' work from decades ago, when he was most notably playing with prose styles and story structures), but it also works very well as a suspenseful genre-bending combination of straight SF and mystery. Fans of Aldiss' lengthy body of work will consider this one required reading, and it could introduce a new generation of readers to his work. A must for science-fiction collections large and small.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

popularity
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publisher
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