Fans of science fiction author Brian Aldiss, OBE will have to find a way to carry on without any new novels from him. Aldiss announced that his current work, Finches of Mars, will be his last in the genre.
One can hardly blame him for wanting to call it quits he is, after-all, nearly 88 years old. When most people have already been sitting back for a couple of decades enjoying their retiring years Aldiss kept his mind busy by publishing several novels, a couple works of poetry, a whole collection of short stories which included at least one every month over the past nine months.
Fan expectation for Finches of Mars is very high but critics already aren’t being very kind saying things like although parts of it can be very philosophical demanding the reader to do more than just linear reading, overall they are calling it “uneven” and “bad.”
As one might guess from the title the novel addresses Mars colonization by earthlings wishing to escape the declining conditions on their home planet seeing Mars as a refuge from the violence, starvation and ultimate world war that appears to likely destroy everything built by humankind over the centuries of its existence on Earth.
The use of finches in the title is a novel idea and based on one of the rules impinged on those wanting to travel to Mars. Refuges to the Red Planet are restricted from bringing two things - Religion and Pet Animals. However, somebody, somehow is able to bring in contraband that includes a whole flock of finches.
Each reader of this awaited for book from Aldiss will have to make up their own mind rather they agree with the reviews of the many critics that this final work is less than the author’s finer works of the past. If they are correct in their assessment then it would be a great disappointment for the last work of such a brilliant author to be one of his worse.
Speaking of Aldiss’ other works of science fiction prose his fans are fully aware that he is famous, or should I say infamous, for cloaking much of his writing is symbolic impressionism requiring the reader to step it up a notch or two from their normally mundane outlook of life; so it could be, and I for one am hoping this is the case with Finches of Mars, the critics being usually dual of mind anyway, have simply missed the point.