Book review: Finches of Mars

I picked this up in Paris from Shakespeare and Company (which was a pretty cool place). It looked pretty interesting but in the end I was kind of left with a whole lotta "huh?"

So, I guess the plot is that in the distant future, everything's a bit fucked up. However, on the basis of some dude's writings, universities start uniting (kind of like it's own entity like the UN). They hook up with NASA and send settlers to Mars. However, the settlers can't have children and that's a bit of a calamity as it can't be a future colony if they can't have children.

Only atheists can go and there is a general theme of evolution and science but also fighting human nature. It doesn't feel all that progressive, though there are equal amounts of men and women. It's just a bit weird is all.

Also there seems to be a distinct separation of science and 'art' I suppose (or anyting non-sciencey) which reading the likes of Feynman, you know this is a bit arbitrary and has a very narrow view of human existence. I thought it a bit false.

Anyway, it's all a bit dues ex machina when their future selves turn up and give them an oxygen extracting machine and plants that will grow on Mars. So we never know how anything is solved, just that it is solved. Whatever. Rather a lot of "huh?"

Hmm. It's kind of interesting though, so maybe 3/5 stars if you're into kind of weird, philosophical sci-fi.