Brian Aldiss, OBE, is a fiction and science fiction writer, poet, playwright, critic, memoirist and artist. He was born in Norfolk in 1925. After leaving the army, Aldiss worked as a bookseller, which provided the setting for his first book, The Brightfount Diaries (1955). His first published science fiction work was the story 'Criminal Record', which appeared in Science Fantasy in 1954. Since then he has written nearly 100 books and over 300 short stories.
An overpopulated Earth of the near future seems bent on self-destruction. Colonising Mars is perhaps the only answer for the human race to survive. A select group of volunteers go on a one-way trip. They build six towers and here Aldiss enjoys exploring complex ideas like alternative realities and the universe as a life form. Mars has underground water and oxygen, precious gems and an incredible life in the form of an amphibian approximating the Permian period on Earth. All is very exciting except for the problem of babies either aborting or being still born. And so the plot thickens. This is brilliant stuff. By his own admission it is his “final science fiction novel”. He certainly bows out in style.