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Finding Life on Mars: A novel of isolation

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  21 reviews
It's Jaye's 21st birthday, but since she was raised on Mars, it passes just like every other day: harvesting mushrooms from the grow room, tending her fellow Trueborn Children of Mars, and stalking her murderous, neurotypical father.

Until a message comes from Earth--an Earth they thought was lifeless. Apparently one man still draws breath, and he's a maniac with the laun
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published April 28th 2018 by Superluminal Velocities Books
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DeAnna Knippling
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What does it mean to be human? After you find out that everyone but one guy, a complete nutcase who intends to blow the rest of humanity up so he can be the official Last Man, are you more human...or less?

And can you stop him?


So this was a lot of hard SF on the order of The Martian, although probably not quite as engineer-centric. But the style was much more like Roadside Picnic or Stanislaw Lem than it was your typical sci-fi writing, which gave it a heightened flavor. A philosopher's book w
Cassondra Windwalker
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finding Life On Mars is much more than a science fiction novel, although it satisfies most excellently in that regard. It is a delicate, tender, thoughtful examination of what it means to be human, what it means to love, and what it means to live. Dias manages to draw the reader swiftly and inescapably into the mind of what for most neurotypical readers should feel "other," and flips the construct so that outside is in, and inside is a wilderness, baffling and unmappable. Tense, gripping, action ...more
Steve Roach
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic.

I admit that I had low expectations. I bought the book at the Colorado Springs Comic Con, from the author himself. I bought it because he seemed nice and I wanted to support a local author, not because I thought it would be any good. But I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly surprised.

Without spoiling the plot, I'll just say that Finding Life on Mars reminds me of some of the best contemplative novels that I've read. Books like The Left Hand of Darkness, or Simak's
Jessica Belmont
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up Finding Life On Mars because I was looking for a good science fiction read, which I definitely got. Jason Dias knows his stuff, and has written a tight novel. What I didn't expect was how deep this novel was going to be. It is a thoughtful examination of what it means to be human.

This is my first read from Jason Dias and now it definitely won't be my last. His writing is gripping. He captivated my attention right from the beginning and was able to keep my attention all the way throug
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoy Jason Dias' storytelling, and this is my favorite book by him to date. His writing is tight in this novel. It's emotional and gripping and ultimately full of hope, and chock-full of the complications that arise when starting a new society on a new world while watching the world of old die before your eyes. It ties in nicely with two earlier books, What Hope Wrought and Shooting Blanks, set in this story's past, though it's not an official sequel. I would, however, love to see a seq ...more
Christina Bergling
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Life on Mars is indeed a novel about isolation. From the larger view, the characters are alone on Mars. Upon deeper examination, they are alone even together in their settlement. The story follows a Martian settlement after the initial landers have procreated and are continuing to survive after the Earth's population is presumed dead. Aside from one last person menacing with a nuclear weapon.

I always enjoy stories where society and humanity are stripped away to examine what is left in p
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tight, gripping, and engaging.

All young people think they're different from their parents until they realize they're fundamentally not. Until they learn that there are some things, some needs, some emotions, that all people in the known universe share and some secrets within dark isolation that maybe should not be kept.

Confronting mortality at the hands of a madman with no real way to stop him can make a person re-examine their priorities in a hurry. Finding Life on Mars is a poignant story of f
Shannon Lawrence
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story of what it means to be human, even if you don't feel you are. The science is fascinating, but the personal interactions and differences are more so. The main character/narrator is compelling. It's about relationships, understanding, adaptation, and survival in a harsh environment. A story with heart and a ticking clock. ...more
O.E. Tearmann
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Powerful Story Of Humanity, Resolve And Hope

There's a great deal to love about this book. The research and the scientific information that went into creating a (semi) viable Martian colony is phenomenal. The exploration of human acceptance and resolve in the face of what cannot be changed is inspiring. The view of the madness that despair can cause in humans is painful. And the exploration of neurodivergent thought as a resource and a strength is some of the most authentic I've read. The style
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This book seems to answer the question, "what if a Vulcan told a story?"

In the not too, too, distant future humans have sent colonists to Mars to carve out an existence and get settlements ready for future colonists. Unfortunately, that was before Earth fell on desperate times. The Mars population is small, and Earth is no longer responding to messages. Worst of all, the children of the colonists are
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting Mars colony story. I do love Mars as a setting and have enjoyed many stories set there, yet this tale had a new spin to it. A colony ship filled with middle-aged humans made their desperate way to Mars, hoping to start a colony there, expecting more to follow them. However, Earth was too far down into it’s final death spiral. Yet the new colonists were surprised to have children, yet all of those children aren’t like them; all are autistic to some degree and none are ...more
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Review originally published at:

Finding Life on Mars tells the story of the last men alive, who traveled to Mars escaping from a devastated Earth. The second generation, or true born, as the ones born in Mars are known, have very different behavioral and cognitive patterns than the ones of their parents. Jaye is one of these true borns, and the story is told from her perspective. They one day discover that there is still one man left on Earth, but in his m
Brian D Howard
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you want light fluffy, cotton-candy bullshit...this is not the book for you.

It's at the same time a page turner and a book you'll want to pause now and then to digest. To ponder. Where does meaning in life come from? How do we relate to each other? Why does it matter whether there's life out there or not? How do we adapt to isolation, to life without meaning? What's the difference between living and surviving? What's worth living for and what's worth dying for?

This book explores all that and
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yeah, I have to admit it... although I've been a SF/F fan most of my life, it wasn't til I read "The Martian" by Andy Weir, that I actually gave any serious thought to Mars, and what colonizing it would look like. And no, the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Barsoom novels that I read in high school don't really count... I haven't read everything that's out there, but I do find myself perking up now when I see "Mars" in the title...
I really enjoyed this interesting take on what a colony might look like...
Lelia Taylor
Generally speaking, post-apocalyptic tales are dark and tense and any sense of attachment comes from the people trying to survive against all odds. That’s certainly true of Finding Life on Mars but the friction between the original colonists from Earth and the generation that was born on Mars brings a whole new level of anxiety.

Earth has essentially died and, while that was expected, the colonists didn’t realize just how bad things were and that they would be the only ones to survive. They’ve ma
Sophie Jupillat Posey
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel for many aspects: the structure of it was creative, with the layered plots of the current situation and the reminiscing of the characters weaving together. I loved the primary protagonists especially Jaye, and the way she progresses from her feelings of hate, pain and isolation to having more human feelings. The other characters were strong and quite memorable which can be hard to do with a large group like that. I also liked that this was a book by a neurodivergent author, ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, audio-books
So I haven't ever really been into Science Fiction before, however, I am glad I picked this audiobook to review. The book was well thought out and well written, I thought. The characters are complex and I thought the author did a great job bringing them to life. With the right mindset, the situations that are in the book are believable. It's a book that makes you wonder what would happen if there comes an end to the human race.

I think I probably would have done better with a paper or ebook vers
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an interesting book. It is about a colony on Mars that hasn’t gone as planned. The colonists have survived by finding ways to repurpose what little they have and by adapting. A new generation has been born. The novel also illustrates differences in how people relate to each other and gives an excellent and accurate perspective/portrayal of the inner workings of the mind of a person who is socially isolated (what we might call Aspergers or on the autistic spectrum). The author includ ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Did not finish
Jacqueline Gunn
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating read.

I love and respect Dias' nonfiction work so much. I couldn't wait to see the world he imagined when life on Earth ends and a new world has to be developed on a planet so different than our own. What evolves in the story is more than those imaginings, though. Dias delivers a seamless blend of philosophical questions about what it means to be human, with characters trying to empathize with others whose emotional expression is different than their own, and a gripping plot w
Sara Hill
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I intially almost passed this book by but so glad I read the synopsis and listened to the narrator. I really enjoyed the narration and story. I love the setting in space and many of the social issues it brings up that are relavent today.
It was a quick listen and I have already suggested it to a few friends. I will be revisiting this book in the future.

I really enjoyed the possibility of the last man on earth being a lunatic. When I heard that part I was hooked!

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Jason Dias is a neurodivergent existential psychologist - that is, an autistic man whose fascination with the human condition led him to an advanced degree in said condition.​

His work in speculative fiction is united by literary, existential themes. Rather than publish scholarly works to be read only by scholars who already agree with the author, Jason's early obsession with Asimov, Heinlein, and

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