Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review: Man Plus

Okay, Man Plus in a nutshell.

Earth is dying, everything is going terrible, and the concept of terraforming our nearest option (Mars) is too pricey to attempt... but what if we could modify a man to live on the Red Planet unassisted?

What could go wrong?

Frederik Pohl's 1976 novel Man Plus not only attempts to show what could possibly go wrong, but also what exactly would go in (and have to come out) of a person to make living on Mars a viable options.

The novel focuses on Roger Torraway, an astronaut who has volunteered (sort of) for the Man Plus experiment and then we (as the reader) get to go along for the ride and see exactly how much of his human-ness he can  lose while still keeping his humanity.

The book begins as a question of science and moves quickly into body horror, a sub-genre of horror involving losing control over that which we identify with the most, ourselves.  Roger's experience sits between heartbreaking and horrifying and left me trapped, wanting to get away from the story, but unable to put the book down.

The novel is well worth it - makes you think about just how far we would go to guarantee mankind's survival and whether or not we would even still be men when we finally got to where we were going.

Well worth the read.

No comments:

Post a Comment