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Red Planet Blues a book

A Science Fiction Detective thriller by Robert J. Sawyer

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Like a SciFi Mickey Spillane Novel!

  • Sep 17, 2013

Sawyer took one of his short stories from Identity Theft collection and expanded it to a full novel.  The first part is that exact story with Mars gumshoe Alex Lomax being asked by a "transferred" woman to find her missing husband who was undergoing a "transfer."  A "transfer" is scanning a person's brain to make a digital copy which is loaded into a type of cyborg body (note: if you want to argue the moral aspects of this you should check out Sawyer's book Mindscan).  Whereas the short tale ended with the wrap-up of that mystery, Sawyer uses it as the set-up to continue the story into a 356 page book.

Lomax is a likeable character even if he is "dark" at times when he skirts the law and may off a baddie without a care or even set up a scene to satisfy the Mars (New Klondike) Police Department.  In this book he has a type of Robot sidekick, Rory Pickover who is a tranfer of a paleontologist who is a fossil excavator looking to chart Martian fossils.  The baddies that come at them want the fossils for commercial gain.

The book moves at a pretty rapid pace and Sawyer does try to employ some cliffhanger chapter endings to keep everything going for the reader.  The science is a little week at times but just like the movie Total Recall, the reader simply does not spend too much time dwelling on things.

Overall one of Sawyer's better recent efforts, far better than his last one, Triggers.

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September 18, 2013
sounds like this book could be adapted to a screenplay
September 18, 2013
My thoughts exactly. Thinking about Total Recall. This one could be like that.
About the reviewer

Ranked #9
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Robert J. Sawyer, the author of such “revelatory and thought-provoking”* novels as Triggers and The WWW Trilogy, presents a noir mystery expanded from his Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated novella “Identity Theft” and his Aurora Award-winning short story “Biding Time,” and set on a lawless Mars in a future where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper…

Alex Lomax is the one and only private eye working the mean streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up forty years ago after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, where anything can be synthesized, the remains of alien life are the most valuable of all collectibles, so shiploads of desperate treasure hunters stampeded to Mars in the Great Martian Fossil Rush.

Trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world, Lomax tracks down killers and kidnappers among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and a growing population of transfers—lucky stiffs who, after striking paleontological gold, upload their minds into immortal android bodies. But when he uncovers clues to solving the decades-old murders of Weingarten and O’Reilly, along with a journal that may lead to their legendary mother lode of Martian fossils, God only knows what he’ll dig up...
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