Red Planet Blues

Red Planet Blues

[murder on the Mean Streets of Mars]

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.
Robert J. Sawyer, the author of such "revelatory and though-provoking"* works as Triggers and the novels of the WWW trilogy, presents a noir mystery set on a lawless Mars in a future in which everything is cheap and life is even cheaper...

The name's Lomax- Alex Lomax. I'm 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 here in the Great Martian Fossil Rush.

I'm trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world, tracking down killers and kidnappers among the failed prospectors, the corrupt cops, and a growing population of transfers- lucky stiffs who, ater striking paleontological gold, upload their minds into immortal android bodies. But when I uncover 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 I'll dig up...

*The Globe and Mail

Publisher: Toronto : Penguin Canada, 2013
Description: 356 p. ; 23 cm
ISBN: 9780670065776
Branch Call Number: Sawy


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IndyPL_SteveB Mar 23, 2019

Fun science fiction-mystery novel. This is a future Mars-colony version of hard-boiled detective novels, with private detective Alex Lomax in the Sam Spade role. If you are a fan of the movie, *The Maltese Falcon*, you will see a lot of connections, including a perfect role for the late Sidney Greenstreet, a double-crossing female, a gunsel (more of a knife-sel in this case), and even the voice of Peter Lorre.

Early Mars explorers discovered fossils that pointed to long extinct, primitive life on the red planet. Good quality fossils are difficult to find, but they bring a fortune from Earth collectors and museums. So Mars has been colonized in a sort of “fossil gold-rush”. It’s pretty difficult to suit up and spend hours out in the Martian desert looking for fossils; so many people have chosen to transfer their memories, personalities, and legal identities to an android body. (The flesh body is then destroyed, to prevent legal identity crises.) These bodies are nearly indestructible and the Transfers think of themselves as “immortal.” Of course, since this is a *murder* mystery, “immortality” becomes a fuzzier concept than they bargained for.

Oct 10, 2018

A very good, well written and well plotted comic-noir novel. This was a lot of fun to read.

6ATE4are Jul 01, 2014

Very entertaining with plot twists and humor.

May 27, 2013

mildly entertaining, but suffers from being neither fish nor fowl. and occasionally too cute by half.

May 08, 2013

Incorporating the first 10 chapters of Robert Sawyer's Identity Theft into this book, the story continues in this book answering all the dangling threads. This is a fun SF/mystery/noire mash up that pays hommage to stories like The Maltese Falcon. The ability to transfer bodies to artificially constructed bodies keeps you guessing until the end who is whom. And who will live or die. This is a change of pace from Sawyer's previous novels as it does not contain any big idea concepts and is focused mainly on human motivations. Rob's next book returns to the big idea concept and a very fascinating one at that. I eagerly anticipate that one but until then this is an excellent change of pace. Will we ever get to see Alex Lomax again? I wonder as his story does not seem finished...

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