Red Planet Blues

Red Planet Blues

[murder on the Mean Streets of Mars]

Book - 2013
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Alex Lomax is a P.I. working the mean streets of New Klondie, a domed Martian city that sprang to life in the wake of the booming fossil market. 40-years-ago, Simon Weingarten and Denny O'Reilly discovered evidence of ancient life on Mars, and these fossils quickly became valuable antiquities. Now the motherlode of cold cases has landed in Lomax's lap - the decades old murders of Simon and Denny, and God only knows what he may dig up.
Publisher: Toronto : Viking, 2013.
ISBN: 9780670065776
Branch Call Number: FIC Sawye
Characteristics: viii, 356 pages ; 24 cm.

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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.

c
chazbufe
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.

j
jackvdhoek
May 27, 2013

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

l
LouWSytsma
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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