Summary

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 40 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....
©2013 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 23-05-13

I couldn't put this book down (at least my iPod)

I found this story riveting. If you can get your mindset around a colony living on Mars and minds being transferred into robotic bodies, the science is pretty good with low G and almost no atmosphere.
I really loved the 'Dirty Backstreet Private Investigator' style and in some ways this book reminded me of the movie Sin City.

Best book (audio) I've read (heard) in a long long time!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Brett on 04-08-13

Good old detective story

Would you listen to Red Planet Blues again? Why?

No because its a detective story with a twist if you know the ending what's the point

Would you recommend Red Planet Blues to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes because it's sci fi

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes very very well read

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Craig on 06-04-13

Gumshoe on Mars

Sometimes we listen to a futuristic novel and say to ourselves, "Yup, that could happen" or, "That is in the realm of possibility." We did not make our purchase expecting Fantasy, or Sci-Fi Comedic Opera; we purchased good old-fashined science fiction. Even if our story has a crime thriller theme, we still made our purchase based on the expectation of some solid, thought-provoking, science fiction brain-candy. Well, my experience with with Red Plant Blues was just the opposite. I found myself saying, "This is totally bogus. This is not Sci-Fi, it's a Jack Reacher on Mars novel." (Note: For those who have not listened to a Reacher novel...think Dick Tracy on steroids [sans the badge])

Everything about the novel, Red Planet Blues, is far too fantastical to even contemplate. Not that human-consciousness androids are out of the realm of future possibility, its merely that Robert J. Sawyer, the author, presents them as such ludicrous characters that they lose their viability as plausible entities.

The novel begins by asking us to empathize with a down and out private detective who is (for reasons unknown) exiled to Mars. The theme is thus: A Private-Eye, with nothing, gets a case that could make him rich if he pursues an unethical pathway (if he was ethical in the first place - we don't know that). However, the plot is so muddled with extraneous characters and unbelievable events that we, as listeners, lose sight of the big ethical questions. Hence, we are left with listening to a drama unfold about a guy that does pretty dangerous stuff on Mars without a believable motivation to risk dying in the near vacuum of its hostile planetary atmosphere. As the audience you will say to yourself..."That was pretty stupid, why did he do that?"

If you can suspend credibility for ten hours and listen to this book as a sequence of interesting, but wholly unbelievable incidents on a planet with a hostile environment, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, let the data-bits of this novel rest on the Audible servers.

In memory of Mr. Ebert...two thumbs down!

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Kayla on 17-07-13

This stew of old ideas didn't work

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this book to a friend or a Sawyer fan. It is the only Sawyer book that I've disliked so far. Heretofore I could count on the author to always give me a 5 star listen. He does fringe technology well and he does characters well, usually. From a pre-pubescent teenage blind girl in his www series to elderly people that get rolled back to their youthful states, in Rollback. Heck, he can even write Neandertals!

But the characters in this book were two dimensional. I liked none of them, and was interested in none of them. The main character was a space cowboy womanizing type. The story was about treasure hunting. The science part was about moving a person's consciousness to a new non-biological form. Sawyer has been playing with consciousness for a long time in his novels. Maybe set the idea down for awhile.

I'm 3/4 of the way through and I'm forcing myself to finish it, but not enjoying it.

The reader does a great job. A good voice for the role.

What could Robert J. Sawyer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

honestly? written a different book. there wasn't any "new" science material in this book. No new ideas I haven't heard about before. That paired with boring characters made it a lousy read.

Which scene was your favorite?

Imagery of a stripped down model without much flesh on it, but with a copy of someone's mind inside it.

Did Red Planet Blues inspire you to do anything?

Yes. There were a few places where the characters spoke of acronyms and mnemonics for learning scientific things. I added those to my personal toolbox.

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12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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