Monday, February 09, 2015

Book review: Red Planet Blues

Long time readers know I'm a Robert J Sawyer fan. Well, here's a review of another of his books.

"Red Planet Blues" is an expansion on a shorter story Sawyer wrote for some publication or other. I forget who, the book is a whole ten feet away, and it doesn't matter that much. Having not read the other publication, I have to assume that the old story is what makes up the first 10 chapters of the book. At that point you could walk away satisfied with a good story. The rest of the book picks up six months later with a new story that's still connected with the old.

As you can guess from the title, the story takes place on Mars. No government to speak of other than that created and for the benefit of the company that forms the heart of the company. It's in their interest to keep the piece so long as it doesn't cost much. Many of the people at the colony are there searching for fossils. Oh, yes, Mars once had life and it was big enough to create fossils. Most are in pretty cruddy shape, though. But, once upon a time there were some guys who found a motherlode of high quality fossils. They took a bunch back to Earth and auctioned them off for an insane amount of money. But it's well known that they died on the way back from their third expedition. And their dig site has been lost ever since.

Also, a lot of the people on Mars aren't people. Not anymore. They've been transferred into rather expensive robot bodies. This makes them effectively immortal, nigh indestructible, and, typically, better looking than they were before.

Our stories are based around a private detective. He's wanted on Earth, so he's stuck on Mars in a body that's gotten too out of shape to survive Earth gravity even if he could go back. And a tall shapely woman just walked into his office.

No comments: