Red Planet Blues

  • by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by Christian Rummel
  • 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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....


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Takes MEARS Out of Your Life

It has been a while sense a listened to Identity Theft, but I believe the first two hours of this book is that story or one similar. The first two hours is five star listening, but after that it gets old quick. I would not recommend buying this book, but I would recommend getting Identity Theft.

Noir detective stories are usually good short stories, but not long books. After a while you lose interest. The action scenes where some of the worst ever. In the middle of a fight scene I found my mind wondering. Sawyer tries so hard to get a fight on Mars and it's low gravity come off as realistic that it is too detailed and too stilted. Parts of the book was sophomoric. All the women were curvy.

There are parts that are funny. It is also interesting to consider if you could move your consciousness into a plastic, but real looking and feeling body, and be almost immortal, would you do it and what type of body would you get. It reminded me of breast implants. Suppose an old man could get a young muscular body, with a large endowment, so to speak, wouldn't he do it.

Christian Rummel is a top tier narrator.


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- Jim "The Impatient"

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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- Craig

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-26-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios