Red Planet Blues

I buy and read every new Robert Sawyer book. He’s one of my favourite authors.

His latest (very popular) book is called Red Planet Blues. A futuristic detective novel.

The book is set on a future Mars, where a town called New Klondike thrives under a climate-controlled dome. Most of its citizens were lured by the promise of the Great Martian Fossil Rush, a craze begun when two explorers found remnants of early life forms on Mars, which prove to be exceedingly valuable at home on Earth.

But like the gold rush that populated our terrestrial Klondike, the Martian Fossil Rush hasn’t turned out to be endlessly lucrative. New Klondike is now a boom town gone bust

At its best, Sawyer’s fiction is a fascinating blend of intellectually compelling big ideas and humane, enduring characters. His recent WWW Trilogy, in which the World Wide Web gains consciousness as an intelligence called Webmind and communicates with Caitlin Decter, the teenage daughter of a professor at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont., is one of the most satisfying fictional thought experiments of recent years. He is capable of great empathy and insight, which is what makes Red Planet Blues so disappointing. …

Globe and Mail review – … noir fiction on the red planet, but it loses its orbit

I agree with that review. This is a good book, not not nearly Robert’s best.

Fantastic setting. Great speculative science fiction. But the plot is far too intricate. I didn’t empathize much with any of the characters.

If you are looking for a good book series this summer, read Wake, Watch, Wonder instead.

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