Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Red Planet Blues

by Rob - March 2nd, 2012.
Filed under: Publishing, Red Planet Blues.

My 22nd novel, formerly known as The Great Martian Fossil Rush, has a new official title: Red Planet Blues.

When I asked for suggestions online, hundreds of possibilities were put forth. Red Planet Blues was separately suggested by Jeff Beeler on Twitter, Nazrat Durand on my Facebook wall, André Peloquin on the forum maintained by Calgary’s Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, and Mike Poole here on my blog. Thanks to them, and to the more than one hundred other people who put forth ideas.

The title “Red Planet Blues” was previously used in 1989 by my wonderful friend, the Hugo Award-winning writer Allen Steele, for a novella that he later incorporated into his terrific 1992 Mars novel Labyrinth of Night. I’m using it for my book with Allen’s kind permission.

Why the change? My US publisher wanted something that played up the book’s noir mystery angle. Noir is a classy genre, and Red Planet Blues does a lovely job of capturing that; many of the other titles suggested — although clever — had a pulp feel that wasn’t quite right for how we’re positioning the book. Again, many thanks to everyone who participated.

Red Planet Blues will be published by Ace Science Fiction in the US and Penguin Canada in April 2013 (next year).

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6 Responses to Red Planet Blues

  1. You left out my mentioning it on Twitter!

    @RobertJSawyer: Hard-boiled SF mystery on Mars. Suggestion: ‘Red Planet Blues.’

  2. Jeff, please accept my apologies! I missed that Tweet (but have seen it now) — but I’ve updated the blog post above, and will acknowledge you and the others in the book.

  3. Thanks, Rob! And good luck with the book. Look forward to reading it. When is the expected release date?

  4. Did you acquire permission to use the image of Mars? I don’t see any acknowledgement associated with it.

  5. Brad, it’s an HST image; public domain. “Material credited to STScI on this site was created, authored, and/or prepared for NASA under Contract NAS5-26555. Unless otherwise specifically stated, no claim to copyright is being asserted by STScI and it may be freely used as in the public domain in accordance with NASA’s contract.”

  6. Mike, RED PLANET BLUES will be released April 2013, probably the first week of April.