Detectives in SF: Book recommendations

The Detectives in SF panel at Loncon referenced quite a few interesting-sounding books and authors. (For my notes about this panel, check out my earlier blog post:

Below are the ones I’m going to be adding to my to-be-read list.

Red Planet Blues – Robert J. Sawyer

For the title alone, I’m hooked on the idea of this book. Great title. A noir detective novel set in a goldrush-style town on Mars. That’s some interesting ingredients. I’m looking forward to seeing what this book makes of them.

Leviathan Wakes – James S. A. Corey

A space opera that from the sounds of it does go bigger in scope than its crime/mystery plot. I’m a little wary, because it’s the first book in a trilogy, and I’m often reluctant to commit to a series or multi-book storyline with a new (to me) author.  Good reviews. I’ll probably end up getting it on Kindle rather than hardcopy.

Down These Dark Spaceways – Anthology

This anthology of SF noir was mentioned quite early in the panel and piqued my interest because I enjoy short form fiction. However, it seems only available in hardback: new at extortionate price; used, more reasonably priced. Also the only two Amazon reviews are in opposition: one glowing, one scathing, both brief. Reviews elsewhere are more in depth and generally positive. One thing to mind with this one, is that Sawyer’s novella in this collection was later expanded to create Red Planet Blues.

Empire State – Adam Christopher

Not explicitly recommended as part of the Detectives in SF panel, but the author was one of the panellists. I’m already reading this one. It’s definitely noir and riffing off the pulp traditions, but there are superheros in the mix too.

Berlin Noir – Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr  was recommended for his noir and detective works. While he does write SF novels, it isn’t an SF novel that I’ve listed here. Berlin Noir is a collection of three detective novels set against the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.


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