Sunday, June 17, 2007

Biding Time, by Robert J. Sawyer

Biding Time
Robert J. Sawyer
Slipstreams (DAW: 2006)

Biding Time is a Martian detective story. Well, it is a detective story set on Mars. Megan Delahunt was murdered just after she transferred her consciousness from her aged human body to an immortal body. Apparently immortality will only get you so far. Alex Lomax is hired to investigate her death. Lomax is able to put together a hint of a motive early on while discussing the case with a dealer specializing in Martian fossils.

This was my first taste of Robert J. Sawyer's work, though I intend to read Hominids sometime in the next year or so. As an introduction to Sawyer, Biding Time is decent place to start. It is a well written, well constructed story with an interesting setting and Sawyer tells the story well. Sawyer moves the story along at a decent pace for the 15 pages of text and at all times I was interested in what happens next.

If I had to choose between recently read science fiction detective stories I would probably choose Private Detective Molly for the atmosphere, but Biding Time is very much worthy of consideration. The ending of the story, the great reveal, this is where Robert J. Sawyer delivers the goods. There is power in the last couple of pages. Well done.

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