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Irontown Blues: 4 (Eight Worlds) –…
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Irontown Blues: 4 (Eight Worlds) (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: John Varley (Tekijä)

Sarjat: Eight Worlds (7)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
755288,540 (4)8
From a master of science fiction comes a brand-new noir novel set in the Eight Worlds universe, where a detective hunts for the biohackers who have created a dangerous new disease. Christopher Bach was a policeman in one of the largest Lunar cities when the A.I. Lunar Central Computer had a breakdown. Known as the Big Glitch, the problem turned out to be a larger war than anyone expected. When order was restored, Chris's life could never be the same. Now he's a private detective, assisted by his genetically altered dog Sherlock, and emulates the tough guys in the noir books and movies that he loves. When Bach takes the case of a woman involuntarily infected with an engineered virus, he is on the hunt to track down the biohackers in the infamous district of Irontown. But if he wants to save humanity, he'll have to confront his own demons.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:tbrown3131949
Teoksen nimi:Irontown Blues: 4 (Eight Worlds)
Kirjailijat:John Varley (Tekijä)
Info:Penguin Random House USA (2018), 304 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):*****
Avainsanoja:sf

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Irontown Blues (Eight Worlds) (tekijä: John Varley)

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» Katso myös 8 mainintaa

näyttää 5/5
John Varley was in the news recently (2021) due to some health issues. I hadn't read anything by him for a while, and this was the latest novel.

Blues starts off as a noir detective story. A veiled woman walks into the offices of Sherlock & Bach, Discreet Private Investigations. She's in trouble and says she needs the kind of help that private eyes can provide.

Despite its 1930s-California look, the office is in a mostly-underground city on the Moon, centuries in our future. The noir tone drops away quickly - but the lady is indeed not what she seems, nor is the case, and detective Chris Bach is about to have more on his hands than he can manage, as he ventures into the seedy neighborhood called Irontown.

The story moves along in a sprightly manner. It's set in Varley's Eight Worlds series, where humans' technology gives them dominion over the solar system - except for Earth, from which they've long been exiled by the vastly powerful, unknowable Invaders.

Bach's partner in his detective agency is a CEC - a Cybernetically Enhanced Canine: specifically, a bloodhound whose exceptional sense of smell serves better than Bach's human skills in pursuing the case. Sherlock is the best part of the book. Despite his upgrades, he's very much a dog, and the parts of the story in his "voice" are actually written by a human translator. The hound's crude humor, loyalty, and immersion in a symphony of smells feel much more alien than most authors' extraterrestrial creatures.

Varley started Eight Worlds with 1974's "Picnic on Nearside", presenting a fresh, post-Vietnam War take on the future, where we are no longer top dog, and are haunted by the calamity of the Invasion. Many excellent stories in the continuity followed, but Irontown disappoints. The book has the feel of a middle volume, with infodumps for events in a previous book, and threads left incomplete. Fun, but I suggest trying 1992's [Steel Beach], which covers some of the events of Irontown from another point of view. ( )
  dukedom_enough | Jun 5, 2021 |
Once again Varley delivers the goods as the modern-day Heinlein. A great wrapup to the tales of the eight worlds saga. As soon as I got the first whiff of Sherlock my Heinlein nose went to Eunice (I Will Fear No Evil). Every pungent detail of the story is redolent with the smell of humanity's promise and hubris.
Well worth the read, and wishing it was a thousand sniffs longer! ( )
  AmishTechie | Mar 16, 2021 |
An enjoyable trip to the Eight Worlds, especially Sherlock’s being a nonhuman character.

I was disappointed that Anna Louise Bach had such a short part in this book. I thought she deserved more respect. The ending was rushed and I was disappointed again that Sparky Valentine didn’t get a cameo. Too bad Varley didn’t put in a snippet of prose about Sherlock meeting Toby at the park. That would have pleased the readers who remember the Golden Globe.

I wonder if there will ever be another book about the nefarious CC?
  KaterinaBead | Sep 2, 2020 |
Back in the early 1980s, Varley was one of my favourite science fiction writers, and I eagerly tracked down and read everything by him I could find. When he returned to his Eight Worlds universe in 1992 with Steel Beach, I was glad; and then again in 1998 with The Golden Globe… Although neither of those two books stacked up against The Ophiuchi Hotline or the many stories set in the Eight Worlds Varley had written previously. Rumours of another book, titled Irontown Blues, had been around for years, but it was only in, I think, 2016 that Varley confessed he was finally going to write it. I mean, you don’t want writers to keep on churning out the same thing over and over again, yet another volume in some interminable series – except, of course, when you do, such as EC Tubb’s Dumarest series (I’m sure everyone has their own favourite)… But it’s not like Varley over-stayed his welcome in the Eight Worlds, only four actual novels set there and each was standalone… To be honest, the other stuff wasn’t always as satisfactory – the Gaea trilogy, yes; but his Thunder and Lightning YA quartet was underwhelming. (Having said that, I do really like Millennium, the novelisation of the film of his short story ‘Air Raid’ (which was originally published under a pseudonym).) Anyway, Irontown Blues is… a cheat. Varley cheerfully confessed to retconning his Eight world universe in Steel Beach, and presented it more as a feature than a bug. And in Irontown Blues, the protagonist is Christopher Bach, offspring of Anna-Louise Bach, who is the protagonist of a bunch of stories set on Luna but not actually part of the Eight Worlds setting. At least, not until now. Bach (Christopher, that is) is a private detective with a love of 1940s noir – so much so, he acts the part and even lives in a suburb tricked out to resemble a noir version of a 1940s US city. His local diner is called the Nighthawks Diner. (But then Varley ruins it by naming his scumbag informant Hopper. Sigh.) Irontown Blues opens, as any story of its type would do, with a woman entering Bach’s office. She tells him she has been deliberately infected with a virulent form of leprosy, a heinous act in a society in which diseases are sometimes fads but are never infectious. Bach is tasked with discovering who infected the woman with “para-leprosy”. He doesn’t trust her, of course, and his attempts to find out who she really is take up half the story. When he does finally track her down, he’s kidnapped and kept prisoner. Before his kidnap, however, there’s a long flashback to the Big Glitch and the attack on the Heinleiners – the events of Steel Beach. Bach was involved and nearly died. The flashback is the reason for, well, the plot of Irontown Blues. And it’s all a bit weak, to be honest. Despite the resolution. Bach, however, is not the only narrator of Irontown Blues. The narrative is also split with his dog, a “Cybernetically Enhanced Canine” bloodhound called Sherlock. These sections are written in simplistic prose, with a deliberately simplistic attempt at humour. I freely admit I’m not a dog person, but even so these sections really didn’t work for me. I mean, there’s something old-fashioned – not, unfortunately, 1940s old-fashioned as Varley probably intended, but more 1970s original Eight Worlds stories old-fashioned – about Bach’s narrative; but Sherlock’s narrative does nothing to give the novel a twenty-first century feel. I admit that much of Varley’s appeal is nostalgia – I loved his work back when I was first exploring science fiction – so perhaps the most disappointing thing about Irontown Blues is that it doesn’t seem to be much of a progression from those earlier works. It could have been written by Varley thirty years ago. Varley has always been a resolutely commercial writer, much like his inspiration Heinlein, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do things better as the years pass – and Slow Apocalypse certainly proves he can – but there’s no evidence of that in Irontown Blues. There are some changes in order to update the setting, or to tie the Eight Worlds Luna and Anna-Louise Bach Luna together… But I’d hoped for something, well, a bit more clever, something with a bit more bang in its payload. And Irontown Blues is not that book. One for fans. ( )
  iansales | Oct 25, 2018 |
IRONTOWN BLUES, by John Varney, is a noir story set in the distant future, about a PI named Christopher Bach, who feels more comfortable operating his business and life as much as he can as if he lives in the 20th century. Bach has a new case, a mysterious woman, who's strange affliction and stranger story leads Bach and his genetically and technologically modified dog, Sherlock, on a case that ends up being so much more than Bach or Sherlock every thought it would.
Bach, embracing the simpler life of yesteryear instead of indulging in the technology of the future immediately appeals to the reader. The case brought to Bach is interesting, as is the backstory of Bach that is doled out in pieces over the course of the book. My favorite part of the book, though, are the sections written (through a human interpreter of dog language) by Sherlock the dog. Genetically enhanced to understand language and technologically enhanced to provide talents like access to maps and electronic locks, Sherlock's way of speaking on all matters from emotional connections, to smells, to the plot of the story from his perspective was so unique and fresh and fun to read. Disappointing a me little was the actual plot, which while being enhanced with the post modern world and the unique storytelling style, was a little sparse and underdeveloped to me. When I got to the end of the book I wanted more to have happened.
A unique world and an endearing hero and his trusty sidekick make IRONTOWN BLUES a book you want to curl up on the couch and read.
I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program. ( )
  EHoward29 | Jun 13, 2018 |
näyttää 5/5
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From a master of science fiction comes a brand-new noir novel set in the Eight Worlds universe, where a detective hunts for the biohackers who have created a dangerous new disease. Christopher Bach was a policeman in one of the largest Lunar cities when the A.I. Lunar Central Computer had a breakdown. Known as the Big Glitch, the problem turned out to be a larger war than anyone expected. When order was restored, Chris's life could never be the same. Now he's a private detective, assisted by his genetically altered dog Sherlock, and emulates the tough guys in the noir books and movies that he loves. When Bach takes the case of a woman involuntarily infected with an engineered virus, he is on the hunt to track down the biohackers in the infamous district of Irontown. But if he wants to save humanity, he'll have to confront his own demons.

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