Dave Shuster has been confronted over a photo taken by a Mars lander of a graveyard complete with crosses on Mars. Shuster was a low-level bureaucrat in the administration of a joint U.S. – Soviet Mars colony when he was caught up in a murder mystery involving the illegal use of robot technology.
In this timeline, the Cold War took a very different turn – largely influenced by Admiral Robert Heinlein, who was allowed to return to Naval service following World War II.ic
When Shuster is thrown into a power vacuum immediately upon his arrival on the Mars Colony in 1985, he finds himself fighting a rogue industrialist using his wits with some help from unlikely sources in a society infiltrated by the pervasive presence of realistic androids.
Lou Antonelli has more than enough historical references to make any history nerd happy — which politicians rose to power, or fell sooner rather than later, what happened to some of the others. What would have happened if Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein never went into creative fields, but stayed creative in the “real world,” like MIT professor Asimov. And this shows a solid grasp of US local political history so deep, that I’ve got a master’s degree, and I read history for fun, and I”m certain I missed some references.
All of the historical changes and references are easy and casual. Nothing is forced in this book. Especially when they refer to music and SF authors who had different lives.
And this book is laugh out loud funny. There is, at minimum, a chuckle a page. Up to and including Mormons …..INNNN SSSPPPPAAACCCEEE.
I’m not sure if he wanted to deliberately make a reference to Andy Weir when our hero discusses Martian potatoes, but that helps. As does having a philosophical conversation with androids about theology without being preachy about it. Yay.
The writing is brilliant. Like with some Nero Wolfe novels, Antonelli gives you relevant parts of the plot before you even know what questions are being asked, and what mysteries are coming at you.
Another Girl, Another Planet is both a closed, self contained SF mystery, as well as the best sequel bait ever. It’s a murder mystery, a missing persons, alternate history, and ends on a fun and innovative hook for round two…
There will be a round two, right Lou?
Anyway, just buy Another Girl, Another Planet already, will ya?