For the past week or two, I have been hearing about this new novel by a scifi author Yoss that’s gaining traction, and I mean I’ve been hearing about it EVERYWHERE. It’s been appearing on all sorts of articles and what not, and at that point, my conscience about having downloaded one from Edelweiss for free several months ago broke me and I decided it’s time to read it (it was one of those freely available ones, where you don’t have to ask.)
And just as I started reading, I instantly liked the tone of it. Red Dust is very down to earth, jokey and has a good pace. It also reminded me of one of my favorite scifi series, Murderbot Diaries! I’m really glad I read Red Dust and I hope I had done so sooner – it’s a quick, fun read full of action and it won’t let you down.The #scifi everyone is talking about – Red Dust by Yoss. Good pace and the fun content will keep you entertained for a night or two for sure: Click To Tweet
Check out on Goodreads
★★★★★ 5 stars
How I read this:
free review copy through Edelweiss
As we tune in, the narrator drops us straight into the world he lives in. It’s a place unfriendly to humans, and yet they visit and keep coming back – because it offers brilliant trading opportunities.
Burroughs is some sort of artificial moon (or, a moon’s moon…) slightly off Saturn, and despite being as secure as an airport in a large Western capital, somehow mischief can still happen. This is a story about how all hell breaks loose after a prisoner with special powers bribes his way into an escape on the main character’s watch.
And of course, what better way to catch a criminal than to recruit another criminal, right?
Red Dust is an interesting combination of your typical noir aaaaaand… Space aliens, wacky situations and general scifi weirdness. It’s scifi at its best!Red Dust is an interesting combination of your typical #noir aaaaaand… Space aliens, wacky situations and general scifi weirdness. It’s #scifi at its best! Click To Tweet
The Space Bureaucracy And The Silliness Of Those In Power
What became apparent in the tone of Red Dust straight away is the open critique of bureaucracy. I hear this is common in Yoss’s books, as he comes from Cuba and bureaucracy is apparently ripe there, so he likes to poke fun at it.
What it reminded me of though, is the Murderbot Diaries, which happens to be one of my favorite series ever! (And also openly criticizes the aliens who “run things”.)
An image of the cover of Red Dust by Yoss, a greenish blue eye in layers of red, on my PocketBook Color e-reader, on a flatlay of books, candles, candies and other knick knacks scattered about, Instagram style; photo by AvalinahsBooks
The main character in Red Dust goes on criticizing those in power (they’re mostly aliens) in a similar way that Murderbot does. Stuff like “the right tentacle doesn’t know what the left claw does” is something I could certainly relate to, when it comes to how some government offices handle their work even where I live! (And it’s just a good side benefit that talking about it like that makes you chuckle.)
Oh, and I think the resemblance to Murderbot gets even stronger because the main character works a security job just like Murderbot. (Well okay, okay, he’s police. And totally an artificial human.)In Red Dust, the author openly criticizes bureaucracy through #scifi and humor – quite like in #TheMurderbotDiaries! You don't want to miss it: Click To Tweet
The Personalities Of Space Cops
The pozzies, or robo space cops on the Burroughs station, are very interesting. It’s even more interesting how they serve the noir purposes of the story of Red Dust.
They are definitely artificial beings, but they all have personalities. What’s interesting is that we don’t really know how those personalities come to be – neither do the personalities know it themselves. So while their robo-bodies might be easily explainable by human science, their brains, or even souls – are not. Yoss keeps the magic of life and consciousness, even if it’s artificial life.
But these personalities are what make it wacky. The pozzies are likely even more individualized than we are – for example, the main character wears a trench coat and a hat – just like a character in pretty much any noir mystery of the 20th century, to the point of cliche. He’s even chosen his name to reflect that. Other pozzies are different – one even dresses like a Greek soldier. They make the story quite colorful! (Literally, too. The pozzies come in any synthetic color, as long as it’s not real – like blue or red.)
So basically, imagine a space cop team made up of a 20th century private eye, a Greek soldier, a conquistador, a terminator, and a communist revolutionary. Good times.Imagine a space cop team made of a private eye, a Greek soldier, a conquistador, a terminator and a communist revolutionary. Oh, and they're artificial humans. Red Dust by Yoss: Click To Tweet
The Story Has Real Substance, While Being Fun
Fun stories can sometimes be fluff, but not in the case of Red Dust. It kept a brilliant, adventurous pace – but at the same time, the relationships forged through a relatively short book were also meaningful and very substantial.
The main character is a very interesting personality that evolves on the page from a rather two-dimensional caricature of a private eye into a real, even if robotic person – with hopes, dreams and heroes to look up to.
The main character’s criminal sidekick is also a very interesting character – he is so from the start. He is what helps the main character develop, and I really liked the way their personalities meshed.
But of course, those are not the only characters, and there are others I genuinely liked – but you can read about them yourselves!Red Dust is a light and quick #scifi, but at the same time it has meaningful and very substantial relationships between the characters: Click To Tweet
Just One Thing Though
I have to say, the book had exactly 0 women characters. 😢 I realize that this might have been chosen because it is supposed to reflect a 20th century noir detective story – which most likely never really had serious female characters. But it’s not like other contemporary noirs fail to incorporate women into the story – in fact, a lot of them have female leads, or at least very strong and competent side characters. So I feel like it could have been done.
This still happens more often than not in scifi, which is sad – and I wouldn’t have minded to read a woman character on these pages.
But then again, being used to this kind of thing, I won’t take away from my rating – I still immensely enjoyed the book, and I believe it still deserves 5 stars for the content. Let’s just hope more and more scifi writers soon realize that women, uh, exist too. And that a lot of them are their readers.
An image of the cover of Red Dust by Yoss, a greenish blue eye in layers of red, on my PocketBook Color e-reader, with candles, candies and other stuff around it, Instagram style; photo by AvalinahsBooks
This is a very good scifi read! It’s fun, it’s short, it has a good understanding of both honor and humor and it will definitely keep you entertained for an evening or two. I know I need to start looking around for more books by Yoss!A quick #scifi #noir that packs a punch and makes you laugh – Red Dust by Yoss, ★★★★★ 5 stars: Click To Tweet
I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
Have you recently read any scifi that was refreshing and fun?
I’m Evelina and I blog about books that made an impression on me. I love middle grade, women’s, scifi and some literary too.