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Out on Blue Six [Mass Market Paperback]

Ian McDonald

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Book Description

April 1 1989
Set in a future where the world is "perfect", this story is about Courtney Hall, a cartoonist whose political work makes her a fugitive from justice. Escaping through a manhole, she discovers an underworld of discontent. McDonald's previous books include "Desolation Road" and "Empire Dreams".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Spectra (April 1 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553277634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553277630
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,323,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out on a limb Sept. 12 2002
By Glen Engel Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After my review of McDonald's short story collection, Speaking in Tongues, several people, among them Michael Sumbera, recommended to me what they felt was McDonald's best novel, Out on Blue Six. There was also some attention focused on the novel on rec.arts.sf.written, because of its similarity to Terry Gilliam's "Brazil." The comparison is not misplaced, although McDonald has a different agenda than Gilliam. Both stories feature a huge government that relegates people's lives, in which a small mistake can wreak human lives. That is, both stories are satires on present governments and governmental ideas. But whereas Gilliam plays the satire to the hilt, and goes beyond simple governmental poking, but also poking at individuals within it, ultimately ending on an extremely cynical note, McDonald still feels there's hope to be had. Out on Blue Six is an extremely pyrotechnic novel, full of unknown words and weirdly impossible SF ideas; again, like Snow Crash, this isn't a hard SF novel, but rather a novel of adventure and philosophy. Stephenson pulls it off slightly better, mainly because he isn't concerned with wrapping things up in a denoument, which McDonald does with his story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to McDonald's works Sept. 18 2008
By Hactar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ian McDonald, as usual, comes up with a fascinating idea for a novel and manages, with a few pitfalls, to write a wonderful book utilizing it. Featuring an ensemble cast, Out On Blue Six traces the adventures of several dispirit groups through the canopy and subterranean levels of a self-contained futuristic city.

The dis/utopian nature of the society reads somewhat like an optimistic version of Brazil, or a function version of the Paranoia games. Avoiding pain is the highest priority of the computers that run the society, so people are told what is best for them with no ability to argue. A few vignettes in the novel focus on this, but a great deal more is focused on the edges of the society.

The one downside to this book is the treatment of the ensemble. My favorite character, a Yulp comic artist, who starts the book, seems to fade into the background as characters with stronger survival skills are introduced. Other than this small issue, the book is a truly fantastic piece of work. It's a shame that it's out of print, but it still is readily available and worth a read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Still want the movie! Oct. 24 2009
By Tad Kershner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this when it first came out, and I thought someone would snatch up the movie rights because it is so cinematic. Sadly, it's been ten years and no one has. McDonald renders his world so visually in this book that you picture the scenes vividly while you read. The characters are quirky and fascinating, and the story is a lot of fun. This is a hidden gem that deserves to be more widely read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sci fi May 12 2014
By lawrence andreth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everything you could ask for. Great characters, dystopian with an optimistic look to the future. Religion, art, commerce, science, all rolled up into a sexy sci fi burrito.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff! April 14 2014
By Jeremy Taylor (dreammc@aol.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a McDonald fan - "... Blue Six" is wildly, profoundly, inventive & filled with great characters - science fiction & fantasy melded into a brilliant, post-modern genre.

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