Out on Blue Six (novel)


Out on Blue Six
Out on Blue Six-Ian McDonald (1989).jpg
First edition paperback cover
AuthorIan McDonald
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
Publication date
April 1, 1989
Media typePrint (Paperback)

Out on Blue Six is a 1989 science fiction novel by the British writer Ian McDonald,[1][2] his third novel.[3] The plot describes the adventures of groups of outcasts and "pain criminals" in the Compassionate Society, a civilization in which all forms of pain and unhappiness have been made illegal.

Critical reception

The book has a small cult following.[4] Author Cory Doctorow (who wrote the foreword to the 2014 reprint) described the book as "a 16-car pileup in Dr Seuss country, where the colliding zithermobiles are piloted by William Gibson's console cowboys and Mad Magazine caricatures".[5] Kat Hooper, described the book as "Really bizarre".[6]

Ian McDonald dislikes the book and has stated "I wish I hadn't written the damn thing" and that "[the book is] too forced, it tries to hard, everything is too artificial".[7]

British radio DJ Mark Radcliffe named his 1991 radio show after this book, although the name of the book was in turn taken from an early 1980s post punk band featuring Kate Sekules.


  1. ^ "Out on Blue Six". goodreads.com.
  2. ^ "Out on Blue Six". Worlds Without End.
  3. ^ "Ian McDonald: Books".
  4. ^ Jesse (2014-01-03). "Review of Out on Blue Six by Ian McDonald". Speculative Fiction.
  5. ^ Cory Doctorow (2014-01-20). "Out on Blue Six: Ian McDonald's brilliant novel is back". Boing Boing.
  6. ^ Kat Hooper (2014-09-16). "Out on Blue Six: Really bizarre". Fantasy Literature.
  7. ^ "Interview with Ian McDonald". Linköpings Science Fiction-Förening.

External links