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5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers George
As mentioned, this is the second book in a (currently) three book series. Sadly, there won't be a fourth, as George Alec Effinger died last year. It looks like we'll get a taste of it, with "Budayeen Nights" being due in September 2003. From what I've read, this is a collection of short stories and is not the 4th novel we've been waiting for.
In this book, Marid...
Published on July 2 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Less Fun than the first
This sequel to When Gravity Fails finds former lowlife gumshoe Marid Audran suddenly becoming the right-hand man of futuristic Cairo's godfather, Friedlander Bey. Marid's transition from near-destitute scum to wealthy and powerful is more than a little awkward for him, since he had always prided himself on his independence. It's also somewhat awkward for the reader, since...
Published on Dec 21 2001 by A. Ross


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3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Less Fun than the first, Dec 21 2001
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Fire in the Sun (Paperback)
This sequel to When Gravity Fails finds former lowlife gumshoe Marid Audran suddenly becoming the right-hand man of futuristic Cairo's godfather, Friedlander Bey. Marid's transition from near-destitute scum to wealthy and powerful is more than a little awkward for him, since he had always prided himself on his independence. It's also somewhat awkward for the reader, since after a while, it gets old watching him get treated like a marionette. Friedlander Bey reorders Marid's world to separate him from his former friends and life by placing him on the police force, giving him his friend's bar, and giving him a Christian slave. Of course, you can't really refuse gifts from Friedlander Bey, so Marid toils at his job investigating various intrigues against his master. Thus, even more so than in the first book, he's the reluctant hero with a conscience of sorts.
The story starts with Marid in Algiers, searching for his mother and his roots. It doesn't quite work out as well as expected, and soon he's back in Cairo under the thumb of Friedlander Bey, working for the police, running around trying to figure out who's murdering little children and prostitutes. The killings may or may not be linked to Abu Adil, a rival to Friedlander Bey, but Marid doesn't really get going until an obviously corrupt officer keeps thwarting him and his reluctant partner gets killed. This element gets a little hokey, as his relationship with the partner goes through all the phases familiar to us from buddy-cop movies. The action gets a little convoluted as Marid bounces around, and the setting's novelty isn't as compelling as in the first book. Still, it's an interesting mix of Chandler and Dick, and if you like it, you should definitely check out Jonathan Lethem's Gun, With Occasional Music. Followed by The Exile Kiss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers George, July 2 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire in the Sun (Paperback)
As mentioned, this is the second book in a (currently) three book series. Sadly, there won't be a fourth, as George Alec Effinger died last year. It looks like we'll get a taste of it, with "Budayeen Nights" being due in September 2003. From what I've read, this is a collection of short stories and is not the 4th novel we've been waiting for.
In this book, Marid works as a policeman in the Budayeen (a walled portion in an anonymous Islamic city, where pretty much anything goes) and making sure that his patron's interests within the police are taken care of. At it's heart, like the first book, it's a mystery...but one with a colorful (to say the least) cast of characters. There is a focus on cybernetics, landing the book squarely in the cyberpunk sci-fi genre, but the electronic gizmos are not the focus of the story. The levels of sex and drug use, and to a slightly lesser extent the violence, in these books is astounding but I don't feel it took anything away from the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars G Effinger - One of the Unsung Heroes of SF, July 9 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire in the Sun (Paperback)
The 3 books (so far) of the Audran series are some of the best SF that has been available in recent years. Sadly often a mix of bargain bin chance find or out of print& unobtainable it can be very difficult to get hold of them, but when you do the satisfaction is all the greater.
The premise behind the series is brilliant. It places the characters in a cyberpunkesque middle east landscape but rather than in the course of one book turning characters into world beating superheroes - the characters remain grounded in an often seedy but very consistent universe. There are real shades here of Phiip K Dick at his best. It may not be SF for juveniles (wish fulfillment if any is darker and a lot more adult).
People in this series spend much of their time doing very human things (evasion of reality & difficult questions through drink, drugs or media being the most common). These books certainly live up to one valuable SF trend of holding a mirror to current daily life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss it!, July 13 1998
By 
rapto10847@aol.com (St. Petersburg, Russia) - See all my reviews
This book is the second in a series of books (3 so far) about Marid Audran. In this book, he searches for his past while trying to stay alive as a cop, investigating strings of murders... The excellent blend of cyberpunk technology, mystery, and action make it a great story, and I have read it 5 or 6 times so far.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good sci-fi read, Sept. 27 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Fire in the Sun (Paperback)
This book is very uneven, with many strengths and many weaknesses. Though I haven't read the first book in the series, which seems to be out of print, the plot here is more or less self-contained. Marid Audran has had "corymbic implants" (which allow chips to interface to his brain) installed and payed for by Friedlander Bey, who also employs him. Friedlander Bey is a sort of Muslim mob boss with a vast network of influence across the middle east. He has Audran working as a liason to the local police station, though it's not clear what he actually does for Bey before he is unexpectedly assigned street duty with another cop. The book opens with unanswered questions about Audran's past and leads to a variety of intrigues involving Bey, Audran's mother, his cop partner, and Bey's rival, Reda Abu Adil.
The sci-fi and fantasy aspects of the book, mainly involving the devices characters can plug into their brains to alter their behavior or sensory input, are imaginative and very good. Many of the character depictions are also quite good, for instance, Kmuzu, Audran's Christian slave, and the twisted Abu Adil, who uses something called Proxy Hell chips that you'll have to read about yourself. However, the plot and the world the book is set in are not 100% convincing. For instance, it remains very unclear why religion is such a big part of Effinger's world, with characters uttering Muslim expressions right and left but religion not integrated into their lives in any meaningful way. Another problem is that the first-person narrative contains many annoying banalities that don't fit with the main character's personality at all. He is supposedly a street-wise hitman and advisor to a powerful mob boss, but makes annoyingly obvious remarks and expresses absurdly simple-minded views on Islam and religion in general. Overall, however, I still recommend the book if you're looking for a good sci-fi read and don't have anything else on your list.
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A Fire in the Sun
A Fire in the Sun by George Alec Effinger (Paperback - Feb. 21 2006)
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