Friday, July 4, 2014

Book Review: When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

Paperback, 288 pages

Orb Books (first published 1987) Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (1988), Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (1988)

As a going away gift from my homey Bru-dawg this cyberpunk classic was right up my alley. Taking place in a middle east (a setting I have yet to see in sci-fi) where the Islamic world is the dominate seat of power in this future. Automatically this makes for a very different and intesnse environment that makes this a special read.

The main character is Marid Audren a detective working the mean streets of Budayeen. This city has a violent underground run by a two-hundred year old godfather named Friedlander Bey. In this ghetto you’ll find people wired to be hyper intelligent who also download personalities and avatars that include James Bond and a vicious killer named Khan. Audren is trying to find the person behind the murder of a prostitute that he was friends with.

This is a fantastic Cyberpunk novel, perhaps one of the best I have ever read. The setting is fully realized and the characters are dynamic. The power of the setting is highlight but also Effinger also has a great wit that slices through a key moments.

That helps as this is a brutal setting, that makes blade runner’s LA look a little Disney. This was a quick read for me despite reading it at a busy time. I liked Effinger’s style and found the inventiveness of his world compelling and gonzo. If you like weird sci-fi then you can’t miss this one.

No comments: