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In a decadent world of cheap pleasures and easy death, Marid Audrian has kept his independence the hardway. Still, like everything else in the Budayeen, he’s available…for a price.
For a new kind of killer roams the streets of the Arab ghetto, a madman whose bootlegged personality cartridges range from a sinister James Bond to a sadistic disemboweler named Khan. And Marid Audrian has been made an offer he can’t refuse.
The 200-year-old “godfather” of the Budayeen’s underworld has enlisted Marid as his instrument of vengeance. But first Marid must undergo the most sophisticated of surgical implants before he dares to confront a killer who carries the power of every psychopath since the beginning of time.
Wry, savage, and unignorable, When Gravity Fails was hailed as a classic by Effinger’s fellow SF writers on its original publication in 1987, and the sequence of “Marid Audrian” novels it begins were the culmination of his career.
Marid Audran has become everything he once despised. Not so long ago, he was a hustler in the Budayeen, an Arabian ghetto in a Balkanized future Earth. Back then, as often as not, he didn’t have the money to buy himself a drink. But he had his independence.
Now Marid works for Friedlander Bey, “godfather” of the Budayeen, a man whose power stretches across a shattered, crumbling world. During the day, Marid is a policeman…and Bey’s personal envoy to the police. His new position has brought him money and power which he would abandon in a moment if he could return to a life of neither owning nor being owned. Which, unfortunately, isn’t one of his options.
It’s also not an issue. For something dark is afoot. Something that is sending the city into chaos. Helping a child-mutilator…[more]
Doctor, watch out! As Dore stood by, he saw the Doctor backing slowly into the corner where he would meet his fate. Initially defending himself with a torch, the Doctor searched frantically for a new method of defense. The crimson mass is lunging forward using long, tentacle-like attachments: what is that thing? Slowly the subhuman blob comes in to focus, and Dore realizes…it’s a colossal radish! This is a monster never before wrestled with; what are they going to do? After reading this vegetative tale, you won’t look at your garden the same way again..