A Fire in the Sun (Marid Audran, Book 2) by George Alec Effinger

By George Alec Effinger

Marid Audran has turn into every little thing he as soon as despised. no longer goodbye in the past, he used to be a hustler within the Budayeen, an Arabian ghetto in a Balkanized destiny Earth. again then, as frequently as no longer, he didn't have the money to shop for himself a drink. yet he had his independence.

Now Marid works for Friedlander Bey, "godfather" of the Budayeen, a guy whose energy stretches throughout a shattered, crumbling global. in the course of the day, Marid is a policeman…and Bey's own envoy to the police. His new place has introduced him funds and tool which he might abandon in a second if he might go back to a lifetime of neither possessing nor being owned. Which, regrettably, isn't certainly one of his options.

It's additionally no longer a subject. For whatever darkish is afoot. whatever that's sending town into chaos. assisting a child-mutilator to prevent arrest. Sending a killer to homicide Marid's associate. Murdering prostitutes and savaging their continues to be. symptoms element to the hand of Abu Adil--the one guy within the urban whose energy competitors Friedlander Bey's. no matter what occurs subsequent, it's unlikely to be excellent news for Marid Audran…

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He gives a twist to our expectations by undercutting the idea of denouement itself. Warned of hostile " stobor, " the youths think themselves threatened , and immediately assume that their aggressor must be " human . " They build elaborate fortifications around their colony , only to discover that the real enemy is within . Only in the end do they learn their error-the planet is uninhabited in the way they thought . In true serendipitous manner, however, this wrong is right after all . The environment holds other dangers than schem­ ing men : their ramparts do serve , but to divert a seasonal migration, and to 43 protect against a previously tame animal driven wild.

In contrast, a novella like " Gulf" (1949) is an anatomy of election. In the long, static central section of this tale , the rules and rituals that bind this company of supermen together are dissected with meticu­ lous care . Intrigue here is only a framing device . In the beginning , it serves to position the hero, bringing him to the jail cell , and his fortunate (and inex­ plicable) meeting with Kettle Belly Baldwin . The " gulf" in this tale is that of election, and in this confined space the hero crosses it .

Already in " Universe , " the allegorist interpretations of Nelson were offset by Ertz 's matter-of-fact vision : "The ship was the ship . It was a fact, requiring no explanation. As for Jordan-who had ever seen him, spoken to him. What was this nebulous plan of his? The object of life was living. A man was born , lived his life , and then went to the Converter. " This opposition only . hardens in " Common Sense . " The sterile patterns of human reason cannot be 34 • broken-they must be abandoned, and with them the mass of mankind.

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