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Budayeen Nights Hardcover – September 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's what critic/reviewer/editor/author Claude Lalumière had to say about BUDAYEEN NIGHTS on the Locus Online website ([...]) in his feature article on the Best of 2003:
"The book that wowed me more than any other in 2003 is BUDAYEEN NIGHTS (Golden Gryphon) by the late George Alec Effinger. BUDAYEEN NIGHTS serves as a beautifully evocative postscript to Effinger's trio of Budayeen novels (WHEN GRAVITY FAILS, etc.). The stories featuring the novels' protagonist, Marîd Audran, are the most effective, but the whole book is wondrously sensuous, seductive, witty, and thrilling. Effinger's creation, the Muslim underworld of the Budayeen, is one of my favourite settings in SF, and revisiting it for this final outing was a moving experience."
And I quoted Claude because I agree -- this book is wondrous, seductive, witty, thought-provoking -- just what one would expect from the writings of George Alec Effinger. If you're a fan of GAE, of the Budayeen novels, this book will not disappoint.
According to the story notes (which precede each story, and were written by Effinger's ex-wife, author Barbara Hambly), one story, "Marîd Changes His Mind," is actually the first two chapters of the planned fourth Budayeen novel, but unfortunately this is all Effinger ever wrote of that book before his death. Also, according to the story notes, the story entitled "The World As We Know It" actually takes place after the proposed FIFTH Budayeen novel. In this story, Marîd is in hiding from Friedlander Bey's enemies, the same enemies who caused Bey's untimely demise. So there is some consistency between the stories, and, of course, you'll see a lot of the same characters from the novels in these stories as well.
The story that leads off the collection, "Schrödinger's Kitten," won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the Japanese Seiun Award (Japan's equivalent of the Hugo Award), all for best short story of the year. Not too shabby . . . And a couple other stories were nominated for these same awards. So you will certainly be entertained with the quality of the writing in this collection.
Please don't let Mr. Starrett's disappointment in not finding the non-existent fourth Budayeen novel dissuade you from reading and experiencing these wonderful tales of the Budayeen.
Effinger's Budayeen novels were notable not only for such prescience, but as early works in the emerging cyberpunk scene, and for their unusual setting in a nameless Islamic city with a melange of North African and Middle Eastern cultures. Unusual as well was the protagonist--Marid Audran, a no-good street punk in a time when SF literature wasn't overly encumbered with shiftless criminals as heroes. I was always somewhat aggrieved that Effinger only wrote three books in this promising series, but it wasn't until I picked up this present volume that I was aware that he suffered from major health problems that hampered his output, and that he had plans for a fourth and fifth volume.
Reading the stories collected here is therefore somewhat bittersweet. It's great to revisit the setting and see the fragmentary works that continue the adventures of Marid or that explore elsewhere in his world. But it's at the same time sad to see what could have been and now will never be.
The introductions by Barbara Hambly also offer important insights and background, and a pretty unbiased view of the author and his struggles.
Highly recommended for any Effinger fan or collector of pioneering cyberpunk works. His voice will be missed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is really sad to read the posthumous book of a great author, especially if, as in this case, it is a collection of works mostly unfinished, and that will never be... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anakina
There are some good stories in here, but I wasn't over-awed. 3.5 Stars. After reading this I'd say to stick with the Budayeen Novels.Published 17 months ago by J. Glove
When I say that this book left me wanting more, what I mean is that I really only bought this book so I could read the portion of what was going to be the 4th novel in the Budayeen... Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Matt
Just be grateful that there are more Budayeen stories, and not resentful that there are so few. I was not particularly interested in an Arab setting for a world of the future; I... Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by Scarlett
This book is the final piece in the Marîd Audran/Budayeen series. A collection of stories, both published and unpublished, included fragments of books that were never finished. Read morePublished on January 10, 2013 by Kim Lomman
George Alec Effinger's BUDAYEEN NIGHTS comes from one of the founders of the 'cyberpunk' movement and provides a collection of nine writings - seven stories, the first part of an... Read morePublished on October 9, 2008 by Midwest Book Review