- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765313588
- ISBN-13: 978-0765313584
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Gravity Fails: The Classic of Cyberpunk SF Paperback – October 13, 2005
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“Like a dive into the eye of a storm.” ―The Washington Post Book World on When Gravity Fails
“Fast, cool, clever, beautifully written, absolutely authoritative. A kind of cyberpunk Raymond Chandler book with dashes of Roger Zelazny, Ian Fleming, and Scheherezade--but altogether original.” ―Robert Silverberg on When Gravity Fails
“Ingenious, layered, sophisticated, and consistently bloodcurdling, When Gravity Fails kept me awake long after I had finished reading it.” ―Spider Robinson
“Great entertainment...Places Effinger in the company of writers like Gibson.” ―Fantasy Review on When Gravity Fails
“Superior science fiction . . . among the best I've come across.” ―The Denver Post on When Gravity Fails
“A brilliantly written, knife-edged futuristic detective story . . . destined to be the year's most intense and emotionally involving SF work.” ―Houston Post on When Gravity Fails
“Wry and black and savage... there's a knife behind every smile.” ―George R. R. Martin on When Gravity Fails
“Muscular, convincing, yet continuously surprising.” ―Richard A. Lupoff on When Gravity Fails
“One of the best cyberpunk novels I've read . . . Effinger's prose is terse, direct, vivid and often laced with an enchanting sense of humor . . . this is only part of the book's delightful texture . . . gives you a real sense of what it's like to be an old-fashioned gumshoe in the seedy backreaches of a futuristic arab nation.” ―The Providence Sunday Journal on When Gravity Fails
“Wry, inventive, nearly hallucinatory . . . a well-written, baroque riff on the time-honored themes of Raymond Chandler.” ―Publisher's Weekly on When Gravity Fails
“This is the fourth or fifth time I've been asked to give a public comment on an Effinger book; and each time I've done it; and each time I've said you people are cheating yourselves if you don't forego food and rent to pick up on Effinger's work. Now, *this* time, will you for pete's sake listen to me and buy When Gravity Fails? It's as crazy as a spider on ice skates, plain old terrific; and if you don't pay attention I'll have to get tough with you! We have your childen and your dog. Buy, read and marvel...or else.” ―Harlan Ellison on When Gravity Fails
About the Author
A winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, George Alec Effinger was the author of What Entropy Means to Me and Schrodinger's Kitten. He died in 2002.
Top customer reviews
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I loved the exotic atmosphere that Effinger has created and found myself happily suspending disbelief in future techology and new types of addictions.
Not for action fans, this book is to be savored for it's slower but deliberate pace and smart worldbuilding. I recommend it highly.
When a client is killed in front of Marid's eyes and Marid's acquaintances start dying horrible deaths, Marid is drawn into an uneasy alliance with both the police, whom he does not trust, and Papa, to whom he does not want to be beholden.
Effinger has created a world that is unlike most science fiction books, keeping the actual science light, and letting us believe that this is how the Arab world might be in the 23rd century, with not much changed except a bit of technology. Effinger offers both an interesting who and why-dunnit, while examining the issues of faith and identity. Is Marid, a heavy drug and alcohol user who lives by his own code and is committed neither to Allah nor any other human, the faithful one, or is it Papa, who kills and extorts in the name of business but who faithfully prays 5 times a day? What is it like to be an outsider, and how do you find yourself?
This book is sadly out of print, but easily available used on the internet. Still compelling after all this time and well worth tracking down.
It's difficult to write about the flaw of this book since it's great up until the end. It's definitely a case of had the author just stopped before he did, it would have been great, but he had to keep fiddling with it. There are three sort-of endings. One is the major mystery of the novel, and it comes to a great climatic conclusion. The novel could have ended there and it would have been great. But there's something unfinished and the protagonist addresses that. This is the only time the book winds on a little bit, but that finally comes to a conclusion. And that would have been a great ending, except for the last sentence. But no, the author goes on to another conclusion. This is where almost everything in the protagonists life changes. And instead of going into any depth, bam, the book ends. It was as if while writing, the author considered to modify the ending to allow for sequels. And with this disappointment brings out thoughts on the flaws in the plot
Still, as with any 4 or 5 star book, I would recommend this novel. 1987 was a year for a blend of the genres of Mystery and Science Fiction within the Nebula Award winners. Although not an award winner, it was a finalist for both the Nebula and Hugo awards.
I'm also thrilled that some terrible editing errors that have been in at least three print versions of the book have finally been corrected in the kindle version.
Most recent customer reviews
Very good cross between cyberpunk, murder mystery, and cross-cultural fiction.