George Alec Effinger was born on the 10th of January, 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio. Effinger was a notable American writer of science fiction novels. It is worth noting that during the early writing years of Effinger, he oftentimes utilized a pseudonym instead of writing with his own.
As a child, and for the greater portion of Effinger’s youth, he was referred to as ‘Piglet’ by his closer friends. Accordingly, over the course of Effinger’s life, he was subject to medical issues, namely concerning his heart. Many medical bills, all of which were singularly expensive, led Effinger to the declaration of bankruptcy as he had no means to pay them.
As it turned out, the system of law that is present in Louisiana says that if an artist is to file for bankruptcy, the copyrights to his intellectual property would revert to the creditors, in this case the hospital. However, at the hearing, no one from the hospital came to claim the rights, so they stayed with Effinger.
In the 1960s was when Effinger met his wife Diana. Additionally, he was married to Beverly K. Effinger up until the 1980s, and from 1998 to 2000 Barbara Hambly. In 2002, on the 27th of April, aged only fifty-five, Effinger died. In honor of the tremendous work that the author left behind, we will now take a look at what the best George Alec Effinger books are.
Best George Alec Effinger Books
- When Gravity Fails, published in 1986.
- A Fire in the Sun, published in 1989.
- The Exile Kiss, published in 1991.
The story is set during the 22nd century. In this futuristic world, Marid Audran, an intense young man, lives in a Middle-Eastern city located in the Budayeen. The world has grown much from its 20th century counterpart, as people can, fairly easily, choose to have their brains wired for the so-called moddies.
The moddies are polycarbonate cartridges in which are placed various personality types – ranging from fictitious characters, to politicians, to celebrities – which are placed in the skull. Daddies, a similar add- on, are inserted into the moddies to make them even more useful.
The features allowed by the daddies cover the ability to speak in a different language, to lower the intensity of certain physical ailments, even physiological needs like hunger, thirst, pain, can be repressed for a certain period.
The main character of the story is Marid. Marid is the son of a Frenchman and an Algerian mother, who works as a prostitute. Marid is an individual that hasn’t allowed his brain to be wired by anything, but he instead resorts to the usage of certain drugs and alcohol so as to numb himself and to change whatever semblance of a mood comes by.
In the first book, When Gravity Fails, Marid is on his way to meet a client from Russia in a nightclub. His client isn’t from today’s kind of Russia, but from a kind of Reconstructed Russia. His client is named Bogatyrev. Bogatyrev has been looking for his son for the better part of three years now, to no avail.
Marid meets with Bogatyrev, receives a payment, holotapes, and even an all-encompassing dossier for the missing person. However, before anyone can notice save a chance lady whose scream echoes through the club, a gun has been fired and Bogatyrev is down with a bullet in the middle of his chest.
The police force investigates into the homicide, however Marid starts thinking that the bullet might have been meant for him. His reasons? His acquaintances seem to have started dying in a rapid manner, one by one, each day. In spite of the distrust he has for most governing organs, especially the police, Marid works with them.
His distrust and disdain of the moddies and daddies is checked, too, once a Friedlander Bey – who is basically the kingpin of the city – offers him such so as to find the culprit in a swift manner.
Following the grisly ending of the first book, in A Fire in the Sun, Marid now works for Friedlander Bey. No longer as loved by the public as he once was, Marid now works as a policeman during the day.
This newfound position has brought many luxuries to Marid, as he is now wealthier and bears far more power than in the earlier days, but there is a certain sense of being owned that he cannot shake off. If he could do so, he would much rather return to his state of not owning many things, but just so he could not be owned by anything, too.
Quite a Mess
However, once a tenebrous, malicious air enshrouds the city, Marid’s help is needed at once. Odd, unfound things begin happening. A child-assaulter is helped avoid arrest, Marid’s partner is attacked, prostitutes start dying and their body parts are salvaged, and much more gruesome stuff. The finger points only at one man, the rival of Friedlander, but what can Marid do now?
In the final book, The Exile Kiss, Friedlander Bey and Marid are sentenced to exile out of the city as a result of the things that have transpired. Now, in the harsh, scalding conditions of the enormous Arabian desert, the two must find their way back and get revenge for their exile. As it turns out, Budayeen is a city much more hostile than what they were used to.
Doubtless, these are the best George Alec Effinger books. Other wonderful books from George Alec Effinger are What Entropy Means to Me, Schrodinger’s Kitten and Budayeen Nights.