When Gravity Fails is set in the 22nd century, in a very bad part of town called the budayeen, (in what city I never really worked out). The culture i...moreWhen Gravity Fails is set in the 22nd century, in a very bad part of town called the budayeen, (in what city I never really worked out). The culture is predominantly arab and muslim, although don't expect purity and devoutness! Almost the entire population have implants that enable personality modification (moddies), and data addons such as languages and skills (daddies).
Marid Audran is a rarity in that he doesn't have any implants. He prefers to get his kicks the oldfashioned pills and booze way. Marid is about to get himself a job searching for a russian guys missing nephew, when a guy with a James Bond moddie shoots a hole in his new client. More murders follow, and Marid becomes involved in hunter for the killer. Unfortunately the local crime boss Friedlander Bey, is forcing Marid to do it on his terms, which means Marid has to go against his principles and get the latest experimental intracranial implants..
I thought it was a little unusual to find cyberpunk and muslims mixed in together, with all the drugs, alcohol, body modification and lgbt, it's actualy a very un-muslim backdrop. But I think it's the conflict of all those things that made it such an interesting setting.
The pace of the story was somehwat frustrating, the buildup was very slow, not that I wasn't involved, but it wasn't til around the middle of the book that I felt Marid really getting stuck into the middle of events. And then the plot really careened off at high speed until it hit a very abrupt ending. I'm going to have to check out the next in the series, as it was just the kind of ending that left me thinking 'huh. ...well whats he going to do now?'.(less)
Gully Foyle is an uneducated, unmotivated thug, just barely surviving, alone in a small airtight locker on a wrecked ship in deep space. When a ship p...moreGully Foyle is an uneducated, unmotivated thug, just barely surviving, alone in a small airtight locker on a wrecked ship in deep space. When a ship passes by after several months, Gully emits a distress flare, the ship stops long enough to notice Gully.. and then continues on... After that moment Gully has a purpose, a single driving angry purpose to not just survive, but get free and get revenge upon the ship that passed him by.
The book is set in a future where humans have populated the solar system, where corporations are the ruling powers, and where the population travels mostly (on planet surface) by self teleportation. But in space teleportation is impossible, and so humanity still relys on spaceships for travel. Telepathy is extremely rare, but is also a possibility.
Gully's drive for revenge ultimately changes Gully throughout the long course of the book, it is the one thing that could have made him better himself. But it never turns him into a likeable character. I think this would be the main reason I didn't care so much for the book. It's hard to get absorbed in a book where you don't care for or can't relate to the main character, as such I'm not sure why this book has been highly rated, maybe I'm alone in my tastes! But Gully isn't just uneducated and unintelligent, he just doesn't have any real desires apart from his vengeance, and it makes for a very weak character. I can't even agree with his taste in women.
I can say it was a mildly interesting setting, and some of the side characters were fairly nice and quirky, especially the one guy thats so radioactive he can't be among other people for more than half an hour, and makes everyones technology break.
Probably won't be up for another by this author, not my cup of tea.(less)
I loved this book. It was technically my first cyberpunk. And most of all it helped me through the depression of my teenage years when I was strugglin...moreI loved this book. It was technically my first cyberpunk. And most of all it helped me through the depression of my teenage years when I was struggling with gender dysphoria. But it really deserves a re-read for a proper review.
Unfortunately I lent my copy to my gf about 8 or 9 years ago. Not sure what the etiquette is for approaching an ex-gf that you rarely speak to about som ething you lent them 8 years ago... :S(less)