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A Fire in the Sun

(Marîd Audran #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,291 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Marid Audran has become everything he once despised. Not so long ago, he was a hustler in the Budayeen, an Arabian ghetto in a Balkanized future Earth. Back then, as often as not, he didn't have the money to buy himself a drink. But he had his independence.

Now Marid works for Friedlander Bey, "godfather" of the Budayeen, a man whose power stretches across a shattered,
Paperback, 289 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by St. Martins Press (first published 1989)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,291 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
I was amused and glad that events were turning out as I planned. A line of American fiction occurred to me: If you lose a son its possible to get another--but theres only one Maltese Falcon.

Marid Andran has become everything he once despised. He is augmented and becoming addicted to the personality-altering moddies that he can chip into his head. He can be Ramses II or Buck Rogers of the 25th century or Nero Wolfes great creation Archie Goodwin or anyone else that is available in the various
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
The techno and social cyberpunk element is in full force in this novel, whether it comes from grifting, thugging, or betrayals. The second novel in the trilogy feels almost like a day/night alteration in the MC after he's left open to so many enormous mods to his brain and spinal column, in how he has not only come to grips with and uses all the tools now in his toolbox despite his fear.

But this isn't only a novel of coming to grips with what is now himself, altered. It's also a novel about
4.0 stars. Very good sequel to When Gravity Fails and Book 2 of the "Budayeen Nights" novels that take place in a near future world of the Middle East (think Blade Runner in Saudi Arabia). The book is a "noir" style SF detective fiction starring Marîd Audran, a once small time hustler that is now working for the most influential man in the city of major crime boss of city.

The most interesting SF element/concept of the novels is the use by most of the population (at least those who can afford it)
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Somewhat disappointing followup to the magnificent When Gravity Fails, which I consider an early cyberpunk/noir classic.

While still enjoyable, this was just not quite as compelling. The plot feels patchy, jumping abruptly among too many threads, while I also failed to feel as immersed in the gritty slums of the future middle eastern metropolis known as the Budayeen which serves as the backdrop. The protagonist, a down on his luck gumshoe of sorts, seemed fraught with inconsistencies. In the
The next book in the Marîd Audran is a bit different from the first. Marîd is no longer anyone's favourite person. He's treated like scum by all his old friends for the horrific incident at the end of the last book as well as he's now Friedlander Bey's lieutenant.

Not so much a detective book this time Audran is now Papa's official liaison with the police force helping them when suitable. He's also dealing with his past when he finds his mother for the first time since his youth. And coming up
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fire in the Sun is the second of the three Marid novels that Effinger completed before his death. Marid has achieved the success he desired at the beginning of his story, and now must face the fact that he doesn't much like who he has become; it's something of a be-careful-what-you-wish-for moral tale. Unfortunately, he's much less of a likable protagonist as a result, but the rich setting and engagingly noir-ish plot almost makes up for it. The mixture of a cyber-punk civilization in the ...more
Megan Baxter
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I remember thinking that the first book in the series was interesting, but never quite entirely satisfying. Apparently either the second book is a lot better, or I was really cranky when I read the first volume. That's certainly possible. At any rate, I quite enjoyed this second venture into Marid Audran's world.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
9/10 idk I'm straight up really bad at rating things.

I love Effinger's writing because he manages a really complex and likeable protagonist that you can really get behind because of his flaws and root for because of his successes and yet he doesn't feel like a Gary Sue. I'm really enjoying the Muslim Future Arabia background of this series and Audran's slow acceptance of the better parts of religious doctrine. It's a cool and interesting culture with an honest and nuanced show of religion,
Kirsten "keep calm there are only 47 days left"
Another excellent book by underrated talent George Alec Effinger.

Mr. Effinger is an effortless storyteller. He paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the people of the Budayeen and the lives they live (not to mention the deaths they die).

Marid is a flawed hero but a very sympathetic one. I am just very sad that I am coming up on Marid's final book. Very sad indeed.
Michael Battaglia
The first book in this series had more than enough character development for several books, as we watched the gradually dawning look of terror on hero Marid's face as he not only realized that all the independent he thought he possessed was nothing more than a convenient illusion and got to watch as his world collapsed to a cushioned and pampered box both literal and metaphorical. It was a chilling note to end on, so how do you craft an encore to that?

By taking it even further, of course. With
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2018, 2011
The best cyberpunk that nobody knows. The drug and sex crazy Middle Eastern setting of the Buyadeen sets this apart from the usual chrome and black leather crowd, while the tech level is accurately 'like today, but a little bit different.' Book 2 of the Marid Audran trilogy follows our now neuro-enhanced protagonist as responsibility is forced on him, as well as a deadly secret about his employer and the system of governance he controls.


I reread this when Amazon had a deal on the whole
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 2/5

In the Marid Audran series readers get to loaf around a strip club largely populated by sex-changes while patrons such as our protagonist sift through their pillcase deciding which combination of pharmaceuticals fit their current mood. This is not my idea of an enjoyable setting for a story. But the series also gives us a crime-boss controlled city in the Middle East, whose protectors and citizens alike are religious Muslims in the process
Ralph Blackburn
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Fire in the Sun by George Alec Effinger- Marid Audran, the Islamic hustler- almost a PI-from "When Gravity Fails" is back and now firmly under the wing of his benefactor, Friedlander Bey, the crime overlord of the Budayeen, a red light part of town.. Audran's head now is a repository of memory add-ons and personality modifications, which make his new job as a policeman easier even though he hates it. His old friends despise him and his new acquaintances either want to bow to him or kill him. ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
review of
George Alec Effinger's A Fire In The Sun
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - July 3, 2018

Yet another writer I'd never heard of. I liked the cover art. Got the bk cheap at my favorite local used bkstore. Was reluctant to get it b/c it's the 2nd bk in a series & the store didn't have the 1st one. Turned out the novel's setting is Africa. That was a bit strangely coincidental b/c I'd recently read Evelyn Waugh's Black Mischief (see my review here:
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family-library
The majority of the book is kind of boring to read, especially compared to the first book, but it was still pleasurable to go through it. Or to finish it, at least.
Malcolm Little
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sf-gems
What a tale Effinger weaves. Rarely does a sequel surpass the originals inventiveness and excitement, but in my honest reviewers opinion, Fire in the Sun is the Terminator 2 to When Gravity Fails Terminator. The protagonist, perpetually disinterested Marid Audran finally finds things to be interested in, the kind of things that a rational, ethical person would when surrounded by corruption but having the power to make a difference.

This time around in the budayeen, the friends and colleagues are
Mike Franklin
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This second book in Effingers Marid Audran trilogy never quite achieves the same level as When Gravity Fails, its predecessor. It still has the excellent Chandleresque noir detective juxtaposed with the alternative cyberpunk North Arfrican setting and these elements are just as engaging as previously but this time Audran, the main protagonist, is no longer scraping around for his next meal or pill but, having been effectively adopted by Friedlander Bey, a local crime lord and power broker, he ...more
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tasha Robinson
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The second in the Marid Audrian series has a lot of the things I liked about the first  the unfamiliar setting of a 22nd-century Muslim country where people can have their brains wired, and chip in personalities or knowledge by plugging cartridges into their heads. More specifically, these books largely take place in a criminal quarter mostly devoted to nightclubs and strip clubs and bars, and mostly populated by down-and-out hustlers trying to get by. But this time around the story felt more ...more
Now that Marid is set up as the single character with never-before-done brain modifications, are these ever used to any particular purpose? Not really. He chips these "moddies" and "daddies" much as everyone else in the story does, with their run-of-the-mill modifications. So what's the point of having him set up--in the first book--as THE GUY who refused to modify his brain because he feared losing his original personality?

The plot meandered here and there. There was some assassin or other
David Mcangus
The principle problem with this entry in the series, is that for large sections Marîd reads like he's had his balls cut off. While this may make sense in terms of plot, it also greatly diminishes the reading experience found in the first book.

Now that the protagonist that I liked in the first instalment is a shadow of his former self. His shoulders are unable to support some of the failings in the narrative that at times insult rationality. This isn't the same a plot reveal displaying a few
Tom Rowe
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love science fiction that travels outside of American culture and shows us the future through very different perspectives. Effinger's cyberpunk Budayeen series certainly does that. It immerses the reader in a Muslim/North African/Arabic setting in a future where every world government has fractured into smaller states.

In this Budayeen series, we meet Marid Audran, a street smart guy living in the poorest of the poor sections of the city. It is a landscape populated by crime lords,
In some ways I thought the plot was a bit weaker than in the first book, for example there was an incredibly convenient incident where Marîd ended up in an alley with the moddy of the big bad guy that gave him tons of information that he needed and tons of leverage. But in other ways it was very satisfying, I still just love the atmosphere and the characters. Marîd is still struggling with the tension of being more and more isolated and yet longing for connections with the people he cares about, ...more
Ray Anselmo
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Effinger may not have been the easiest person to live with, but his Marid trilogy is still an easy -- and fun -- read, even decades later. Imagine Raymond Chandler, only writing from late 22nd-century North Africa. Then plug in and enjoy the ride!
Ross Coburn
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Original, edgy spin on the cyberpunk genre. Been a long time since I read this series, so I'll lay off the details, but Marîd Audran is one of sciencefiction's underappreciated protagonists, and Effinger one of its underrated authors. ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
easy to read, but shallow. nice plot twists. ends too hurried.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marid Audran has come to appreciate the cybernetic implants in his brain now that he has them. He's less enthusiastic about the patron that forced them into getting them, the crime lord Friedlander Bey, or the way he seems to be systematically trying to isolate Audran from his friends in the Budayeen. Now working as a cop, he must investigate Bey's rival, who seems to be planning something while also deal with a new partner who's on the trail of a series of murders that may not be as random as ...more
Frank Burns
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marid Audran has moved up in the world. New home, new job, prospects. Except, all his friends hate him now. This neatly continues the series, developing the premise and advancing the protagonist. However, it is primarily a story about belonging. The same 'just an everyday part of the world' approach is taken to the cyberpunk elements as in the previous book. There is a particularly thoughtful take on what video gaming might look like in a world where perception is technologically consensual that ...more
Nabil Hussain
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original, sometimes engrossing, refreshing story.

This book was not on the same par as When Gravity Fails but was an entertaining and a little different read to what is expected from George A Effinger. It was another interesting read with Futuristic Muslims in a setting. This book was a good read as a Muslim reader. It was appealing just the same way the first book was. The third book, The Exiles Kiss should be really exciting to read. It is worth all the praise that most of the reviews state
A continuation of the previous book, in the same style.

For me, the same remarks apply: it reads quite smoothly, the middle East + crime lord angle is interesting, but the sci-fi and cyberpunk is mostly the background on which these other themes are being displayed.

I would recommend reading this book and the next, and not just this book separately, because the story does not really feel finished at the end of this volume.
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Science Fiction A...: * A Fire in the Sun (Marîd Audran #2) 5 17 May 24, 2015 01:47PM  

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