Item description for Budayeen Nights by Barbara Hambly George Alec Effinger...
George Alex Effinger's first short-fiction collection in nearly 15 years, these nine tales are set in Budayeen, the walled city in the sand, a city of dark shadows and even darker inhabitants, where a Raymond Chandleresque vision has been created-hardboiled, noir, futuristic-but with a twist. The sights, smells, and denizens of Budayeen are brought to life-from the city's sordid, decadent underbelly to the glamorous excesses of the sex industry. This collection includes four tales of Mard Audran, the protagonist in Effinger's three highly acclaimed Budayeen novels. Also included is Effinger's best-known story, "Schrdinger's Kitten," in which a young girl's dreams portend myriad possible quantum futures, all focused on her encounter with a would-be rapist.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.82" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.98 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2003
Publisher Golden Gryphon Press
ISBN 1930846193 ISBN13 9781930846197
Reviews - What do customers think about Budayeen Nights?
Wonderful Tales of the Budayeen Sep 18, 2004
I have to disagree with Brian Starrett's comments below about BUDAYEEN NIGHTS. Brian is disappointed because this book wasn't the fourth Budayeen novel that he so eagerly desires. What it is, is a collection of short stories, all of which take place in, and involve characters from, the Budayeen.
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.
Review by Effinger Fan Sep 14, 2004
I loved the Trilogy of Marid Audran. Sadly this book is just some confusing short stories of the Budayeen. I was hoping there'd be more from the "4th" book. Save yourself some heartbreak. This a quick read like the other 3 books. If you haven't read the other books (gravity, fire, and exile) buy those instead.
Best SF Collection of 2003! Jan 18, 2004
What isn't obvious about the Publishers Weekly review of BUDAYEEN NIGHTS posted above is that this was a *starred* review! Not only is it rare for a sf/fantasy collection even to be reviewed in PW, but to receive a starred review is . . . well, kudos to Golden Gryphon for publishing this long-awaited collection from George Alec Effinger. In fact, anything from GAE is long-awaited! According to the story notes, George contributed directly to the compilation of this collection, it's just sad that he wasn't with us long enough to see its publication, his first book in like ten years.
Here's what critic/reviewer/editor/author Claude Lalumière had to say about BUDAYEEN NIGHTS on the Locus Online website (www.locusmag.com) 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.
Only Two or Three Stories Are Worth Reading Nov 26, 2003
This posthumous collection of short stories are all linked to Effinger's remarkable late '80s cyberpunk trilogy, set in an unnamed Arab city in the 22nd century. When Gravity Fails (1987), A Fire in the Sun (1989), and The Exile Kiss (1991) were a remarkable set of books which combined pulp crime with cerebral implants in an Islamic setting. Most of the action in those books took place in the Budayeen, a red-light district heavily modeled on New Orleans' French Quarter. The hodgepodge collected here by Effinger's ex-wife (the author Barbara Hambly) is, regrettably, a far cry from those fine works, and will be more of interest to the completist than the average reader.
Things kick off with Effinger's most famous work, the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Award-winning short story "Schrodinger's Kitten". I personally didn't care for the story, which centers on quantum mechanics. Next is "Marid Changes His Mind", a story first published in Asimov's, and actually comprises the first two chapters of A Fire in the Sun. It's fine, but I'm not really sure what the point of including it is. This is followed by "Slow, Slow Burn", a story about Honey Pilar, who is mentioned several times in the trilogy as the world's premier virtual reality porn star. Originally published in Playboy, it's OK, but doesn't really have anything to do with the Budayeen.
"Marid and the Trail of Blood" was specially written for a vampire anthology, and feels like a bit of a throwaway story. It's got Marid and the Budayeen, and implants, but doesn't have a whole lot of vigor or imagination behind it. Next is "King of the Cyber Rifles", which is probably the best of the stories. While set the same world as the trilogy, that's it's only connection. A lone sentry mans a pillbox on the Persian frontier, operating a web of sophisticated weaponry against border-crossing guerilla insurgents. It's a very good story that stands out from the rest of the book. What comes after is an annoyingly tantalizing thirty page entry. It's the first two chapters of what would have been the follow-up to The Exile Kiss. Titled, "Marid Throws A Party", it's quite nice, but obviously will never be completed. Again, why include this?
"The World As We Know It" is the other strong story of the collection, and first appeared in the Futurecrime anthology. It's intriguing, because it's set well after the trilogies, and Marid is a rather down at his heels outcast detective. The story concerns people living in "Consensual Realities", sort of like living in a giant Star Trek holosuite. Unfortunately, after this is "The City in the Sand", an atrocious story published thirty years ago. It's apparently the first Budayeen-set story, but the city is very different from what emerged in the trilogy. This doesn't matter so much as the sheer awfulness and pointlessness of the story, which is about a dissolute expatriate who sits at one of the cafes all day in a Proustian stupor. Last and least is a seven page story fragment called "The Plastic Pasha". Apparently the last thing Effinger worked on before his death, it concerns Marid's younger brother-again, why is this here?
In the end, while I quite enjoy Effinger's Budayeen trilogy, I have to question why this collection exists in the form that it does. I suppose it's nice to have all these fragments in one place, but I really question the value (and ethics) and including unfinished work taken off a dead author's computer. It's not the best introduction to his work, and doesn't do him a great service.
The last look at the Budayeen, unfortunately Oct 16, 2003
This book brings together all the short stories set in Effinger's wonderful "Budayeen"---a sort of French Quarter of New Orleans, set in a nameless Arabic city of the twenty-second century. The stories are, as is usual in a short-story collection, rather uneven in quality, but Effinger just about couldn't write dull or bad---I just liked some better than others. With introductions to the stories by his longtime friend Barbara Hambly, this book belongs in any Effinger fan's collection. Among other things, it's got the only fragment we're ever going to get of the projected new Marid novel _Word of Night._