"If you take the vibe of the movie version of Blade Runner piped through a Middle Eastern sensibility filter, then you're getting a much better idea of what Effinger has to offer in [the Budayeen] novels. They're a pitch-perfect combination of the Phil Dickian science fiction and Chandleresque noir."
— Rick Kleffel, "The Agony Column," April 22, 2002
Praise for Budayeen Nights:
"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 . . . 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."
— Claude LalumiŤre, Locus Online, Best of 2003 List
"The stories are witty, inventive, and the setting is one of the most interesting backdrops in recent SF. I remembered several of these [stories] separately, but they're much more effective when read as a group."
— Don D'Ammassa, Chronicle, August 2003
"To read these stories is to enjoy Effinger's societal and scientific acumen. The imagination that wrote 'Schroedinger's Kitten,' included here and long a favorite of mine, will be missed."
— Robert Folsom, The Kansas City Star, Sunday, September 21, 2003
"For those of us who have not yet been exposed to George Alec Effinger's future-Arabic-noir universe, Budayeen Nights is a wondrous gift."
— Paula Guran, Cemetary Dance # 48, 2004
Welcome to the Budayeen, the walled city in the sand, a city of dark shadows and even darker inhabitants, where author George Alec Effinger has created a Raymond Chandleresque vision — hardboiled, noir — but with a twist: Here, in the Budayeen, Orthodox Islam meets brain-wiring technology. From the tall, ancient mosque towers, the strong voices of the muezzin call the faithful to morning devotions, while the city's denizens — those with intracranial implants — chip in a moddy with add-on daddies just to get through another day. With a personality module you could literally become any other person — fiction or real — and the add-ons grant instant knowledge of a language or skill.
It is written that: "Within [these] walls the pickpockets, whores, thieves, and cutthroats could do as they liked to each other. A death in the Budayeen didn't attract much attention in the rest of the city." In "SchrŲdinger's Kitten" — Effinger's best known story, and winner of the Nebula, Hugo, Theodore Sturgeon, and Japanese Seiun Awards — a young girl's visions portend myriad possible quantum futures, all focused around her likely encounter with a would-be rapist. We are then treated to a day in the life of sex goddess and screen star Honey PŪlar, and the making of her latest blockbuster sex moddy, "Slow, Slow Burn." In "King of the Cyber Rifles," a lone soldier of the Mahdi's army chips in a weapons system command moddy to protect a strategic pass from armed rebels, until the system becomes compromised.
This collection also includes four tales of MarÓd Audran — former street punk and "fix it" man — the protagonist in Effinger's three highly acclaimed Budayeen novels: When Gravity Fails (1987, Hugo and Nebula Awards finalist), A Fire in the Sun (1989, Hugo Award finalist), and The Exile Kiss (1991). In the previously unpublished "MarÓd Throws a Party," Audran, in an alcohol-induced haze, unknowingly becomes embroiled in a death at his nightclub while celebrating his own birthday.
Budayeen Nights gathers together for the first time all nine tales of George Alec Effinger's walled city. From the city's sordid, decadent underbelly to the glamorous excesses of the sex-moddy industry, Effinger brings alive the sites and smells — and inhabitants — of the Budayeen: . On any given night, where else would you want to be?
With an insightful Foreword and story introductions by Barbara Hambly, author of the "Benjamin January" mystery series.
Praise for the author's first Budayeen novel, When Gravity Fails:
"A terrific story — fast, cool, clever, beautifully written, absolutely authoritative. A kind of cyberpunk Raymond Chandler with dashes of Roger Zelazny, Ian Fleming, and Scheherazade — but altogether original. I loved it."
— Robert Silverberg, author of the classic Dying Inside, and the "Majipoor" Series
Praise for the author's Budayeen novel, A Fire in the Sun:
"In the best tradition of the fiction writer's art . . . a truly unique invention that effectively combines Bogart's Casablanca with Peter Gunn's Greenwich Village, and throws in a touch of the French Quarter for good measure."
—New Orleans Times-Picayune
Cloth, ISBN: 1-930846-19-3
Out of Print!
Read the starred Publishers Weekly review
Read the Nick Gevers review in Locus Magazine
Read the Tom Easton review in Analog
Read Claude LalumiŤre's review in the Montreal Gazette
Read the Booklist review
Read Paula Guran's review in DarkEcho online
Read the SF Site review
Read the review in the SFRA Review
Read the Strange Horizons review
Read the Ticonderoga Online review
Read Cat Eldridge's feature article/review in The Green Man Review
Read Tom Jackson's feature article on GAE and Budayeen Nights in the Cleveland Free Times
Read the New Orleans Times-Picayune feature article on GAE and Budayeen Nights
Read the George Alec Effinger FAQ maintained by Tom Jackson
View the original sketch and wraparound dust jacket art by John Picacio