Related Subjects: Author Index Reviews Page 1 2
Book reviews for "Effinger,_George_Alec" sorted by average review score:

Shadow Money
Published in Hardcover by Tor Books (March, 1988)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $16.95
Used price: $5.00
Collectible price: $6.22
Average review score:

A dark story of crime.
I've always been a fan of Effinger's novels because their witty, dark and extremely entertianing. Shadow Money is no exception. It follows the lives of various people who are desperate for money and are pulled to simple plan of extortion by a sleek, stylish romantic. Operating with the upmost of stealth, they find that they are dragged into a net of decept, trechery and terror. Things soon go terribly wrong. An excellent read for the quiet nights and dark weekends.

The Wolves of Memory
Published in Paperback by Berkley Pub Group (October, 1982)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $2.50
Used price: $0.97
Collectible price: $6.00
Average review score:

Great Writing produces a Great Novel
The Wolves of Memory is not only a fine novel, it is the best example of how to use flashbacks in fiction. I use this book when teaching writing classes. Do yourself a favor, FIND THIS BOOK. Order it here or haunt the used bookstores, but FIND IT and READ IT. You'll be captivated from the beginning.

The Exile Kiss
Published in Paperback by Doubleday (April, 1991)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $22.00
Used price: $14.25
Collectible price: $13.95
Average review score:

Adrift in the Desert
In this sequel to When Gravity Fails and A Fire in the Sun finds Marid Audran and his patron Friedlander Bey, framed for murder and sentenced to exile in Rub al-Khali in the Arabian Desert. As in real life, the Rub al-Khali ("The Empty Quarter") is a vast, uninhabited sand sea, from which no one emerges alive. The bulk of the book takes place there, as they are rescued by a tribe of Bedouin and undergo deep self-examination. The change of setting makes for a nice difference from the previous two books, and there's a bit more character development as well. As is to be expected, the duo make it back to Cairo to unmask the person who set them up and exact vengeance (rather like Stevenson's Kidnapped). Things work out a little too easily for them upon their return, but on the whole, it's another solid entry in the series.

One of the Best Chandleresque Novels of Science Fiction
No science fiction writer has been more apt in conjuring up Chandler's ghost than George Alec Effinger. It's a shame this excellent novel is now out of print. I certainly hope his publisher will reprint it soon. Effinger excels in offering a believable Middle Eastern future cloaked in yet another first rate thriller. His Arab characters are among the most credible and sympathetic I've read; one might say he's become a Graham Greene of a future Middle East. Effinger has a distinguished reputation as a writer of science fiction; his extensive work deserves to be read by a wide audience.

Great, great, stuff. Get it while you can.
The price might seem steep for a paperback, but be glad you can get at least two of Effinger's three Marid Audran novels in some form (I notice A FIRE IN THE SUN is also listed here, but it seems the first one, WHEN GRAVITY FAILS, is still out of print).

It's genuinely obscene that these novels aren't still available in mass market editions. These are three of the most entertaining novels I've ever read -- and, yeah, I've read a bunch.

Effinger blends science fiction and the hard-boiled detective novel seamlessly and more effectively than anyone else who's attempted it, then sets the whole thing in one of the most interesting and unusual worlds you can imagine. We've seen the futures of Los Angeles and Tokyo more times than any of us can count -- but what about the future of the Middle East? The Budayeen, the sleazy setting of these novels, is a place you've never been before in any form, and it's a place you'll wish you could visit in real life -- even if you could end up with a knife in your back.

These are just great novels. The only thing more disappointing than the fact that Bantam Spectra let them slip out of print is the fact that Effinger stopped at three, when Marid Audran and his world were still so rich and intriguing.

One last thing, though: Don't call 'em cyberpunk. First off, they ain't -- and second, Effinger reportedly hates that.

Trinity: Hope Sacrifice Unity
Published in Paperback by White Wolf Publishing Inc. (November, 1997)
Authors: Andrew Bates, George Alec Effinger, and Glen Fabry
Amazon base price: $14.95
Used price: $12.00
Buy one from zShops for: $12.00
Average review score:

a good game with some real flaws
This game is very much business as usual for White Wolf. Thestory and background are very well done and very slickly presented.The first half of the book is devoted to this and is surprisingly entertaining reading for an rpg. The system is simple and straightforward. Players of other White Wolf games will find much that is familiar in it. Combat is the only big change with more detail added from the world of darkness game series. Character generation is much the same. That said, this game also contains the usual White Wolf flaws and ploys. Information is very sketchy on some points that are important to the game. Information on the game's main enemy is very sparse for instance. This sort of thing recurs throughout the book and is a painfully obvious ploy to force storytellers to buy more books in order to use the game fully. Be prepared to either do lots of work filling in the holes or to buy several more books. Despite it's strong points, I can not give it any more than three stars as a game due to it's incompleteness.

Unique Science Fantasy
This game is one of the best RPG's ever written hands down. It is almost sad that this game is made by White Wolf, because the other World of Darkness games, tend to over shadow their other titles. Set in the year 2120, Trinity takes a look at a dark future. Where the United States of America, have been taken over by our own military. Where the Earth has nearly been destroyed by a horrible war, against what can only be called "superheros." But within this frame work, come the heros. Members of Elite Psionic Orders, who try and change the world for the better. Alright I know the concept sounds really bad, and maybe I am not explaining it right. But I like the game because they dive into the culture of 2120. Talking about fashion, what the ordinery guy does for a living, and how technology has changed the world. The aliens in the game are ALIEN. The 3 major alien races are a species of psionic 1ft long slugs, who make advanced biotechnology. A race of strangely advanced lizards who can manipulate light. And lastly a race of hive like creatures, who graft genetic material from races they find, to their own gene code. For the price of the book, you really cannot go wrong just to give it a try. So if you are in the mood for a unique science fiction setting, give Trinity a try. Or try it's prequel games "Aberrant" (Dealing with the golden age of the "superheros") and "Adventure" (Coming later in 2001, dealing with pulp heros in 1925).

The Best of Sci-Fi role-playing games
Trinity is the best science-fiction role-playing game I've ever played. Built on White Wolf's familiar Storyteller system, Trinity takes the best that system has to offer and incorporates a number of elements that distinguish it not just from other White Wolf games, but from more "generic" sci-fi rpgs such as Alternity, Star Trek, Spacemaster, or Traveller. With topics ranging from psionic powers, hard tech, biotechnology, and weapons of the 22nd century, the game comes with the building blocks necessary for good sci-fi.

What really sets the game above the rest however, is the incredibly rich universe that White Wolf has created. It's possible to play just about any type of sci-fi game you want from Blade Runner film-noir, Aliens-style horror, Star Trek-quests into the unknown, to Star Wars-style space opera. The supplemental books and adventures are also top notch. If you're looking for adaptable sci-fi, Trinity is it.

When Gravity Fails
Published in Hardcover by Arbor House Pub Co (January, 1987)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $16.95
Used price: $26.26
Collectible price: $15.84
Buy one from zShops for: $50.00
Average review score:

Narrative Misstep Mars Amazing Setting & Characters
In this novel Effinger takes Marid Audran, a reluctant, layabout, fiercely independent gumshoe straight out of Raymond Chandler, and sticks him in a Cairo of the future that is both brilliantly and economically rendered. In this cyberpunkish future, pretty much everyone who can, has their brain "wired" for modifications. These modifications take the form of personality "modules" that turn the user into whatever the particular module is programmed as--this can take the form of virtually any real or invented personality imaginable (James Bond is a favourite, as are many pleasure-optimized models). In addition to modules, there are "add-ons" which are little plug-ins which can grant instant knowledge of a language or skill. This technology, plus the vast improvement of, and subsequent proliferation of sex change operations makes for a world where few people are as they were born. Unlike many sci-fi writers, Effinger manages to convey this technology quickly and simply, making instantly plausible, and part of the landscape.

Audran's stubborn refusal to wire his brain is what sets him apart from more of the other denizens of the "Budayeen" (old city--think casbah), he prefers to alter his mental state through heavy drinking and drug use. Most of his days are spent sleeping off hangovers and then drifting through the red-light district, sitting around with friends and series of bartenders. However, when a series of seemingly unrelated murders attracts the attention of Freidlander Bey (the local godfather figure), he is prodded into investigating the murders and coming up with answers. Audran's interactions with Freidlander Bey masterfully capture the elaborate verbal dances and coffee ritual that accompany traditional Arab business dealings. Unfortunately, once Audran is hooked, the plot starts to betray the great setting and characters Effinger has established.

It's established that the murderer is using some sort of bootlegged module to assist in committing their crimes. Therefore, in a somewhat suspect leap of logic, it is decided that in order to track the murderer down, Audran will need to be wired with experimental brain implants. This narrative misstep not only abandons the one trait that made Audran unique, independent, and likeable, but also pushes the technology to the fore of the story at the expense of character. Once this is done, the mystery is solved relatively quickly, and in a rather pedestrian way. Of course, there's more to the mystery than a simple psychopath gone amok, but the whys are only partially convincing. It's still a great book, but the last third is a bit of a letdown after the amazing beginning.

A decadent world of cheap pleasures and easy death.
Marid Audran has kept his independence and his identity the hard way. Still, like everything else in the Budayeen, he is available.....for a price. For a new kind or killer roams the streets of the decadent Aribic ghetto, a madman whose bootlegged personality cartridges range from a sinister James Bond to a sadistic disemboweler named Khan. The 2 hundred year old godfather of crime in the Budayeen has enlisted Marid as his insturment of vengeance. But first Marid must undergo the most sophisicated of surgical implants before he dares to stop a killer with the powers of every psychopath since the beginning of time I thought this book was fantastic, there is a sieres of books centered around this character, but most of them are hard to find. If you are lucky enough to find them, do so.

This novel is, in my opinion, one of the best SF efforts of the 80s. The writing is modern, dynamic and more refined than in the average cyberpunk novel. The narrative progression is vigorous but the reader never gets out of his depth, because Effinger's aim, beyond the solving of the "mystery", is to show how a man can be framed by his own capacities: Marid Audran, indeed, is chosen by Friedlander Bey because he's the only man in the Boudayin to have the sufficient amount of shrewdness / charism / guts to find the killer. Against his will, he accepts to have his brain wired, succeeds but will get no reward in the end (to say the least). A tragic destiny, quite unusual in SF. Nevertheless, as another reviewer wrote, Effinger was smart enough not to insert too many digressions or metaphysical considerations (like many other authors would have done): on the contrary, he punctuated the plot with wellcomed strokes of black humour.

All the characters are colourful and unforgettable. In the end, I felt like I was one of them, like I belonged to their community. It's really hard not to get involved personnally in this book (... the sign of a good book). The description of the Boudayin is amazing: it avoids most of the usual exotic cliches about North Africa (where I've never been to), but in the same time, the reader catches very quickly who does what and why, even if he's not familiar with arab civilization. In other words, Effinger plays intelligently with the western unconscious perception of this culture.

I think this novel may appeal to many sci-fi readers: the unexperienced readers will certainly appreciate the fast pace and the unusual setting; the more experienced readers will appreciate the numerous references and, in a way, the fidelity to the spirit of the golden age of SF.

The only problem I see with WGF is: what's next? Is this the end of a cycle or the beginning of another? Effinger seems to have reached his top with this book: the two sequels, written in 1989 and 1991, are in my opinion very inferior. I wish someone took up the gauntlet soon.

Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson: The Complete Stories
Published in Paperback by Swan Pr (1993)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $10.00
Average review score:

Muffy the Barbarian Rules!
This was a very funny spoof of fantasy and horror, with nods to Burroughs, Lovecraft, and just about everything else. Maureen Birnbaum would make a great film series or TV show. Be sure to catch the new Muffy story in the collection "Chicks in Chainmail."

a universe traveling valley girl.....a most enjoyable read!
this book combines humor and science fiction in a way i have never read. a valley girl travels the universe and between her exploits she returns to earth to visit a friend and tells her of the places she's been and and things she's done. this is one of my favorite books---if you can find it--buy it. my friends that have borrowed it often refuse to give it up.

A Fire in the Sun
Published in Hardcover by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd) (June, 1989)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $18.95
Used price: $2.20
Collectible price: $6.00
Buy one from zShops for: $10.00
Average review score:

Slightly Less Fun than the first
This sequel to When Gravity Fails finds former lowlife gumshoe Marid Audran suddenly becoming the right-hand man of futuristic Cairo's godfather, Friedlander Bey. Marid's transition from near-destitute scum to wealthy and powerful is more than a little awkward for him, since he had always prided himself on his independence. It's also somewhat awkward for the reader, since after a while, it gets old watching him get treated like a marionette. Friedlander Bey reorders Marid's world to separate him from his former friends and life by placing him on the police force, giving him his friend's bar, and giving him a Christian slave. Of course, you can't really refuse gifts from Friedlander Bey, so Marid toils at his job investigating various intrigues against his master. Thus, even more so than in the first book, he's the reluctant hero with a conscience of sorts.

The story starts with Marid in Algiers, searching for his mother and his roots. It doesn't quite work out as well as expected, and soon he's back in Cairo under the thumb of Friedlander Bey, working for the police, running around trying to figure out who's murdering little children and prostitutes. The killings may or may not be linked to Abu Adil, a rival to Friedlander Bey, but Marid doesn't really get going until an obviously corrupt officer keeps thwarting him and his reluctant partner gets killed. This element gets a little hokey, as his relationship with the partner goes through all the phases familiar to us from buddy-cop movies. The action gets a little convoluted as Marid bounces around, and the setting's novelty isn't as compelling as in the first book. Still, it's an interesting mix of Chandler and Dick, and if you like it, you should definitely check out Jonathan Lethem's Gun, With Occasional Music. Followed by The Exile Kiss.

A pretty good sci-fi read
This book is very uneven, with many strengths and many weaknesses. Though I haven't read the first book in the series, which seems to be out of print, the plot here is more or less self-contained. Marid Audran has had "corymbic implants" (which allow chips to interface to his brain) installed and payed for by Friedlander Bey, who also employs him. Friedlander Bey is a sort of Muslim mob boss with a vast network of influence across the middle east. He has Audran working as a liason to the local police station, though it's not clear what he actually does for Bey before he is unexpectedly assigned street duty with another cop. The book opens with unanswered questions about Audran's past and leads to a variety of intrigues involving Bey, Audran's mother, his cop partner, and Bey's rival, Reda Abu Adil.

The sci-fi and fantasy aspects of the book, mainly involving the devices characters can plug into their brains to alter their behavior or sensory input, are imaginative and very good. Many of the character depictions are also quite good, for instance, Kmuzu, Audran's Christian slave, and the twisted Abu Adil, who uses something called Proxy Hell chips that you'll have to read about yourself. However, the plot and the world the book is set in are not 100% convincing. For instance, it remains very unclear why religion is such a big part of Effinger's world, with characters uttering Muslim expressions right and left but religion not integrated into their lives in any meaningful way. Another problem is that the first-person narrative contains many annoying banalities that don't fit with the main character's personality at all. He is supposedly a street-wise hitman and advisor to a powerful mob boss, but makes annoyingly obvious remarks and expresses absurdly simple-minded views on Islam and religion in general. Overall, however, I still recommend the book if you're looking for a good sci-fi read and don't have anything else on your list.

G Effinger - One of the Unsung Heroes of SF
The 3 books (so far) of the Audran series are some of the best SF that has been available in recent years. Sadly often a mix of bargain bin chance find or out of print& unobtainable it can be very difficult to get hold of them, but when you do the satisfaction is all the greater.

The premise behind the series is brilliant. It places the characters in a cyberpunkesque middle east landscape but rather than in the course of one book turning characters into world beating superheroes - the characters remain grounded in an often seedy but very consistent universe. There are real shades here of Phiip K Dick at his best. It may not be SF for juveniles (wish fulfillment if any is darker and a lot more adult).

People in this series spend much of their time doing very human things (evasion of reality & difficult questions through drink, drugs or media being the most common). These books certainly live up to one valuable SF trend of holding a mirror to current daily life.

The Zork Chronicles (Infocom, No 5)
Published in Paperback by Avon (July, 1990)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $4.50
Used price: $0.99
Collectible price: $2.64
Average review score:

Effinger's Zork
Well, it's a fun book to read. It's interesting and the humor is original. Actually, I suppose it's not original since it's taken from Zork. What bothers me is that the book is written too similar to the video game. The Great Underground Empire is divided into rooms separated by passageways that go in the usual cardinal directions. That makes it easier for video game players to play Zork but isn't the book supposed to be a bit more realistic? An underground kingdom shouldn't just be a bunch of rooms.

Fantastic read! Funny and quick paced.
Zork is one of those books you read every two or three years. It's highly enjoyable and it's a really easy read. Effinger did a good job on this one.

It's one of those books where you just keep turning the pages and before you know it your closing the back cover.

Really, if you want a refreshing fantasy novel, pick up Zork if you can find it. It's definately worth seeking out.

I read this book years ago, and I still remember it!
I bought this book a long time ago and would like to say it was very well done!

It's a journey through the great underground empire with intriguing characters and a good story-line (If you remember "Kill Troll with sword", you'll get an instant feel for this novel)!

I'd say pick this one up!

Chains of the Sea: Three Original Novellas of Science Fiction
Published in Hardcover by X-S Books, Inc. (January, 1994)
Authors: George Alec Effinger, Robert Silverberg (Introduction), Gardner Dozois, and Gordon Eklund
Amazon base price: $6.50
Used price: $0.99
Collectible price: $4.00
Average review score:

3 tales of traumatic changes for the world
This 3-novella anthology was first published in 1973.

Effinger, George Alec: "And Us, Too, I Guess", while written for this anthology, also appears in Effinger's collection _Irrational Numbers_. The viewpoint alternates between the 1st person narrative of Dr. Davis, a scientist, and the 3rd person narrative of Paul Moran, a factory worker.

Davis seeks to rebuild his career yet again after the latest of a series of catastrophes. In his own mind, at least, he's not responsible for any of the troubles that have befallen him - and in his secret heart, he admits that he enjoys disaster, if he can sit back and watch. Moran, on the other hand, would claim only one disaster - his unhappy marriage - but might be honest enough to admit his own contribution to the problem.

They seem to be a study in contrasts, save for the two points they have in common: dissatisfaction with their lots in life, and a passion for raising mollies (a breed of tropical fish). On the morning the story opens, both Davis and Moran find that all their pets have died in the night, with no visible cause of death. Upon seeking replacements, the hobbyists learn gradually that *all* mollies everywhere appear to have died that same night. Then a few days later, another species - an obscure fungus - is found extinct, and an ominous pattern of tragedy begins to unfold.

Dozois, Gardner R.: "Chains of the Sea", which also appears in Dozois' collection _The Visible Man_, is an SF story of the day aliens "invaded" Earth, and the story of a kid who retains the ability to see "the Other People" long after his friends have forgotten them. (They share the Earth, but in ways that most humans can't perceive, and that even the AIs who *really* run human civilization aren't really aware of - at first.)

The story alternates between 3rd-person views of the aliens' arrival, and of Tommy's problems. The alien landings thread is mostly to do with the AIs' handling of the issue. They've never bothered to inform their "owners" that they communicate almost instantaneously when they wish, with no regard to their "owners'" political disagreements. Tommy's thread ties up with this because the Other People, like the AIs and human governments, are preoccupied with the aliens' arrival.

The title is a metaphor from a story-within-the-story, made up by Tommy during his after-school games. Tommy himself is caught between his abusive father, the uncaring school system, and the mysterious activities of the Other People. "He knew now why Steve had said the dragon couldn't get away. It lived in the sea, so it couldn't get away by going up onto the land - that was impossible. It had to stay in the sea, it was restricted by that, it was chained by the sea..."

Alone of the trio, "Chains of the Sea" suffers from sub par copyediting, in the form of occasional spelling mistakes, and botched grammar during a flashback. Otherwise, it's an excellent story, my favourite of the three. For instance, the media near one of the landing sites gives it continuous coverage, even though they have nothing to say, and an attempted media blackout causes far more trouble than the initial coverage - including a rash of lawsuits. The only telltale sign of its 1973 composition date is a simile, describing distorted time perception "like 33 records played at 78 RPM".

Eklund, Gordon: "The Shrine of Sebastian", set far in the future, opens with a few paragraphs of quotation from a manuscript being written within the story: _The Book of Man_, a work that the robot Andrew hopes will rival the Bible in time to come. His less-than-objective opinion is that it's at least an equal, containing neither fiction nor parable but what actually happened millennia ago when Sebastian spake of his vision unto the people of Earth, guiding them to the great spaceships bound for a new world. As the story progresses, the reader can draw his or her own conclusions about the accuracy of Andrew's assessment of his work.

In one sense, the story is linear, beginning on the day of Pope Maria's death, leaving her downtrodden husband Julian with two legacies: the title of Pope, and a command to bury her at the shrine of Sebastian. Why did such an arrogant, self-satisfied woman want to be laid to rest at the heart of a heretical movement? (The reader, of course, has additional mysteries to ponder, picking up clues on the state of this far future world from evidence in the story - no heavy-handed exposition. In fact, the story avoids exposition to the point that the reader may be left floundering through the unsavory incidents that befall Andrew and Julian. I greatly prefer the thread following Andrew's better-organized viewpoint to that following Julian's.)

Irrational Numbers (Doubleday Science Fiction)
Published in Hardcover by Doubleday (January, 1976)
Author: George Alec Effinger
Amazon base price: $5.95
Used price: $15.00
Collectible price: $21.13
Average review score:

8 short stories, some with a horror spin
Effinger passed away in April 2002. He was at one time married to Barbara Hambly, and they remained good friends; she's mentioned that she plans to complete at least one of the projects left unfinished at the time of his death.

All the stories herein first appeared between 1973 - 1975; this collection first appeared in 1976. The only conjecture I can offer as to why it became hard to find in Effinger's lifetime is that while the stories are all excellent, they're mostly disquieting as well.

"And Us Too, I Guess" first appeared in the anthology _Chains of the Sea_. The viewpoint alternates between the 1st person narrative of Dr. Davis, a scientist, and the 3rd person narrative of Paul Moran, a factory worker. Both men have unsatisfactory lives. Davis is rebuilding his career - not for the first time - after a disaster (apparently) not of his own making. Moran, on the other hand, definitely has a hand in the making of his own disaster: his unsatisfactory marriage.

Neither man knows the other, but they share a common passion: breeding mollies, a particular breed of tropical fish. On the day the story opens, both find that all their pets have died - and upon seeking replacements, that *all* mollies everywhere appear to have died in a single night. Then a few days later, another species - an obscure fungus - is found dead, and an ominous pattern of tragedy begins to unfold.

"At the Bran Foundry" first appeared in _New Dimensions 3_. The annual Key Club outing - 18 teenagers with 2 fathers along, narrated by one of the boys - may first seem to have fantastic elements only in that 1) fathers, not mothers, are acting as chaperones, and 2) the kids are holding still for a tour of the Jennings Raisin Bran Corporation. But anomalies appear thick and fast as the lecture rolls on, both in the things we see, and those we don't.

"Biting Down Hard on Truth" first appeared in _Orbit 15_. Mac, Willie, and Sam (Sam's Willie's wife) are the three protagonists, as 3 of the many people in a giant institution whose purpose is unclear even to them, let alone the reader. It's hard to tell at first whether this is an alternate history - the religion is Mithraism, but modified to allow female participation - or the future. Jennings, the mysterious figure who coaches sports, leads religious rituals, and lectures on various military topics, appears to be the one constant in their lives - at first.

"Curtains" first appeared in _The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction_ (MFSF), August 1974, and appears to have the same setting as Lydectes (see below). Delta Company is a troupe (*not* troop) of soldiers on the battlefields of a future war arranged by the Representatives of Europe and North America, where "theater of war" takes on an entirely new spin, and a unit's reviews by the official critics are its first concern.

"Hard Times" first appeared in _Amazing Science Fiction_ in 1973. Justin, having applied for a lowly office position in Federal Services, is undergoing a battery of psychological tests, but he isn't filling out forms. Instead, a la the Matrix, each test puts him into a dreamworld he can't distinguish from reality - drugged so that he doesn't remember it's a test - to see how he reacts.

"How It Felt" first appeared in Universe 5. As the only person left with true feelings, Vivi is set apart. Her friends, however, are driven to appalling lengths to seek diversion, and often seek it by gauging *her* reaction to their actions. Today, however, she's attempting to create a more sophisticated veneer, and isn't providing her usual satisfactory responses.

"Lydectes: On the Nature of Sport" (1975) My first reaction: 'Hmm. The title sounds like a philosophical essay by a classical author; should I know the name?' As it happens, the text appears at first to be exactly that sort of essay - but it was found in a sealed capsule among some ruins on Wolf 359, Planet B, and for reasons that become apparent as the story unfolds, the dictator of North America found it important enough to forward to a colleague, with his own chatty annotation weaving in and out of the text - which also reveals that he and his colleagues are on the brink of war. (The essay, incidentally, is much more readable than Plato in English translation.)

"25 Crunch Split Right on Two" (MFSF, April 1975) MacDay's working life as a running back for the Cleveland Browns is spent translating such cryptic jargon into plays. But his coaches and fellow players don't know that what motivates him to try his hardest this year is that sometimes, when he's hit hard enough under just the right conditions (he's still working out what they are), he has flashbacks to a night five years ago: a night out with his wife, who died not long afterward. He'll pay whatever price he can even to see her again, but if he can change what happened...

Related Subjects: Author Index Reviews Page 1 2

Reviews are from readers at To add a review, follow the Amazon buy link above.