This is the second in what now looks like a three volume trilogy starting with "When Gravity Fails" and ending (?) with "The Exile Kiss." While other fans of "Gravity" have hailed this sequel as an improvement, I was a tad bored with it. Effinger is able once again to bring his Budayeen characters to life and to fog you in with a thick gum shoe plot, but somehow it all felt less than inspiring. I guess I'm not one one of those SF fans who is content with the genre and its patent devices. I want surprises, new directions, bold experiments. "A Fire in the Sun" is great "golden ghetto" fare, but nothing more.
"A Fire in the Sun" ends with a ten-page teaser from "The Exile Kiss." In this third Budayeen book, Marid Audran and "Papa" Friedlander Bey are exiled to the desert and must survive long enough to make their way back to the city and avenge themselves. While further developments in their relationship, especially under such extreme environmental conditions, might be interesting, I have a feeling I'll pass on this one.
A Fire in the Sun
George Alec Effinger
1990, 290 pgs., pb, $3.95