Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't.
Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.
I was pretty amazed at Effinger's clairvoyance. He was merely a little pessimistic about how long the technological and cultural changes he envisioned would take to occur.
Marid, the protagonist, was born in 2172 — shortly after the collapse of both the Soviet Union and the United States. It's interesting to remember that in the year of publication (1987), there really wasn't a hint that the Soviet Bloc would start to collapse in just two more years.
Technologically, much of what we see in this book has either already come about, or seems like a likely continuation of trends. Culturally, the setting in a Middle-Eastern, Arabic, city, where the zealots hope to take advantage of the collapse of the superpowers to spread Islam, sounds terribly familiar. The Balkanization of Europe, had already begun when Effinger wrote the story, so expecting the change to continue isn't surprising. It all seems possible within my own lifetime.
Unfortunately, the story itself isn't as strong. Enjoyable, but not enough so that I'll seek out the second and third volumes.