A short novel by George Alec Effinger, better known for his cyberpunk Marîd Audran series. The story is a long and bleak exploration of illness and death, which were facts of life for the author. A very interesting case of Life Embellished.
The story follows the life of Sandor Courane in, or rather out of, a world run by a malevolent AI by the name of TECT. An incredibly unlucky man, Courane is nominated by TECT for jobs he simply cannot do adequately. For his disobedience, the computer exiles him to a prison planet known simply as Planet D, or Home. He lives a simple pastoral life along with a small cadre of fellow prisoners. In a story told through flashbacks, it becomes clear that everyone who enters Planet D quickly succumbs to a debilitating form of memory loss and dies within a year. With Courane determined to cure himself and strike back against TECT, but absolutely powerless, the story that follows serves as a fine instigator of clinical depression.
This book provides examples of:
- Flashback: A very well-done use of the trope.
- Heroic BSoD: Courane suffers one upon noticing the first symptoms of D virus.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: TECT, but was all that really necessary?
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted, as D virus sufferers lose more than their identities, and it's not just applicable to the past.
- Pietà Plagiarism: Courane carrying
AlohilaniRachel in one edition of the cover.