Firedance

Overview

Streetfighter, fugitive, hero...Aubry Knight is now a powerful man with powerful friends. And someone wants to kill him.

Their opening shot is the death of one of Aubry's dearest friends. Their next attack is on Aubry's child. Knight is drawn inexorably toward New Africa, toward the mysteries of his own past, and toward a future that may take him far from Los Angeles and the only life he's ever known.

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New York 1995 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. (100706) 1st Mass market paperback edition is brand new in Near Mint condition. Mass market (rack) paperback. ... Glued binding. 384 p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Streetfighter, fugitive, hero...Aubry Knight is now a powerful man with powerful friends. And someone wants to kill him.

Their opening shot is the death of one of Aubry's dearest friends. Their next attack is on Aubry's child. Knight is drawn inexorably toward New Africa, toward the mysteries of his own past, and toward a future that may take him far from Los Angeles and the only life he's ever known.

To win this battle, and save his family, Aubry Knight must defeat himself.

The third book in Barnes' series about Aubry Knight, set in a future Los Angeles, which has nearly been destroyed by an earthquake, where bio-engineering has given humanity the ability to create supermen. When an enemy attacks Aubry's child, the streetfighter is drawn inexorably toward New Africa, toward the mysteries of his own past, and into danger.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With Firedance Steven Barnes has given science fiction a novel that combines fine writing, wide expertise, and tremendous powers of invention with characters so intensely alive you begin to feel they may have created the author." —Peter O'Donnell, author of the Modesty Blaise series

"Barnes delivers superior adventure fiction, with the best fight scenes being written. Aubry remains physically invincible, emotionally brittle and intellectually aware, and his 21st-century world is believably wondrous and terrible." —Starlog

Roland Green
Barnes switches to original hardcover publication for the third yarn about Aubry Knight, the martial-arts adept and streetfighter he introduced in Streetlethal (1990) and Gorgon Child (1990). Knight is now a champion and informal leader of the people whose bootstrap efforts are rebuilding the ruined core of Los Angeles. He has more responsibility and many more real and potential enemies, if not much more real power. Fortunately, he has lost neither his quickness of eye and hand nor his general street smarts. Nor has Barnes lost his knack for telling a fast-paced story set in a grittily realistic near-future urban setting. His effort is close kin to cyberpunk and will likely attract some of that subgenre's fans, although it is not so freighted with the high-tech dazzlers that sometimes alienate mere mortals.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812510249
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Los Angeles in 1952, Steven Barnes began writing at the age of five, and since that time has published over two million words. His first published collaboration, "The Locusts," was nominated for the 1980 Hugo award, and his Outer Limits episode "A Stitch In Time" was nominated for a Cable Ace Award and won an Emmy for Amanda Plummer. He also wrote a one-woman show based on the life of Bessie Coleman (the first Black Aviatrix), been the Kung-Fu columnist for Black Belt Magazine (he holds dan rankings in Judo and Karate), and served as the host of the world's longest-running science fiction radio show, Hour 25. Currently living in Washington State with his wife, Novelist Tananarive Due and his daughter Lauren Nicole, Steven is working on a series of novels set in prehistoric Africa, for which he recently spent two weeks on Tanzania's Serengeti plain.

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Read an Excerpt

1

The Chevrolet passenger skimmer destabilized as it struck an air pocket. The pilot regained control in 1.47 seconds. Subadequate. Made a note: Manipulate Father into replacing her. Father made a short, sucking sound. Fear. Distaste. He said, "I hate these things."

Response mode: teasing. "Daddy, you are such a wimp." I thrust out my tongue, waved it side to side. Approximately eighty percent probability of a state change. I returned to the raveled cuff seam. Simple cross-stitch. Oddly soothing. Mira taught me.

"Leslie…" Father raised his right hand and swatted fast. Vision strobed. Visual faded to kino mode. Felt vector, danced to Father's blind spot. Evaded hand.

Question: Should I have evaded? Would causing me pain have reduced Father's stress level? Cost/benefit analysis: Judging by air pressure, effect would have been light pain, no damage. Father/subject Aubry Knight harbors subthreshold sadistic tendencies. Control tight. Likelihood of additional stress if Father/subject believes he has injured me.

I ducked in to kiss his cheek, making the sound they call giggling. Father's cheek is generally stubbled by thirteen hundred hours. His testosterone level is approximately 140 percent of average. Note: Is Father XYY? Scan files. Satisfy curiosity.

Scent strong, musk-based. His melanin content is thirty percent higher than mine. If my growth patterns follow projection, I will have his bone structure, modified for estrogen levels. Will have Mother's Polynesian cheeks and epicanthic folds. Ideal material for seductive subversion.

Father's massive chest rose and then fell as he sighed. Tone: irritated. "Promise, did you have to put him in a dress for this?"

Mother leaned back in her seat, looking over her shoulder at him. Her laugh is low, musical. Oddly pleasing. "She insisted, Aubry."

Father opened his mouth, then let it close. I hallucinate that he didn't wish to renew ancient combat concerning my genderic orientation. Wise. A fight he has never won.

My legal name is Leslie Knight. Official designation Medusa-16. I'm a bifertile hermaphrodite developed by Gorgon. Biological age: 10. Actual age: 8. Height: 4'11". Weight: 85. Have maintained same level of physiological maturity for six years, due to nutrient bath/accelerated input during formative phase. It may take thirty years to reach full adulthood.

Father leaned back into the seat, watching through the side window as Los Angeles passed beneath us. I never knew L.A. before the quake. It is now oddly pleasing. The colors and shapes fill the eye. Bright. Almost hypnotic. Confusion: visual input melding with preexisting emotional patterns re: parental role in rebuilding of city. Pride? Perhaps.

For now: play gender games. Father is pleased by martial performance. Easy. Personal coordination in 99.999…percentile. Must keep him off balance to prevent certain questions from arising.

Easy. Play Father and Mother against each other. Mother is strange. Non-performance-oriented. Likes "girl" games. I play them. She approves. Play "boy" games. She approves. Throw tantrums. She gives affection. Disobey. She gives affection.

I do not understand. Further research required.

I have dreams. Death, blood, raving nightmares.

She wipes my brow. Places cool mouth against hot cheek. She dances her plastiskin for me, triggering color and light on the left side of her body. Soothing. I tell her I hate her. I will kill her. Twice, in delirium, I have broken her hand. Once, her arm.

She gives affection.

I do not understand.

I am afraid. For all of us.

Copyright © 1994 by Steven Barnes

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