Sacrifice of Fools by Ian McDonald
Protestants, Catholics, aliens . . . Just another division in Belfast
When the alien Shian come to Earth, they offer technology in exchange for a home. Belfast, Northern Ireland, is where eighty thousand of them settle. From that point on, the already-divided city takes on yet another partition. The Shian integrate themselves into the city’s culture, becoming one more set of faces in the crowd. Now, a series of ghastly murders has stunned the city and affected both the Shian and the humans.
Andy Gillespie, a Loyalist and former criminal, is immediately named the main suspect in the killings. To clear his name, he must find the true perpetrators, and in order to do so, he must get help from any source possible—be it Protestant, Catholic, or extraterrestrial.
Shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award, Sacrifice of Fools depicts a city at once familiar and peculiar. Belfast resident Ian McDonald’s interpretation of his hometown is one in which the people live their lives to the best of their abilities; one in which they have to deal with the basics of life with extraterrestrials, from language barriers to surprising new fetishes. Here, Belfastians discover how little things truly change.