Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Arab/Muslim Science-Fiction

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:40 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

This may cost me readers.

But, honestly, I think that’s okay.
I’ve never been shy about criticizing aspects of internationalism that I don’t like, like off-shoring call-center jobs.  But, on the other hand, I’m also not shy about reminding people that extremists give us a skewed view of a larger population.  I know there are people in the United States right now that think every Arab or Muslim is bad.  I disagree.  I think those people who claim to believe that they are all evil are simply ignorant of the rich and diverse culture that exists outside of their own small neighborhood.  I hope before those of my readers that may think that there is no such thing as a good Arab, or Muslim, follows the link I’m about to share and reads a little of what they find there before writing me off.

Some time ago, through various other blogs, I came across a link to Apex magazine’s 18th on-line issue.  The Arab/Muslim Issue.
I have to admit, I was intrigued.  For one thing, I don’t think I’ve read any recent fiction by anyone from that culture.  For another, Apex specializes in fantasy and science-fiction.
This is some brilliant work.
Go read “The Green Book” by Amal El-Mohtar, a story about a book possessed of a spirit that corrupts her reader.
Or, try “50 Fatwas for the Virtuous Vampire” by Pamela K. Taylor about a Muslim vampire trying to follow the Law of the Koran and stay pure.
Or, my favorite, “The Faithful Soldier, Prompted” by Saladin Ahmed about a soldier who’s combat implants talk to him with the voice of God Himself, perhaps.
There are more, but these three stories were masterful looks at a culture most of us don’t see.  They see myths reinterpreted in ways we may not have considered, or a future which may be all too possible.

Really, I joke around a lot on wasting time on a Friday, but these stories aren’t a waste of your time, I promise.
Go and read them.  Then think.


  1. Great approach to the problem. When I meet people with negative attitudes like that I’m reminded of the first few of the 20 or Christian Crusades. I’d hate to think of it as Karma, rather I believe there are extremists and terrorists in ANY culture and that people who live by spreading F.U.D. don’t always use violence as the tool.


    Comment by DJ — 2/4/2011 @ 10:33 am

  2. Well, any large organization, no matter how spiritual it may intend to be, is going to end up with a couple jerks. Whether they’re inciting violence or just pissing me off, the net result is often the same; my serenity is disturbed. I think we lose the best parts of organized religion when we focus on just the bad parts, whether it’s a religion we were raised with or not.

    Also? The stories are pretty damn good!

    Comment by the Network Geek — 2/4/2011 @ 10:49 am

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