Wednesday, October 01, 2014

How I Came to Write This Story: Ahmed A. Khan

The Genesis of “Another Mosque Among the Stars”
It all started way back in 2009 when Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad and I got in touch with each other. The common link was that he had created a website dedicated to Islamic SF (http://www.islamscifi.com) and I was a Muslim who wrote SF. We discussed the lack of adequate representation of Islam in science fiction and latched on to the idea of editing an anthology of Islamic SF. And so “A Mosque Among the Stars” was born, launched first as a print book and later as an e-book. It sported a great cover by Lee Kuruganti and contained between covers great stories by writers like Lucius Sheppard, Tom Ligon, Jetse De Vries, etc. The anthology was very well-received and garnered some great reviews and the e-book (available free at http://www.islamscifi.com/a-mosque-among-the-stars-available-for-free/) is in great demand even today, 5 years later.
When I was generating the author guidelines of the anthology, I had to come up with a tentative description of what I would classify as Islamic SF. This made me think about writing a manifesto formally defining this sub-genre, which I did and which was published (http://nova-sf.de/internova/?p=447&output=pdf‎Cached). 
Once that was out of the way, I tried to figure out which of my own stories would fit the framework that I had come up for Islamic SF. I had 5 such stories in my bag. So I then combined these stories with my essay on Islamic SF, putting each story into perspective accordingly, and created an anthology. I called it, not very subtly, “Another Mosque Among the Stars”. This anthology was launched solely as an ebook and is on sale at Amazon. 
I am happy and proud to include this ebook as a free read for the donors to the Plan-B crowdfunding campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/plan-b-magazine-year-three).

Ahmed A. Khan
http://ahmedakhan.livejournal.com


3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Thanks for hosting Ahmed.

Ahmed - I think it's really interesting that you started with defining the sub-genre, before going any further. I wonder how often people really 'step back' and do that. Thanks for sharing your story.

Loren Eaton said...

Any discussion of Muslim SF must mention George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails. Very interesting pastiche of William Gibson that works pretty well as far as I'm concern.

Ahmed A. Khan said...

Thank you for your comments, Margot. Trying to define the sub-genre was a rewarding experience and I am currently working on writing a full-length book, reviewing aspects of this sub-genre in detail.

I agree with Loren that "When Gravity Fails" is an interesting book. This, and many other books, will be mentioned in my above-stated work in progress.

And thank you very much, Patti, for hosting me.