Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: FeminineFantastique on April 05, 2014, 04:52:57 AM

Title: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: FeminineFantastique on April 05, 2014, 04:52:57 AM
I hope you guys' patience doesn't run thin on this, but here's another diversity in settings thread. Time for the Middle East. Hey, did you guys know that some dude named Al-Qazwini wrote a future story from the perspective of an alien visiting Earth, titled Awaj bin Anfaq? In the thirteenth century? Yeah, me neither until fifteen minutes ago. Looking for an English translation. It may take a while, but if one exists, I will find it.

My list thus far:

Dreamblood series, N.K. Jemisin (Arabic diaspora -- Egypt)
Creatures of Light and Darkness, Robert Zelazny (Arabic diaspora -- Egypt)
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed
The Harem of Aman Akbar, Elizabeth Scarborough
Between The Rivers, by Harry Turtledove
Three Princes, Ramona Wheeler (Arabic diaspora -- Egypt)
Arabian Nights and Days and The Journey of Ibn Fattouma, Naguib Mahfouz
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Arabic diaspora -- Sudan)
Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson

Any additions welcome.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Saraband on April 05, 2014, 12:47:30 PM
I hope you guys' patience doesn't run thin on this, but here's another diversity in settings thread. Time for the Middle East.

Are you kidding? This is great, I love that you're doing it.

So, since I study medieval Islamic history in university, I've come across some works that have certain elements of Fantasy to them. These are the ones with English translations:

The Conference of the Birds, Farid ud-Din Attar (1177) - The birds of the world come to gather to choose a king, which should be the Simurgh (persian equivalent of the Phoenix). It is rich with Sufi symbolism, and it is not very long, making for enjoyable reading.
Theologus Autodidactus, Ibn al-Nafis (c. 1271) - The tale of a young man who is born in a cave on a desert island. He will be taken back to the 'civilized' world and face his own deep misunderstandings of what he sees. It is considered one of the first examples of Science Fiction, and it influenced important scientific discoveries.
Treaty on the Opinions of the Residents of the Ideal City, Al-Farabi (10th century) - Al-Farabi creates an utopian society and examines its problems. Unfortunately, I only found a french translation, but the work is fairly well-known, so I hope there's an English one somewhere.

Besides the aforementioned One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (if you want to read it, make sure it is a more recent translation than the classic of the 19th century, which is a highly censored and altered version of the source material), one of the greatest Fantasy works to this date, I don't know anything else that could be considered SF / Fantasy.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Saraband on April 05, 2014, 12:56:05 PM
Oh, and The Steel Seraglio, by Mike Carey, was recently recommended to me by a user on Goodreads that is also a member of these Forums. The plot looks very interesting to me, and I think I'll get into it right after I'm done with the book I'm currently reading.

"The sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari of Bessa has 365 concubines - until a violent coup puts the city in the hands of the religious zealot Hakkim Mehdad. Hakkim has no use for the pleasures of the flesh: he condemns the women first to exile - and then to death Cast into the desert, the concubines must rely on themselves and each other to escape from the new sultan's fanatical pursuit. But their goals go beyond mere survival: with the aid of the champions who emerge from among them, they intend to topple the usurper and retake Bessa from the repressive power that now controls it. The assassin, Zuleika, whose hands are weapons. The seer, Rem, whose tears are ink. The wise Gursoon, who was the dead sultan's canniest advisor. The camel-thief, Anwar Das, who offers his lying tongue to the concubines' cause. Together, they must forge the women of the harem into an army, a seraglio of steel, and use it to conquer a city. But even if they succeed, their troubles will just be beginning - because their most dangerous enemy is within their own number..."

Another book I've had recommended to me was The Manuscript found in Saragossa, by Jan Potocki. Although it takes place in Spain, the book is built in a similar manner to the Arabian Nights, and it features gypsies, christians, jews, muslims, djinns, swashbucklers, the Inquisition, ascetic kings, demons and mystics. It is certainly influenced by Middle Eastern / Islamic mythology, so it may be worth a look  ;)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: TinyPterosaur on April 05, 2014, 04:51:24 PM
Wow these historical stories sound amazing! I don't have too much to contribute in this vein besides suggesting Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon , but I would like to ask what, if any, influence you feel like middle eastern fantasy has had on your own writings? My current MS in revision is based on far-future arabic speaking colonists, so I've loved altering the phonetics and imagining how the culture might change and adapt for a water world.

Love the theme of this thread!
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: FeminineFantastique on April 05, 2014, 11:32:05 PM
Thanks y'all! I'm glad there's still interest.

MG, that book definitely counts. Stories set in the Arabic diaspora that heavily feature Middle Eastern culture and/or folklore all do.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Elfy on April 06, 2014, 12:35:41 AM
There's also Mirage by Matt Ruff, which is an alternate history largely set in the Middle East in 2009, a world where the Arab League is the most powerful collection of nations on Earth and North America is a group of feuding 3rd world nations.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: FeminineFantastique on April 06, 2014, 05:29:40 AM
Thanks for the rec, Elfy. Similarly, Ramona Wheeler's book The Three Princes, a debut novel that came out like two months ago and is in my TBR pile, is alternate history in which Julius Caesar never left Cleopatra in Egypt, and thus Egypt became the world's primary superpower and it was Middle Eastern rather than Roman culture that flourished worldwide.

Of the books in my list upthread, the only two I have read are Mahfouz' Arabian Nights and Days and Jemisin's The Killing Moon. The former I read as a teenager and probably wouldn't appreciate as much as I would now, but I remember it being entertaining but not engrossing. (Mahfouz is, as far as I can recall, one of only two African writers to win the Nobel prize for literature.) Jemisin's book however, which I read in February, is the best secondary world fantasy I've read in almost ten years. Very highly recommended, y'all.

I'm also really looking forward to checking out Sofia Samatar; she's being nominated for a lot of awards these days.

ETA: I just realized that "diaspora" is a five dollar word that is probably heard very infrequently outside of certain university humanities departments, so to clarify (at the risk of sounding pedantic; forgive me):

The greater diaspora of a region is wherever the population and/or culture have spread beyond the original borders.

So in this case, for the Middle East, the diaspora would include parts of Africa (particularly north Africa but also a few parts south of the Sahara), Spain, the former Ottoman Empire, and even certain neighborhoods in, say, London or NYC.

Mileage may vary on this, but for my purposes, the cultural borders are far more important than the geographic ones, so Middle Eastern stories that may lie outside the geographic region are just as valid as those in the Arabian desert. KWIM?

(Side note -- I don't know why it's "Arabic diaspora." Do the Persians get no love? But that's the phrase commonly used so that's what I'm going with.)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Saraband on April 06, 2014, 02:29:03 PM
The greater diaspora of a region is wherever the population and/or culture have spread beyond the original borders.

So in this case, for the Middle East, the diaspora would include parts of Africa (particularly north Africa but also a few parts south of the Sahara), Spain, the former Ottoman Empire, and even certain neighborhoods in, say, London or NYC.

With this in mind, I remembered The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. Haven't read it yet, but heard good things about it. It draws on both Islamic and Jewish mythologies, which is great.

"Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice."
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Francis Knight on April 06, 2014, 06:41:16 PM
City of Silk and Steel by the Carey family

I cannot recc this highly enough

ETA Lol, have literally just noticed that it's already been recced under its other name (Steel Seraglio). These 4am starts are doing my brain no good!

Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: AshKB on April 07, 2014, 12:40:33 AM
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson is more of an Alternate History, but it IS amazing, and each time the characters are reincarnated, they are somewhere different. The conceit of the book is that the Black Death wiped Europe's population pretty much off the map, so in that absence, Islam (and China) rise to prominence.

And seconding Arabian Nights as a rec. That is most certainly fantasy, although good translations are hard to find and highly varied (I still need to get my hands on the one with the threesome).
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: FeminineFantastique on April 08, 2014, 01:14:10 AM
S'ok, Francis. Drink more coffee. Or less. :P

Thanks so much for the help, y'all.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on June 12, 2014, 06:08:55 PM
Hi I've came across this

The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy #1) by Amish Tripathi

Does this count? if not just ignore me, I've added it to my ever growing  tbr pile looks interesting  :)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: magisensei on June 12, 2014, 08:40:49 PM
For a setting in the Middle East or a Middle Eastern like setting - how about "The Parched Sea" - it is one of the books in the forgotten realms world in the Harper series. 

Also Peter Brett's Demon Wars series - while not exactly Middle Eastern - the self proclaimed deliverer Jardir and his nation - appears to be based on Middle East nations at some point in history - ie desert nations.   

There is also Howard Andrew Jones' Dabir and Asim series. 

The manga "Magi" is also set in the Middle East's ancient past. 

Judith Tarr's Alamut series - is partially set in the Middle East world

Any historical fiction that has a theme of the crusades would most likely have at least a part of the setting in the Middle Eastern world. 

There is also Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody mystery series set in Egypt. 
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on February 23, 2015, 05:32:18 PM
Just brought The City of Silk and Steel by M.R Carey,Linda Carey and Louise Carey or is it called The Steel Seraglio   :D

I've read a few of M.R Carey UF Felix Castor novels and enjoyed them so its about time I started to read this novel from my TBR pile  :)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on March 02, 2015, 05:19:21 PM
Just brought The City of Silk and Steel by M.R Carey,Linda Carey and Louise Carey or is it called The Steel Seraglio   :D

I've read a few of M.R Carey UF Felix Castor novels and enjoyed them so its about time I started to read this novel from my TBR pile  :)

Finished The City of Silk and Steel fantastic novel off to read his other novel The Girl with All the Gifts  already made a dent into it  :)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: ScarletBea on March 02, 2015, 06:05:30 PM
Just brought The City of Silk and Steel by M.R Carey,Linda Carey and Louise Carey or is it called The Steel Seraglio   :D

I've read a few of M.R Carey UF Felix Castor novels and enjoyed them so its about time I started to read this novel from my TBR pile  :)

Finished The City of Silk and Steel fantastic novel

Got this one from the library on Friday after seeing all the recommendations here - will be reading it after I finish the current trilogy :D
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on July 01, 2015, 06:32:15 PM
Hi I've came across this

The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy #1) by Amish Tripathi

Does this count? if not just ignore me, I've added it to my ever growing  tbr pile looks interesting  :)

Just started reading this, I know it's not Middle East but it's different to what I normally read in my fantasy reading habits
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Rostum on July 01, 2015, 08:03:31 PM
Late to the party again, all my suggestions and many more given. Can't see anyones patience wearing thin on this one. There are of course tales of this mad Iranian dude whose stories seem to be the root of lots of western heroes from myth and legend but his name escapes me for the moment.

Not really middle eastern but told from the perspective of the an Ottoman army invading Albania in the 15th Centuary The Siege by Ismail Kadare is a fantastic, if horrific read.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Misty.Mikes on July 02, 2015, 07:00:35 AM
Not sure if this is the right vein or not, but isn't The Alchemist by Coelho largely set in the Middle East? 

Some of Mercedes Lackey's works have a distinctly Egyptian or Middle Eastern feel to them, in spite of being set in alternate worlds.  The Dragon Jousters series is what I thought of first, but then I also remembered that she did a similar thing in her Valdemar universe, though I honestly can't remember which books feature that particular country.  I want to say Karse?  Don't quote me on that.  :) 

Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: B.T. Lowry on July 11, 2015, 07:12:08 AM
The greater diaspora of a region is wherever the population and/or culture have spread beyond the original borders.

So in this case, for the Middle East, the diaspora would include parts of Africa (particularly north Africa but also a few parts south of the Sahara), Spain, the former Ottoman Empire, and even certain neighborhoods in, say, London or NYC.

With this in mind, I remembered The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. Haven't read it yet, but heard good things about it. It draws on both Islamic and Jewish mythologies, which is great.

"Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice."


Yes good point. It's not only about the setting but about the people.
I'm happy to find this thread, and to see other non-european fantasy out there. I recently finished Who fears death, by Nnedi Okorafor, set in African in the future. The story is largely about sorcery and genocide and it's pretty full on sometimes, but refreshingly different, and with strong characters.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: B.T. Lowry on July 11, 2015, 07:13:21 AM
Does anyone know of alternate world fantasy rooted in India? (in the same way that much alternate world fantasy is rooted in medieval Europe). Thanks!
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on July 11, 2015, 07:33:27 AM
Does anyone know of alternate world fantasy rooted in India? (in the same way that much alternate world fantasy is rooted in medieval Europe). Thanks!

How about Jani and the Greater Game by Eric Brown

Jani and the Greater Game is the first book in a rip-roaring, spice-laden, steampunk action adventure series set in India and featuring a heroine who subverts all the norms...

It's 1910 and the British rule the subcontinent with an iron fist and with strange technology fuelled by a power source known as Annapurnite discovered in the foothills of Mount Annapurna. But they rule but at the constant cost of their enemies, mainly the Russians and the Chinese, attempting to learn the secret of this technology... This political confrontation is known as The Greater Game.
Into this conflict is pitched eighteen year old Janisha Chaterjee who discovers a strange device which leads her into the foothills of the Himalayas. When Russians spies and the evil priest Durja Das find out about the device, the chase is on to apprehend Janisha before she can reach the Himalayas. There she will learn the secret behind Annapurnite, and what she learns will change the destiny of the world for ever...
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Elfy on July 12, 2015, 01:39:01 AM
Gail Carriger's Prudence is partially set in India, but it helps if you understand the odd alternate Victorian steampunk world that Gail created for the books in The Parasol Protectorate.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on May 28, 2019, 10:12:46 PM
Any more  books to be added on here?

I  never did read Jani and the greater game .The low score on goodreads put me off maybe I should give it a go.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Bender on May 29, 2019, 02:09:15 AM
This is more of a alternate version to Indian mythology rather than a true fantasy, but still a wonderful read. If you can identify the intelligently woven parallels, then all the more fun.

Shiva trilogy - Amish Tripathi

1. The Immortals of Meluha
2. The Secret of the Nagas
3. The Oath of the Vayuputras

I'd give these a solid 8/10. Probably more. Been some years, but still I have fond memories.

The only drawback I think is that this is written in simple modern English lacking the fancy wordplay associated with Fantasy novels.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: J.R. Darewood on May 29, 2019, 03:44:58 AM

City of Brass was pretty good.
All about the magical cities of the djinn
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Elfy on May 29, 2019, 07:31:58 AM

City of Brass was pretty good.
All about the magical cities of the djinn
Sequel The Kingdom of Copper is out. It’s in my tbr pile.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Lady Ty on May 29, 2019, 07:37:58 AM
Very happy to see you back @Eclipse. Just dropping in to mention the two books of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay.  Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. Set in Kay's fictional equivalent of The Ottoman Empire.
Two of my favourite GGK books, highly recommended but only a little very subtle magic that intrigues and has effect.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Peat on May 29, 2019, 10:50:01 AM
Very happy to see you back @Eclipse. Just dropping in to mention the two books of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay.  Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. Set in Kay's fictional equivalent of The Ottoman Empire.
Two of my favourite GGK books, highly recommended but only a little very subtle magic that intrigues and has effect.

Thought it was the Byzantine Empire, not the Ottomans? Slightly different kettle of fish.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: DrNefario on May 29, 2019, 02:31:12 PM
A couple of SF examples:

The Arabesk trilogy by Jon Courtenay Grimwood is set in an alternative Egypt. I think he has a fantasy series that might count, too.

The Budayeen books by George Alec Effinger are set in an unspecified part of North Africa.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Bender on May 29, 2019, 03:14:41 PM
So is Taita series from Wilbur Smith.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Lady Ty on May 29, 2019, 04:23:34 PM
Very happy to see you back @Eclipse. Just dropping in to mention the two books of the Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay.  Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. Set in Kay's fictional equivalent of The Ottoman Empire. Byzantine Empire
Two of my favourite GGK books, highly recommended but only a little very subtle magic that intrigues and has effect.

Thought it was the Byzantine Empire, not the Ottomans? Slightly different kettle of fish.
Thanks Peat, you are quite right.Warning folks I am sometimes in need of a Fact Check now. Darn  :-[
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: AnnaStephens on May 31, 2019, 07:47:06 AM
The Crying Machine, by Greg Chivers
Song of the Shattered Sands series by Bradley Beaulieu - based on Arabian Nights

Someone in the thread said Indian-inspired - Empire of Sand, by Tasha Suri
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: J.R. Darewood on May 31, 2019, 01:48:48 PM
Did we forget to mention saraband's book on this thread?
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: ScarletBea on May 31, 2019, 01:50:31 PM
Did we forget to mention saraband's book on this thread?
@Saraband has removed his book from sale :'(
I think he doesn't like it anymore, which is a BAD thing!
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on May 31, 2019, 03:48:06 PM
Well I loved Saraband's  book and i'm not the only one. F-F posters are hard to please as we read alot of booksOso to have such a lot of good reviews from here means it a fucking brilliant book. okay im a little biased as Saraband is lovely.

I'm quite hard to please I dislike Sanderson and Hobb  ;D

my little review from years ago

An impressive debut,the novel had some flaws but it more then made up for it by all the excitement going on in the chapters! W.G.Saraband has got the potential to become an even better writer in the future, I will defiantly be looking out for his second novel.

Dr chilly's review , I miss him I got alot of respect for his reviews

Strikingly imaginative, Saraband's debut offers rich characterization, a Middle-Eastern culture that offers a depth unseen in most early secondary worlds, and gives a clear-cut brutality to the whole mix that makes you want to philosophize when you put it down, and that's few and far between; it's scary.


Lady Ty Review

I knew this writer through an online forum before reading Shattered Sands, but my comments here are honest and unbiased. Others have mentioned the need for further editing which is a valid point. But minor errors will be resolved in time and who are we to judge the syntax of Yaasarian?

The fact that it was written directly in English, while the writer was thinking in his native Portuguese, made me appreciate even more the perseverance and love that went into writing this book.

Shattered Sands brings the diverse new world of Yaasare to us filled with fascinating people and beings. It is similar in some ways to the legendary world of Arabian Nights, but with different and special features of its own, making it unique. It is a world where magic once flourished but has since been lost, leaving it dry and mostly desert. A few unusual events indicate magic may return, but is this good or bad?

The book begins in Rilmaaqah, a Vizierate in Yaasare. The main characters, their associates and their places in society are introduced, one after the other, in the first five chapters. Each one is identified by their alignment with one of five essential elements. The chapter headings throughout show by element which character will be featured. This helped me differentiate them easily and after a while found they slipped into place. Their relationships with each other and the effects of political events in their world unfold with twists, turns and surprises.

We first meet Tamazi whose element is Water. She is a slave, with the fascinating title of Royal Cushioner, owned by a degenerate young Great Vizier, Barka. The opulent indulgence of this ruling family and their court highlights the mindless cruelty and disregard for life they practice.

Sarati, is a Magistrate whose element is Fire. She has influence, but needs to manipulate and intrigue to maintain her position in the assembly of the Palatine College. This assembly is composed of Magistrates, Merchants, Mages and Commoners, representing the different classes in Rilmaaqah society.
Another Magistrate is memorably described here, bringing a smile and waddling into your imagination fully-formed -
"A tiny man, with a braided beard as long as his greed and a belly as heavy as his mythical wealth.’

Sabra belongs to the element of Life, a confident young woman who carries a knife, and doesn't hesitate to use it if necessary. She had a loving upbringing in a home where education was encouraged, but is unhappy with the social inequities and impatient for change.

Asmun of the Earth element is next, a sad wreck. Imprisoned deep underground, he has been held so long that he has forgotten his name, age and his family. He has lost all hope and only just retains sanity. I particularly loved the evocative writing here which instantly took me into the dripping atmosphere of this ghastly cell.

Finally to Festus of the Air element and Ambassador representing the Werde Empire. Pompous and self-important he is loyal to the Empire and its strict religious culture, also devoted to his family. Living in this city where morals are loose, and religion mostly ignored, disgusts him and he looks forward to the time they can all return home.

The tale weaves around these people and their 'supporting cast' as diverse events influence their lives. This is fast moving fantasy adventure with unusual communities, strange creatures and a great sea battle.

There are serious aspects such as a short interlude in a leper colony, run between themselves with practical compassion, which makes you wish it could really have been this way. Some unusual concepts of slavery and gender roles bring new viewpoints.

I had to concentrate and sometimes re-read parts of this book because there is much varied action and many characters, though I would not have had any left out. It was an exciting story in its own right, while setting the scene clearly for future books in the trilogy.

The detail in this new world of Yaasare, its people, cities, landscapes and cultures, has been created with infinite care and a wonderful imagination.
I am happy to recommend Shattered Sands and looking forward impatiently
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Neveesandeh on June 01, 2019, 07:22:03 PM
I've been learning Persian at university, and it's impossible to learn about Persian without hearing about the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, which is considered Iran's national epic and a key part of their culture. English translations are pretty easy to get hold of. I, shamefully, haven't read it in either language, but it's been on my list for a while.

I've been meaning to write a series set in a north African setting for a while, so I've been collecting medieval travels guides from Ibn Fadlan and Ibn Battuta for research. I haven't read those either.

What fascinates me about Ibn Fadlan's book in particular was his description of his time with the norse. I find seeing an unfamiliar culture described through the eyes of someone from another unfamiliar culture to be quite an interesting experience.

Also I have a book of old Arabic fairytales called 'Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange' somewhere that's said to be very good and wildly imaginative. The stories were written in the middle ages and they have things like ancient tombs full of robots.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on September 07, 2019, 07:00:16 AM
Came across this in F-F Facebook


http://www.asianfantasybooks.com/99promo/?fbclid=IwAR3S7kgUXaBdoRLHXH0KNm4-vk18ondzgkd0RPlDN4ZXKLU8kzhjuo75j7k
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Rostum on September 17, 2019, 10:39:08 AM
Reading City of Brass at the moment A strange book, all the stranger for being set in 1800 and not the ancient past. If battling Djinn and Ifrit are your thing give it a go.
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Lanko on September 19, 2019, 12:53:31 AM
Did we forget to mention saraband's book on this thread?
@Saraband has removed his book from sale :'(
I think he doesn't like it anymore, which is a BAD thing!

What, I've been waiting for the sequel since 2016.

And @Eclipse didn't quote my review  >:(
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: Eclipse on February 23, 2020, 07:17:21 AM
No @cupiscent on this topic , how strange  ;)
Title: Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
Post by: cupiscent on February 23, 2020, 10:12:04 PM
No @cupiscent on this topic , how strange  ;)

Wow, my public is SO DEMANDING.

I think Chakraborty's been mentioned already, right? What about the work of G Willow Wilson? NK Jemisin's Dreamblood duology, yes? Would Elizabeth Bear's Mongol-inspired stuff be included in Middle-Eastern? More central Asian, perhaps. But consider: