August 25, 2019, 01:47:15 AM

Author Topic: SF/F set in the Middle East  (Read 7545 times)

Offline Bender

Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2019, 03:14:41 PM »
So is Taita series from Wilbur Smith.
Not all those who wander are lost

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #31 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  :-[
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline AnnaStephens

Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #32 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

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2019, 01:48:48 PM »
Did we forget to mention saraband's book on this thread?

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #34 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!
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #35 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
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: SF/F set in the Middle East
« Reply #36 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.