Brian Aldiss’ Harm

15Sep - by Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad - 0 - In English SF Islam in SF Literature

The protagonist is Brian Aldiss’ novel Harm is a Muslim. Here is a description of the novel from the publisher’s weekly. “British SF legend Aldiss offers a hard-hitting view of the global war on terror in this cautionary tale of the near future. Paul Fadhil Abbas Ali winds up in custody after a repressive British regime takes a dim view of his novel, which contains a passing reference to the assassination of the prime minister. Tortured unmercifully, Ali finds refuge only in his imagination, conjuring up an alternate universe in which humans have fled Earth and attempted to start anew on the planet Stygia. On Stygia, Ali inhabits the body and mind of Fremant, a bodyguard for that world’s dictatorial ruler, Astaroth. Fremant is recruited by rebels seeking his master’s overthrow, but he finds himself warped by the brutal landscape and society in which he lives. The parallels to George Orwell’s dystopian works are obvious, and while this book is unlikely to resonate as much as Nineteen Eighty-Four, Aldiss deserves credit for continuing his long tradition of using the genre to explore current hot-button political issues.”

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