Lets start the first day of Pakistani Science Fiction with alternate history. There are movies which are bizarre and then there are movies which lie at the border of being bizarre and being socially conscious. The film was released in 1986 and starred leading actors of Pakistani Cinema at the time: Mustafa Qureshi, Sultan Rahi and Anjuman. It was directed by Idrees Khan who was otherwise known to have mostly made movies with socially conscious theme. The premise of the movie is that after his defeat in the Second World War Hitler did not commit suicide but disguised himself and fled to Pakistan. Hitler married a local Pakistani woman and has a son. Not only that but the United States was not responsible for using atomic weapons against Japan but rather it was Germany under Hitler that used these weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, although it is never explained why would Germany want to do that
Even Josef Goebbels survives in this alternate history Pakistani world and changes his names to Malik Sahib and blends in with the population and lives an anonymous life. Hitler’s son is a grown man and terrorizes the local population and as in most Lollywood movies his goons mess with the brave hero who now wants to bring down Hitler Jr. In a bizarre twist it is revealed that Hitler Jr. did not really grow up being evil as his father died when he was young but rather scummed to a life of crime when he and his mother were brutalized by the local mafia.
(Artist: Kenny Hassan Irving)
As promised last year we will be doing a week long series on Science Fiction coming from Pakistan from tomorrow onwards. The stories will range from Science Fiction novels to Spiderman spottings in Pakistan to Pakistani Star Fleet Academy to stories with the son of Hitler becoming an evil gangster in Pakistan. In the past we have already covered stories about Science Fiction from Pakistan like the first Sci-Fi play in Urdu, an alien movie from Pakistan from the early 1990s and works of Ibn Safi.
The Golem and the Jinni is the Debut novel by Helene Wecker. combines themes from the Islamic and Jewish literature in the setting of late 19th century America. In a way the Golem who is from Danzing Germany and the Jinni who is from Syria are immigrants to the new world. Here is what the New York Times has to say about the novel.
History, magic and religion braid together in old New York’s tenements while the lives of the widowed golem and the freed jinni unfold. Both are sleepless; both quickly find lodging and employment and receive names from the humans who accept their true natures — the golem is known as Chava, or “life”; the jinni is Ahmad. These relatively small moments open up into a languorous meditation-by-example on the nature of humanity, desire, conscience and free will.
Thanks to M.M for the pointers.
Unravel Me is a Young Adult novel, part of the Shatter Me series, by the American author Tahereh Mafi which can be described as set in X-manish Dystopia where food and water are scarce. There is an organization set to reestablish order in the world but has other motives as well. Tahereh Mafi is a California-based Young Adult fiction author. Here is an interesting quote from Teenink:
“I only know now that the scientists are wrong. The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I’ve been trying to hold on for 17 years. I’ve been trying to climb back up for 17 years but it’s nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.”
Official Website: Tahereh Writes
While it strictly does not fall under Islam and Sci-fi but Eric Wilkerson recently did an art piece for the September 2013 issue of “Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show” showing a priest evangelizing to an alien. Since Islam is also an evangelizing religion this art piece seemed relevant and perhaps it can also spark a conversation in the Islamic blogsophere. (h/t IO9)
As promised here is the video of our Geeks of Color Assemble panel at the New York Comic Con (NYCC). I have been meaning to post these for a while but my mind has been fixated on the recent tragic event. The news of this video was also the last thing about the Islam and Science Fiction project that I told my father about. Islam and Science Fiction will be hopefully back to its regular posting schedule now. Thanks to all the friends and fans of the project for their kind words in this hour. Without further ado here is the video of our panel.
All good things must come to an end. With a heavy heart I have announce that my father passed away last week. The death of a loved one, especially one’s father can be a world shattering event. That has certainly been the case for me. I would like to thank family, friends and even strangers for reaching out and remembering me in this time of need. Islam and Science Fiction will resume its regular series of posts from tomorrow onwards.
Dear Readers, This post is a departure from our usual posts. I seldom post about personal stuff but now there is a sickness in the family. My father is in the hospital and his condition is not improving. Please remember him in your prayers and your thoughts. I wont be able to do the Pakistani Science Series next week as I had promised but there will be other updates but less frequently though. Your prayers and wishes are greatly appreciated.
(Image Source: PC Magazine)
The Minorities in Fandom Panel at the New York Comic Con was a huge success. We had a house full and in fact the number of audience members that were allowed in the room because of capacity issues capped out ten minutes before the panel evan began. The other panelists were award-winning writer N.K. Jemisin, critic Jeffrey L. Wilson, Emmanuel Ortiz of Nerd Caliber, Science Fiction writer and Musician Muse en Lystrala, cosplayers, cosplayer Ger Tysk, cosplayer Jay Justice and our wonderful moderator Diana Pho who runs the Beyond Victoriana multicultural steampunk website. The panelists as well as the audience represented a diverse group of people and also a good demonstration of how people of different backgrounds can stand in solidarity with one another.
The issues that came up during the discussion ranged from representation of minorities in Science Fiction and Fantasy to people of color looking out for one another instead of just their own groups. Representations of minorities in these genres has certainly improved but we still have a long way to go and this improvement should not lull us into a false sense of security. There was also the recognition that minorities need to reach out to one another instead of restricting themselves to dialoging with the dominant group. There will always be people who will not be accepting but that should not deter a person from doing what they are doing.
The event was covered by the PC Magazine as well as the well known Science Fiction and Fantasy Publisher Tor on their website. Like the other panelists and the attendees I also wished that the time allocated to the panel should have been longer. Last and certainly not the least a huge thank and applause to Diana Pho of Beyond Victoriana – Multicultural Steampunk.
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Image Source: News Tribe
Belated Eid Greetings from Islam and Science Fiction. While the eid was a few days ago in my defense I was not able to post to get back to emails until now because of emergency in the family. Here are a few updates about the Islam and Sci-Fi project: Our panel at NYCC was hugely successful. In the next three months expect to see three week long series of posts on the following three exciting topics: Pakistani Science Fiction, Malaysian Science Fiction and Science Fiction by African American Muslims. Again. Mubarak!!!!
Image Source: Pakistan33