Academic Literature Islam in SF Literature News

WisCon 2012: Panel on Islam and SciFi

I will be on a couple of panels at the 36th annual WisCon 23 this weekend being held in Madison, Wisconsin. WisCon is the world’s leading feminist-oriented science fiction convention and conference. I will mainly be talking about Science Fiction in translation (mainly from the Muslim world) and Science Fiction with Muslim and/or Islamic themes. Be sure to stop by if you are the conference.

Speculative Fiction in/and Translation

Date: Sat, 8:30–9:45 am
Room: Capitol B
Moderator: Emily Jiang.
Participants Emily Jiang, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, Dr. Janice M. Bogstad, Larisa Mikhaylova
2011 saw the first ever Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards. Let’s discuss the winners, the state of F&SF translation (who gets translated? into and from which languages? how interested are publishers? does anybody actually get paid for translating this stuff?), and efforts to encourage a world consciousness in the SF community (like the VanderMeers’ Weird Fiction Review). We’ll also cover where readers can go to discover F&SF in translation.

The Arab/Muslim “East” in SF

Date: Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm
Room: Wisconsin
Moderator: Sofia Samatar
Participants: Sofia Samatar, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, Saladin Ahmed, Saira Ali, Na’amen Gobert Tilahun
Description: Let’s look at depictions of the Arab/Muslim “East” in SF. We’ll review the recent literature (for example Ian McDonald, Howard Jones, Kameron Hurley, Saladin Ahmed), discussing the good, the bad and the ugly. But it shouldn’t stop there: Let’s also look at how SF readers and writers can engage fruitfully across cultures. We don’t just want to write about English fairies, but how do we write about djinn? Does it matter that tons of people believe in them and have ideas about them based on the Qur’an? What do we need to think about? And where can we find helpful information?