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A Mosque Among The Stars...
January 5, 2013 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Islam & Science Fiction is exactly what it sounds like: interviews with authors, art, and more on Muslims and the future. They've also released a book that you can grab for free, A Mosque Among The Stars
posted by artof.mulata (26 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mixing existing religions with science fiction always makes me think of that Mormon scene from Starship Troopers, and then I feel bad for chuckling.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:35 PM on January 5, 2013


AHHHH I have wanted to read Mosque Among the Stars for so long but waffled over buying it because I prefer physical books! Thank you for this post!
posted by nicebookrack at 7:43 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's funny because I have an unfinished Sci-Fi that falls under that catagory!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:12 PM on January 5, 2013


Some of Saladin Ahmed's stories are on Escape Pod and Podcastle.
posted by problemspace at 8:43 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mixing existing religions with science fiction always makes me think of that Mormon scene from Starship Troopers

Or the Mormon everything from Ender's Game.
posted by mediated self at 8:44 PM on January 5, 2013


Crescent in the Sky....an excellent book.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:06 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where did I read about Catholic priests in space?

Thanks for some great links artof.mulata, I was just musing at the bookstore the other day that I'd hit a wall with the SF section and needed inspiration!
posted by infini at 3:24 AM on January 6, 2013


You should check out that interview with G. Willow Wilson. Her Alif the Unseen was great: genre-bending Islamic cyberpunk fantasy. I bought it for my teen-aged son but after he burned through it in three days, I did the same. Cairo was really good too.
posted by BinGregory at 4:02 AM on January 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I probably recommend Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials by Reza Negarestani; it's almost certainly a book, that might technically be sci-fi, and anyone would be hard pushed to deny that reading it is most certainly an experience.

To excerpt a bit at random:
"Parsani traces the practice of Taqiyya as a hypercamoflage which confounds the linear distinction of civilian and militia in the works of the Persian occult-saboteur, prophet of heresy-engineering, and State-Guerilla rebel Abdallah ibn Maimun, who founded the sect of Batiniyya (Ahl-i-Batin or the crowd of within) from which Hasan-i-Sabah's Hashshashins and the majority of the regional insurgencies originated.

Parsani calls ibn Maimun the first theorist and practitioner of double-betrayal and Trison as the polytical unit of the Middle East. 'The practice of Taqiyya as a realisation of Trison was the invention of ibn Maimun; but the secretive nature of his activities as the faceless civilian and a man behind the curtain led to all the credit for his intellectual and pragmatic achievements going to his disciples and to opportunists like Hasan-i-Sabah, who could only digest a morsel of ibn Maimun's immense knowledge and restless wisdom.' Parsani writes."
posted by titus-g at 6:09 AM on January 6, 2013


Ooh and then there's Kenny Irwin: Your Intergalactic Pakistani Ambassador. He creates artwork of mosques in space, pakistani space-buses, hijabis on laser surf boards: that's just the tip. Flickr sets:
Pakistani Starfleet Explorers
Dovestar Chronicles
posted by BinGregory at 7:10 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


G Willow Wilson's Alif the Unseen predicted as an award winner for 2013.
posted by Artw at 7:50 AM on January 6, 2013


infini: Where did I read about Catholic priests in space?

They're here and there. Arthur C. Clarke's famous short story The Star has a Jesuit priest as its protagonist (if I recall correctly, one of the later Rama books had a priest as one of its main characters). Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow also has a Jesuit priest protagonist.
posted by Kattullus at 8:05 AM on January 6, 2013


Where did I read about Catholic priests in space?

A Canticle For Leibowitz, maybe?
posted by Artw at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2013


Or maybe the Hyperion books?
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on January 6, 2013


> Where did I read about Catholic priests in space?

I'm betting on A Case of Conscience.

> A Canticle For Leibowitz, maybe?

Set on Earth.
posted by languagehat at 9:51 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ends in space.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dune was full of Zen Catholics of course. Space is, apparently, just lousy with Catholics.
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


My favourite Muslim SF setting - which is apparently mostly just New Orleans dressed up.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought of Dune as sort of a "space Sufi" theme.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's funny, so did I, but it was actually more of Zen/ Jesuit themed series.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:33 PM on January 6, 2013


Damn, I'm sorry I caused a derail there...(bad link there for Canticle btw but yes, that was it)

New Rome tells Zerchi to proceed with Quo Peregrinatur and plan for departure within three days. He appoints Brother Joshua as mission leader, telling him that this is an emergency plan for perpetuating the Church on the colony planets in the event of a nuclear war on Earth. The Order's Memorabilia will also accompany the mission. That night the Atlantic Confederacy launches an assault against Asian Coalition space platforms. The Asian Coalition responds by using a nuclear weapon against the Confederacy capital city of Texarkana. A ten-day cease-fire is issued by the World Court. Brother Joshua and the space-trained monks and priests depart on a secret, chartered flight for New Rome, hoping to leave Earth on the starship before the cease-fire ends.

posted by infini at 10:40 PM on January 6, 2013


No need to apologize, infini, it's quite an interesting derail. I mean, it's completely unsurprising that there are a lot more Christians than Muslims in Western SF, but I think it's interesting just how many Catholics there are. I suppose that it's also unsurprising that a tradition like SF, which in its beginnings came out of a heavily white, protestant culture, should go to Catholicism as a comfortable and comprehensible religious other.

In Orhan Pamuk's Snow there is a character, a devout teen, who wishes to write Islamic science fiction. When I read it I took it as being an analogy for the challenges faced by fundamentalists who want to be modern, but another way of looking at it is to say that Islam has rarely featured in people's conceptions of the future. I used to think that was true of all religion, but with all these science fictional Catholics springing out of the woodwork, I'm having to rethink that.
posted by Kattullus at 12:21 AM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


They say that the reason a culture of sci fi never really emerged from Hindu philosophy is due to their already having figured stuff out a coupla thousand years ago... apparently, the words for satellite, spaceship and other scifi type stuff already exist as proper words in Sanskrit and did not need to be either borrowed or crafted in recent times, like it has happened in numerous other languages. I came across this tidbit when I went to work for HP India in the mid 1990s, all the conference and meeting rooms had these really cool names.

Mind you, I have no idea who "they" are...

No, Zelazny does not count...or maybe he does? how are we assessing these things here?
posted by infini at 3:14 AM on January 7, 2013


Oh, and the most frightening "religion in sci fi" story for me, even worse than A Handmaid's Tale was from Heinlein himself... I read it in 1988 and I've not yet forgotten.
posted by infini at 3:19 AM on January 7, 2013


But languagehat, A Case of Conscience was also kind of muddled in that sudden vision I had of dejected religious fervor...
posted by infini at 3:24 AM on January 7, 2013


Alif the Unseen wins the 2013 Pacific Northwest Book Awards.
posted by BinGregory at 9:34 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


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