1 May 2012

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[personal profile] phi
There's this panel at Wiscon about the Arab/Muslim "east" in sff (full description below). I confess to having a rather US-centric view on SFF and representations of Arabs and Muslims therein, so I'm looking for suggestions, thoughts, opinions on the subject. For example, most of the examples I can think of are from media by white westerners (Sayyid in Lost, Sleeper Cell, a US tv show, the easterners/southron in Tolkien and Lewis's works, Ian McDonald's work, Faiza from the comic Captain Britain and the MI-13, The Prince of Persia (don't even get me started), Palomides in various Arthurian retellings) and even most of the works I can think of by PoC are by hyphenates or Americans (ie, Saladin Ahmed's Throne, Nnedi Okorafor's Shadow Speaker, Tananarive Due's African Immortals series, whose protag comes from an Arab and Islam-influenced culture, the wonderful short stories and poetry by Amal el-Mohtar).

Other works that come to mind for me are The Case of the Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif and The Satanic Verses by Rushdie, but I wouldn't consider either of those to be sff, really. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Rushdie is definitely a fantasy work, as is Padisha Begum's Reflections by Shweta Narayan, but that's all I could come up for works by sourcelanders.

So suggestions for a reading list for me? Pretty please?

Here's the full panel 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?