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Hossain, Saad Z

Entry updated 9 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -    ) Bangladeshi author whose first novel, Baghdad Immortals (2013; vt Escape from Baghdad! 2015), treats the world of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein as a surreal nightmare (see Imperialism; Satire; War); the tale traces the appalled and appalling "antics" of its two protagonists as they attempt to smuggle a torturer out of the land he has helped destroy. It is possible to detect Time Distortions as the hegira continues into darkness. Djinn City (2017) is a fantasy set in an AI-governed incorporated Dhaka crosshatched with the world of djinns, whose vengeful emissaries interpenetratingly invade Bangladesh [for Crosshatch see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday sequence beginning with The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday (2019) moves into a Near Future Kathmandu in a tale whose dizzyingly Equipoisal twists and turns, from sf into fantasy-world djinns, again exposes a treatment of genres (see Fantastika) as indefinitely manipulable. The series continues with Kundu Wakes Up (2022), set mostly in an adjacent part of this world, near the rising ocean (see Climate Change), and involving a detective quest into the Virtual Reality of a transformative Videogame, as it seems.

Within Hossain's work, the SF Megatext is a fruitful aberration, with a tale like Cyber Mage (2021) engagingly Equipoisal in its massaging of material from earlier work – AIs with "personality" cluster again here – and newer topoi, like Videogames: there is a considerable amount of plot, much of it joyful. [JC]

Saad Z Hossain

born Dhaka, Bangladesh



The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday

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