Tuesday 20 June 2023
After the members of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Al-Jahiz are murdered in a mysterious manner, Agent Fatma and her new partner Agent Hadia, of the Egyptian Ministery of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, to solve the case.
This is a fun murder mystery that takes place in an alternate Egypt of 1912, where a portal to another world allowed djinn, ‘angels’ and other supernatural beings to come to earth. The worldbuilding is fantastic and extrapolates the politics of the time to fit these entities in.
This is the first novel, but there are a couple of short stories that preceed this story, introducing some of the characters (like how Agent Fatma and Siti meet), that while not necessary to understand the events of this book, are a lot of fun and give some more depth to the characters.
Agent Fatma is delightful and I loved her relationship with Siti. While I’m not generally a fan of the’ agent who doesn’t want a partner gets a new partner’ trope, it was handled well and I enjoyed seeing them learn to work together.
The murder mystery was interesting, with some fun twists. The ending was properly apocalyptic.
If you’re unfamiliar with Egyptian (and Nubian) food and clothing, there will be some new vocabulary to look up. I looked up some but not all of the terms, learning some interesting cultural facts along with my fiction.
I found this an enjoyable romp in a country I’d love to visit someday.
Tuesday 13 June 2023
When a derelict ship arrives at a space station orbiting Earth, one that has a nuclear engine, a soldier and a technician are sent to investigate.
This is a sci-fi Lovecraftian horror short film written and directed by Anthony Ferraro of Create Sci-Fi (website, youtube channel). The sets are fantastic and the special effects remarkably good for a short indy film. The actors do a great job. It's worth the watch.