Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Islam Nurtured Science Fiction

In a previous article titled “Islamic Science Fiction Coming into Light” I had posed a question: What is Islamic Science Fiction (SF)? I tried to provide a comprehensive definition of Islamic SF and had concluded that Islamic SF would be any speculative story that is positively informed by Islamic beliefs and practices. That definition had led to a partial list of what we could consider as Islamic SF, as follows:
1. Any speculative story that strives to state the existence of the One God as described above.
2. Any speculative story that exhorts universal virtues and/or denigrates universal vices.
3. Any speculative story that deals in a positive way with any aspect of Islamic practices, like hijab and fasting.
4. Any speculative story that features a Muslim as one of its main characters and the actions of this Muslim in the story reflect Islamic values.
5. Any speculative story which takes on one or more elements from the Qur’an or the teachings of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in a positive way.

to read more go to

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Floating Towns

Floating towns of the lost isles archipelago  on New Daura. Visiting isolated island communities they buy up fish and agricultural goods while also serving as floating malls for the islanders. The floating towns use a modified Ibrshim al-Fazari magnetic drive for propulsion.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Islamic Science Fiction Coming Into Light

Religious or spiritual science fiction (SF) is an established sub-genre of speculative fiction. There are magazines like "Solaris Science Fiction" that cater specifically to this sub-genre of speculative fiction. Of the sub-sub-genres in this category, Christian SF has been quite prominent.
A Google search for "Christian SF" brings hundreds of hits. On the other hand, Islamic SF has been coming to prominence only of late, particularly through the existence of websites like and
At the risk of sounding immodest, I like to think that the publication of anthology, "A Mosque Among the Stars" (edited by Aurangzeb Ahmad and yours truly) contributed more awareness of Islamic SF and planted seeds for fresh discourses.
In view of this rising awareness, I think this is the right time to come up with a definition and a manifesto for Islamic SF.

to read more click the link

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Warped Space

An area of warped space being studied by the Science institute of New Malaysia. Dr. Mohamed  al-Khalifa the scientist leading the research team states that "what is discovered here could change our view of physics forever.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Solar plane makes attempt in Morocco flight

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — An experimental solar plane hoping to one day fly around the world tried again Thursday to fly over Morocco's Atlas Mountains after being thwarted a week ago by high winds.
The delicate Solar Impulse has the immense wing span of a commercial jet but is only the weight of a family car, making it quite vulnerable to bad weather. It took off in the morning from the capital Rabat and hopes to reach the city of Ouarzazate, 280 miles (465 kilometers) away by late evening, where it will fly over the site of Morocco's proposed solar power plant.
Pilot Andre Borschberg attempted the same flight on June 14 but had to turn back after unexpectedly strong winds buffeted the slow-moving plane and sent it reeling backwards. The plane has relatively weak battery-powered turboprop engines that are recharged by the 12,000 photovoltaic cells covering its body. It is the only solar powered craft that can fly day and night.
To read more go to

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Maghrib IV

Maghrib IV is with it's toxic sulphur skies unihabited except for the small mining complex which digs up the beautiful thermofloresent gems, which are highly valued all through known human space. Miners are highly paid as working conditions are uncomfortable and extremly dangerous.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Air force space plane has been in orbit for more than a year.

The U.S. Air Force is standing ready for this week's much anticipated return to Earth of a robotic space plane that has spent more than a year in orbit on a secret mission.
Air Force officials say landing day for the unmanned X-37B space planeis imminent, and could occur on Friday (June 15). But weather conditions at its intended landing site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, as well as other factors, will determine when the spacecraft's will ultimately land.
"Team Vandenberg is prepared to safely receive the X-37B at a moment's notice," Air Force Lt. Austin Fallin told in an email this week. "Exact landing date and time depend on weather and technical considerations."
to read more go to

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The C.S.S. Azizur Rahman’s 1st officer Abdullah Yusef Ali, looking sharp in his new forest green uniform and wrap around data glasses, informed the captain that the engine room had stated that worm hole drive was ready and charged. The men on the bridge all looked anxiously to the captain awaiting his orders. They all knew that the Astronomy fellows at explorer command gave them a 90% probability of discovering a life supporting planet in the star system they were about to slide into.

"Let us go see what no other man’s eyes have ever gazed upon, " said Captain Khaled Hosseni, a large man with golden brown skin and dark piercing eyes which had the ability to look right through a man to his core, "engage the worm drive."

Within minuets the C.S.S. Azizur Rahman had slid into the outer fringes of the new star system. With the speed and efficiency of the well trained crew that they were, the men and women of the C.S.S. Azizur Rahman quickly down to the business of exploring a new and uncharted Star system. A shabash probe was launched to get a look at the area of space on the other side of the sun.

The Sensors Officer one of the older men on board, began conducting a detailed spectral scan of the nearest frozen world in hopes of finding valuable resources. Meanwhile three Jao class probes were launched towards the 4th planet from the sun , which they suspected of being able to sustain life.

It was the communication chief who made the discovery that the star system was already inhabited as he realized that what at first had seemed to be a lot of background radio noise was in fact encrypted radio messages being broadcasted through out the star system. He immediately notified the captain and the diplomatic officer. Afterwards the communications chief Taufik Zahid, a very efficient man from New Malaysia, started running the encrypted messages through the standard decryption programs as well as a few that he had designed himself. His wide brown face broke into a grin as he leaned back into the molded plastic chair, this mission was just starting and already it was very interesting.

Captain Khaled Hosseini did not simply have a cloud of gloom over his head, he had a full blown hurricane of gloom over him. He had left on an exploration mission, being told that there was a 90% probability that there was a planet in the star system that could sustain human life. Meaning he was going to be naming the world , its’ continents and seas something he had looked forward to; to being informed by his 1st officer that the 4th planet had to much background radiation, to much volcanic activity and not enough oxygen. Through 1st officer’s team assured him in 10 or 20 million years the planet would be ready for terraforming.

On top of this he is informed that the star system is actually inhabited already by humans. Which according to chief Zahid who had decoded the messages and the diplomatic officer seemed to be divided up into approximately 7 different factions that were all at war with one another. He told them that by Asr to have a full briefing prepared for the senior officers.
Sohaib Sultan felt as if he had been training to be a diplomat his whole life. He had gone to a French immersion elementary school and had taken English in high school. While getting his bachelors, a double degree in anthropology and sociology, he had taken several semesters of mandarin. A year of study on Camelot and his PhD in International affairs before he joined the confederate navy got him his diplomatic officers’ commission. And yet from reading the decoded transmissions, he felt that the best diplomatic tool the captain was going to have at his disposal would be the seven missile tubes and the 400 Jezzail missiles.

Queen Jenny Nimmo of the red crows listened to her right hand Sir Eoin Colfrey as he explained about the aliens or as he corrected not aliens but other humans, humans from another star system. He urged her to open negations with them right away and before there dreaded enemy the white crow or even one of the other factions did. By creating an alliance with this new element he told her, who knew what new weapons or defense systems they might get a hold of to use against the other factions.

Baron Paul Stewart, the left hand of the queen, told her that if they were to gain such weapon marvels the outsiders were sure to have, that they could bring about the fabled United Kingdom. Queen Nimmo knew the stories of the Mythological United Kingdom, she had heard them her whole life. The colony ark had brought them to this star system only to discover that the world they had thought of settling was poisonous. The people were a united kingdom; Queen Nimmo had some of the antiques from the supplies the original settlers had brought with them that bore this motto, but there had been dissenters among them.

The original colonist had voted to leave this star system to look for a new world but the dissenters sabotaged the ship and they were all stranded. From that the United Kingdom dissolved and the different groups arose. The white crows, the black crows, the sun crows, the war crows, the night crows and her own glorious group the red crows. She dreamed of the day she would united all of the crows and lead them out of that which the first red crow queen had described as their own little purgatory.

Queen Jenny looking down from her thrown informed Sir Eoin the right hand of the queen that she would meet with the ambassador of these confederates.
The C.S.S. Azizur Rahman’s diplomatic officer Sohaib Sultan smiled nervously as his dark brown eyes darted about the room as he addressed the captain.
They have agreed to speak to us sir.” Said Sohaib quickly.

Now, I have been told that there are several factions, so by they; you mean who?” asked the captain quietly hoping that Sohaib would calm down.
Standing next to each other it was obvious that the golden brown skinned captain Hosseine was about ten centimeters taller than the olive complexioned commander Sohaib.

The queen of the Red Crows, Queen Jenny Nimmo. They contacted us not long after we slid into the star system. Our intelligence tells us that they are an English speaking multi-ethnic colony originally sent out by the United Kingdom or Great Britain as it is also referred to back on earth. I am suggesting that all the members of the contact team be armed sir. For what we have been able to assertion these crows form alliances and break them regularly. Being able to deceive your enemy is a virtue among them. Even the way they all call each other crow has a rather unpleasant foreboding.”

How do you mean?”

What do you call a group of crows in English sir?”

Captain Hosseini raised an eyebrow questioningly a puzzled look on his face.

A murder.”

The Contact team and their security detail sat in the C.S.S. Rahman’s ship boat the Jao going over code words. Both the Contact team and the security detail wore Jawanbody Armor; the contact team had 12mm pistols in shoulder holsters while the security detail carried these as well as standard issue G.A.R.s and their own personal edged weapons.

The Jao’s pilot hailed the red crow asteroid colony, noting that the colony’s defense guns had both a radar and Lidar lock on them. They were given clearance to dock and the pilot did so as quickly as he could without making anyone to nervous.

The pilot and two men of the security stayed with the ship boat, the five other members of the security detail and the contact team were ushered through a maze of corridors and passageways, at one point they went through a huge crowded market place with multiple levels and a ceiling that appeared to be at least 50 meters up. They all took note that everyone they passed, who appeared to be over the age of seven, was armed.

Sohaib looked about the Queen of the Red Crows thrown room and found himself fascinated by the laser engraved metal walls. All of the metal engravings were of various space battles of which Sohaib did not doubt the red crow had won. Above the Queen’s thrown in thirty centimeter tall gold letters was the motto ‘Buaidh No Bas’; Sohaib would find out later that this was Gaelic for victory or death. The queen sat on a high back ornately carved wooden thrown, wearing a gold and red dress which seemed to shimmer. Standing next to her on her right side Sohaib recognized, from video talks held earlier, Eoin Colfer all decked out in red and black. Another man whom Sohaib did not recognize stood to her left wearing black body armor. Red Crow security men stood along the walls watching them warily.

Gifts were presented to the Queen, a Persian rug, a hologram of the planet New Malaysia and an ornate knife which she seemed most impressed with. Queen Jenny quickly agreed to allow the confederates to establish an embassy and a trading post in the New London star system. As negotiations continued it became apparent to Sohaib that what the Red Crows wanted was weapons. Unfortunately for them the Confederation was very unlikely to allow them to buy weapons considering the status of the New London star system and even if they were to be willing to, the Red Crow did not seem to have anything they could trade for them. The meeting ended with all smiles and the Queen giving them a gold coin with her likeness one side and the Red Crow emblem on the other as well as a hand crafted dagger, but as soon as the contact team was gone the grumbling began.
Upon arriving back to their ship Sohaib was informed by the 1st officer that there was a message waiting for him from one of the other factions. Sohaib opened up the designated channel using the encryption code sent with the message and found himself talking directly with the Queen of the White crows, Eleanor Mcevoy.

I have been informed that you have opened negotiations with the red crow murder. We the White crow would also like to entertain you and begin the process of becoming your friend.” She said with a seductive smile. Something that Sohaib felt looked good on the Attractive green eyed blond woman whose face was literally framed by a gold crown which had gold rope chains hanging off of it.

He explained to her with so many competing factions that in the New London star system that most likely an embassy and trading post would be established not in one of the current space colonies; but on an uninhabited asteroid. This way the confederation hoped that it could convey that it did not wish to take sides in the internal squabbles between the different Crow murders.

Sohaib did not know that the White Crow had a reputation for patience and long term planning, as Queen Mcevoy asked about trading agreements and possibly sending students to study in the confederation. He did realize quickly while talking to her that behind that dazzling smile and bright green eyes was a cunning mind and a woman who was not to be trifled with.

Once Commander Sohaib had finished what at times seemed to be an interrogation with the White Queen, he went back to his quarters to write up his proposals shaking his head. For it seemed to him that the Crows were the worst combination of violent barbarians and high tech society.

Red Crow war master Frances Kent stood in front of the throne, Queen Jenny gazing down on her as War Master Frances thumped her chest and stated that she had thirty fighters and two cruisers ready to engage the alien ship. War Master Kent looked very impressive in her red and black battle armor, two 10mm auto-pistols strapped to her in shoulder holsters, knives in wrist sheaves and a claymore sword signifying her station strapped to her back. A cruel grin danced across her face as she talked of battle.

The Queen’s left hand Paul Stewart stepped out of the shadows, which his black body armor blended into, a 10mm pistol with a silencer on one hip and the garrote signifying his office on the other and spoke. “We have intercepted messages between the White Crows and the C.S.S. Azizur Rahman. If the White Crows gain the allegiance of the confederation they will become the dominant power in this star system. We cannot allow this,” he said with a hiss.

Your majesty the fighters and cruisers that we spoke of are already in position to attack. If you wish I can send more ships, but our defenses if one of our outer settlementswas attacked,” said War Master Kent.

Eoin Colfer the Queen’s right hand stood up in his red and black combat armor, two 12mm pistols in shoulder holsters, a large gold chain with the medallion which symbolized his office hanging around his neck and spoke in a steady and quite voice,” we still do not have a good idea of what type of offensive weapons and defenses that their ship has, we should wait until we have more intelligence. I can even go to the Sun Crow and gain us allies in this attack. They would be able to give us another twenty fighters easily.”

And if they join us in this attack any spoils would have to be shared with them, something I do not wish to do”, said Queen Jenny rising from her thrown. “ No, two cruisers and thirty fighters should be plenty, but to reassure you Eion, I shall dispatch 6 more fighters from our guard here.”

And with that remark they all understood that the decision to attack was made and the discussion was over. The die was tossed.

It was after Fajr and the senior staff was eating in the officer’s dining room. They had all finished their initial reports and the captain had called for this meeting before they departed the New London Star System.

Commander Sohaib Reported that Eleanor Mcevoy Queen of the White Crows had agreed to donate an Asteroid to the Confederation to build an embassy and trading post on; as he finished up a voice broke over the P.A. system informing the captain that the ship had detected a large number of inbound ships. Captain Hosseini ordered the Ship to battle stations.

The atmosphere on the bridge of the C.S.S. Azizur Rahman was tense. As Lt. Ibrahim Dabdoub called out to the captain “ tracking multiple targets, more than three dozen fighters and two large ships look like light cruisers, unknown weaponry.”

Load all Missile tubes, power up the magnetic pulse cannons and activate the missile defense guns. Fire when enemy ships are in range,” said captain Hosseini in a loud clear voice.

Missile tube commanders sat and watched as the red crow fighters came into range and almost in unison they uttered the basmallah as they pressed the firing studs next to their scanner screens. Seven Jezzail missiles locked on and went zipping towards their targets followed by another and another. Several red crow fighters managed to get into range and fire their missiles only to see them deflected by the C.S.S, Azizur Rahman’s magnetic pulse cannons. Two red crow fighters closed on the C.S.S, Azizur Rahman and tried to engage it with their guns only to be knocked out by the magnetic pulse cannons.

War Master Kent stood on the command deck of the red crow warship The Morgoth and it and the Warship the Glaurung to accelerate into firing range and fire everything they had at the alien ship, specifically targeting its missile launchers and maneuvering thrusters. All three ships started firing at each other at approximately the same time, the confederate ship getting its missiles away perhaps a second earlier.

The battling ships continued to close the distance between them while steadily firing at each other. Captain Hosseini first had his gunners firing all at the Glaurung which allowed them to successfully overwhelm her defenses. A red crow missile got through and struck the C.S.S, Azizur Rahman shaking her but to the red crows dismay did not take her out, for unbeknownst to the red crow was that while the confederate ship was not a warship as an exploration vessel it was constructed to go out alone and handle itself. This included two armored hulls each 25 centimeters thick separated by a self sealing gel.

With the Glaurung destroyed war master Kent called for a hasty retreat. Captain Hosseini decided it was probably for the best not to pursue and to continue preparations to leave the star system as planned. He did intend to change part of his report and double or perhaps even triple, he mused his recommendation on the amount of military production the embassy and trading port would need.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chinese space launch

good for China

China will launch its first manned mission to an orbiting space laboratory in mid-June, according to state media reports and the country's human spaceflight agency.
A Long March 2F rocket will launch three astronauts aboard a Shenzhou 9 capsule for China's first manned space docking at the mini-space station Tiangong-1. The space lab module has been circling Earth unmanned since its launch last year.
"The Shenzhou 9 will perform our country's first manned spacedocking mission with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space lab module," the Xinhua news agency quoted Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program, as saying today (June 9).
Zhou's comments came as he accompanied the rocket set to launch the Shenzhou 9 mission to a pad at China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the country's northwest region.
The mission, Zhou told Xinhua, will be a major milestone for China's space exploration program.
for the whole story go to

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bamboo cities

The genetic mastery of Bamboo allowed contractors to grow buildings then to simply go in and cut out doors and windows. of course this did lead to many cities being limited to many colors of green. From bamboo genetic engineers branched out into Oaks and maple trees as grow building.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Captain Khalid Muhammad sat feeling troubled in his ready room sipping his warm cup of tea and contemplated what his communications officer had told him earlier. He had been having a rather pleasant conversation with his first officer Commander Fadel Shaker whom he had served with for over 10 years now and the Sensors Officer Lt. Kathem El-Saher a young go getter from the planet Khalwat, over a dinner of spicy curried beef, rice and lemon grass soup, about the new star system they had just slid into. The crew was excited as the second planet’s surface was 65 per cent covered in oceans and had an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. The sensors had also showed and abundance of plant life and with an average temperature at sea level on the equator of 26c. The sensors had also shown that the planet was teeming with life.

They had been joking about where they were going to build their retirement homes on the planet, which they were currently calling Aamus, with Lt. Kathem El-Saher saying he would want to find where the best ski slopes were on the newly discovered world and build a large home there, when Sub-Commander Amr Diab the communications officer had interrupted saying that he had just picked up some video transmissions coming from the planet.

Aliens?” asked Lt. El-Saher eagerly his face bright with anticipation.

No, not Aliens” replied Sub-Commander Amr Diab a no nonsense man in a slightly annoyed tone, looking at Kathem El-Saher he thought if the man had a tale it would be wagging right now. He had then gone on to explain further, it was this further explanation which was bothering the captain.
First Citizen Kenny Macaskill was feeling annoyed. It was dark outside of his office window and he watched as the rain poured down in sheets, the park across the street being lit up by the occasional flash of lightening. The Rain wasn’t annoying him as it was cleaning up the streets of the capitol city which were sorely in need of it after yesterday’s founders’ day celebration, something which consisted mostly of throwing powder of various bright colors on your friends, foes and people chosen by random in the crowd. As a boy and even when he got older participating with his own children, he had always enjoyed the annual Founders day festival, but now his aides had advised him that as First Citizen it would not be dignified and so he had gone to some official dinner, that had annoyed him. Not that the aides said it, but that he had listened to them. Of course that was not what was really bothering him nor the fact that his secretary had put sugar in his coffee again why the boy kept doing that as he was quite competent at everything else his job required of him.

No what was annoying the First Citizen was that instead of having a year or two of warning about a starship approaching the planet he was told that there was one already in the star system and then they only knew about it because some astronomy grad students studying the huge and violent storms of the gas giant Gallaudet and saw it pass by the gas giant. They had originally thought they had discovered a new comet or asteroid then observed it making a course change. The military trying to keep the news of the star ship hush was currently providing free room and board for all of the astronomy students.

The military had gone on to with, what the First Citizen found to be refreshing, extreme efficiency to commandeer the largest telescopes on Sterns’ world and had confirmedthat it was most matter of fact a star ship. They had also managed to determine, according to the classified report on the First Citizen’s large metal and glass desk, that it was not an Ark ship like the one which had brought the original colonist from Earth to Sterns’ world. The report went on to say in clipped military language that the star ship was not only of unknown design but that they were not even sure how its propulsion system worked.
After reading the short report to his assembled cabinet The First citizen sat down in his overstuffed green leather chair and called for opinions and questions. The cabinet quickly exploded with questions and opinions.

Aliens!” stated Sayuka Isoyama the petite Minister of Culture, her entire tiny body shaking with intense anticipation.

I doubt that it is aliens” replied Josh Brolin the Minister of science and technology, his facial expression relaying to everyone in the room that he thought Sayuka was a few slices short of a whole loaf. “It is far more likely that in the several hundred years that have passed since this colony was founded that earth has made various technological advances which we are not familiar with.” He then sat down taking his glasses off to clean them.

Invasion Sir, you should call up the military reserves and deploy our star fighters at once” demanded the rather frightened red faced Minister of Agriculture a man used to combating crop pests not the aliens who he was sure would begin landing soon.

Well there are two problems with that plan, one we do not have any star fighters and two we do not have any star fighters. Now I do realize that it is the same reason but it such a big one that I felt I should mention it twice. Our space command entirely is made up of two asteroid defense ships and three shuttles which we use to put satellites up in orbit and only the Asteroid defense ships are armed.” Stated Gerhard Stoltenberg the bear like minister of defense while looking at the minister of agriculture with contempt. “And military intelligence has determined that the ship is too small to be carrying an invasion force. It has perhaps a crew two hundred.”

It could be an Alien military reconnaissance vessel” retorted the Agricultural minister trying to regain some of his composure.

It is not aliens, and why would anyone invade us?” Asked Minister Brolin.

Earth is overpopulated, it was even so when our ancestors left hundreds of years ago. It has probably only gotten worse and they need to resettle the excess population” blurted out Minister Isoyama whom after the initial shock of the news had passed, had decided it was not aliens.

It would be easier and cheaper then to just send out thousands of Ark ships” Stated the Defense Minister.

Just as the First citizen was thinking to dismiss the meeting before it turned into a fist fight a well dressed female Aide to the First Minister came in to the conference room and slipped him a hand written note. He read it quickly and after getting everyone’s attention announced that the ship was sending them a text message.

Sub-Commander Amr Diab turned the video monitor to the channel the video stream they had interpreted was on. The officers watched it for a few minutes when Captain Muhammad asked the question that had crossed all of their minds, “what is wrong with the audio?”

Nothing sir, there is none “replied Sub-Commander Diab with a wily grin he continued, “We have looked at thirty seven video broadcasting streams coming from the planet and none of them have audio. Also we have been unable to detect any audio radio broadcasts coming from the planet.”

That doesn’t make any sense, one of the first things colonies do is set up a radio station or two. “Said Lt. El-Saher in a confused tone.

We had the same thought. Me and the boys in communications looked at the programs and while many news, sports and even science programs had text subtitles and narration running under the pictures. Many of the pure entertainment programs did not. Then we looked at everyone was doing with their hands and we realized that they were talking with their hands” said the Sub-commander who was becoming very enthusiastic.

How did they all become deaf? Was their some sort of virus or chemical accident? I do not see how this could happen on such a large scale.” stated the captain a puzzled look on his face and in his tone.

We do not know sir, but I am sure that it is not beyond Confederation science to reverse it. Such an offer of help could really help with the diplomatic overtures.” Replied sub-commander El-Saher.

I am sure that the Confederacy will be happy to send medical teams from New Malaysia or New Kurdistan to help the people of …. What do the people call their world?” asked Captain Khalid Muhammad.

Sterns’ World, Sir”

Yes, Sterns’ World. Help the people of Sterns’ World.”

The C.S.S. Hamza Yusef sat in high orbit over Sterns’s world, where thousands of very excited amateur astronomers, along with several dozen very concerned military stations watched it. The military stations monitored closely everything the could of the C.S.S. Hamza Yusef, taking special care to make sure that they did not try to communicate with anyone outside of the official government channels. And this was because; despite Sterns’ world’s government best efforts at keeping the arrival of the C.S.S. Hamza Yusef a secret everyone knew. One news station was keeping a steady of a blurry picture of the ship in orbit while instant experts discussed the implications of its arrival on Sterns’ world’s society.

The First Citizen could feel the veins in his neck throbbing as his entire 2 meter frame shook with rage. Help, the foreigners had dared to call it help. Stern’s world was a society which existed in silence. The concept of a society which exists in silence was enshrined in their world’s constitution. A Society in Silence was engraved on Mark Sterns statue outside of the Parliament building. This very thing is why their ancestors had left earth, to get away from this type of prejudice and now after hundreds of years the hearing world had finally tracked them down or if Captain Khalid Muhammad was to be believed, stumbled across.

First Citizen Kenny Macaskill had, had the military step up their jamming operations so that the foreigners ship would not be able to communicate with anyone outside of official channels the internal security apparatus try to make sure there were no leaks. Problem was Sterns’ world was not a police state and people were use to freely expressing themselves. The First citizen was afraid that the dangerous alien ideas that the C.S.S. Hamza Yusef would expose the population to, would destroy their society.

The crew had just finished praying Isha a few minutes before and while most of them were still making dhiker or praying Sunnah, Captain Khalid Muhammad and Sub-Commander Amr Diab met to discuss the day’s events in the officers’ mess over cups of thick sweet Turkish coffee and a large platter of walnut Baklava. Their day had been very busy and both men were grateful for some time to relax.

The laser flashes directed at the ship are defiantly not an attack sir” stated Sub-Commander Amr, “it is old morse code. It took us a while to find a file on Morse code but we have been able to decode the message, somebody down on the planet is asking us if we can really make their children hear. I can tell you that this is not an official government request.”

Captain Khalid sighed and scratched his head. “Then we do not respond, from the emails and news broadcast we have been monitoring their world is already in an uproar about the offer we made them. I am not about to compound our problems by negotiating outside of official government channels. We are leaving the official diplomatic mission that will be here soon, inshallah, enough of a mess.” Said Captain Khalid sadly still thinking about how his offer of help had blown up in his face.

Understood sir.”

The two men spent the rest of the evening in silence simply enjoying the coffee and thinking of home.

The First citizen wearily looked at the newspaper, he felt as if nearly all his strength had drained away. The newspaper showed tens of thousands of protesters in the streets of the capitol, demanding to be allowed to talk with the Starship in orbit. He knew that soon it would be hundreds of thousands in the streets all across the world. Even members of parliament were for an open dialogue with the foreigners and not just members of the opposition but members of his own party.

Business leaders were sending him text messages hourly it seemed demanding to be allowed to negotiate some sort of trade deals. At breakfast that very morning he and his teenage daughter had argued with his wife and eldest son, who was home on holiday.
An argument that had ended with hurt feelings and words that everyone wished they could take back.

Captain Khalid had told him that the C.S.S. Hamza Yusef would soon be leaving the system and that another ship carrying a diplomatic mission would arrive shortly aster their departure. The captain promised the first citizen that they would impose nothing on Sterns’ world but would respect any decision that they made.

First Citizen Kenny Macaskill simply did not want to go down in the history books as the first citizen who oversaw the collapse of Sterns’ world’s society.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Human settlement on Mars could be reality sooner than later

It sounds like a science-fiction fantasy, but the company Mars One says it's for real—and that it will really establish a settlement on the planet Mars by 2023.
The privately financed Dutch company has a plan. All it needs is a lot of cash, equipment and four Mars-bound astronauts who are willing to take a one-way trip to the red planet.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Throne of the Crescent Moon

The first blurb on the back of Saladin Ahmed’s debut novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, comes from Nebula winner Walter Jon Williams. Williams writes: “Readers yearning for the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser will delight in the arrival of Adoulla and Raseed.”
The comparison accurately places Throne in the genre of adventure fantasy, and specifically in the sword-and-sorcery subgenre of Fritz Leiber’s famous duo, who first appeared in the pulp magazines of the 1930s. Adoulla and Raseed, like Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, are fighting partners with little in common beyond a determination to combat evil: Adoulla the ghul-hunter is sloppy, pleasure-loving, irreverent and old, while the dervish Raseed is stern, single-minded, scrupulously devout, and young. These differences make for a lot of entertaining bickering between the two, but they also mean that the heroes complement each other. Adoulla’s spells combined with Raseed’s forked sword pose a formidable threat to all who would disturb the peace and safety of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Science Fiction Arabic Literature

Science Fiction in Arabic Literature

While European literary scholars and critics have been studying contemporary Utopian literature for several decades now, the first symposium on "Arabic Literature and Science Fiction" did not take place until April 2006. The faculty of literature and humanistics in the Moroccan city of Casablanca hosted a discussion about whether there is even an awareness of SF in the Arab world, why Arabic-language writers don't seem to enjoy SF at all and what was behind the lack of popularity of this genre of literature, even among academics.

At a meeting chaired by the professor for Arabic literature, Dr. Idriss Qassouri, delegates discussed the few novels by Arabic-language writers which address issues of the future. Participants analysed the current state of affairs and then criticised the fact that literature critics were also guilty of not paying enough attention to this genre. However, it proved difficult to produce a well-founded analysis, because there is "much too much Western theory for much too little Arabic material."
In terms of how this genre of literature is treated, the typical viewpoint until now has been as follows: in 1987, at a big symposium on children's books in the Gulf states, SF literature was still described as "stimulating in principle" but it was also noted that it would be better to set stories and TV series in surroundings already familiar to Arab children, to derive them from Arab culture and to adapt them to the religious principles of Islam. The motto was: "A child's imagination should be liberated - but within recognised limits."
for the rest please go to

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Civil rights for all

It does not if one was genetically engineered for the purposes of survival in an alien world or to be a more productive  worker all people should enjoy the basic civil rights those born of natural birth enjoy.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Blue Queen

Seamus Finnigan, star reporter for the New Belfast Times, leaned against the cold dingy red brick wall disappearing into the long shadows cast by the street lights. He had one hand clutching to his tattered leather brief case stuffed full of printouts and the other held an old green bandana against the gun shot wound in his side. His fingers becoming sticky as more blood seeped through the bandana. He knew that no periodical on Nuadh Eire would publish what he had found. They had all been bought out right or compromised in less than civilized ways.

He had been running and bleeding since they had ambushed him at Merchants Quay. Seamus knew it was a minor miracle that he had gotten away, but he had managed to give them the slip on the poorly lit streets of New Dublin and get on a cross town train. He also knew that he was very tired and had lost a lot of blood. It was only two more blocks and then across Clanbassil St. to make it to the Confederate Embassy. From the Confederate Embassy he could get an off-world news agency to publish his story, maybe something on New Caledonia or High Wales. He tried to block out the pain and stumbled down the road, leaving a small pool of blood on the pavement behind.

It was 4am when Seamus collapsed in the middle of Clanbassil Street. His dying gasp for help brought two of the Confederate embassy guards running out into the deserted street, they slung their G.A.R-17s grabbed Seamus and carried him quickly into the embassy grounds, to the embassy’s well equipped infirmary. While they waited Sgt. Hassan military training kicked in and he started looking for intelligence, he looked through the tattered and stained brown leather briefcase and he took Seamus’s flash drive off of his bracelet. That along with Seamus’s PDA he turned over to the embassy’s chief of intelligence, Col. Tarik Mubarak.
While Col. Mubarak started to go through the computer printouts they had found in Seamus’s briefcase, Seamus died on the operating table, leaving a lot of questions behind.

Col. Tarik Mubarak and the rest of his twelve-man intelligence unit went painstakingly over all of the printed material, as well as all of the information on the PDA and in the flash drive. They were all puzzled at first for no one was using Seamus as an informant and none of the documents were Nuadh Eire government documents. All of the information that he had carried seemed to be business memos, business press releases, accounting information for various business, as well as building and star ship designs.

Over the next few days they started to piece together what the information was trying to tell them. It turned out that the Blue Sun Corporation owned all all of the companies that they had information on. They all knew that the Blue Sun Corporation had saved Nuadh Eire 23 years ago, from civil war over the abortion issue, when it had invented the growth tanks and its young president Dr. Karen O’Brien had come up with the fetus transfer procedure, making the entire point moot. The planetary government had wholeheartedly endorsed the procedure and the Blue Sun Corporation had overnight become one of the wealthiest corporations in the Star System.

The Blue Sun Corporation then branched out into running children’s homes and orphanages. The homes and orphanages were paid for through government grants and private donations. Tens of thousands of children were born from the tanks the first several years, in later years the numbers reached into the hundreds of thousands. The more children born meant more and more money for the Blue Sun Corp., which they invested into star ship building, weapons company, textiles and agriculture. The Confederate Intel unit was shocked to realize that the Blue Sun Corp. controlled nearly a third of the wealth of the Nuadh Eire star system.

The Intel unit brought in a forensic accountant who was able to start and find discrepancies in the books. At first they were thinking that it was a simple case of corporate fraud and that they should simply turn everything they had found over to the Garda Siochana, the Nuadh Eire planetary police, but then they came across evidence of acts that could tear Nuadh Eire society apart.

The Number of fetuses transferred into the tanks and the number of births were not matching up. They realized there was a small percentage of babies that did not survive to full term, but even with that factored in the numbers did not add up. They realized in horror as they went through more of the information that fetuses, which did not fall with in certain genetic parameters were being terminated. With the huge numbers of children being born every year from the tanks, the several thousand being terminated fell through the cracks and with most of the orphanages off world no one noticed the fact that none of the children there were suffering from any handicaps.

Lt Zainab Uthman noted as she studied the plans for one of the orphanages that the area marked as a playground looked an awfully a lot like the obstacle course she ran when she was at the advanced combat school on New Malaysia. She also noted the firing range that all the orphanages that the Blue Sun Corp. ran had.

Memo to Confederate Intel Command: Possibility of a private army numbering in the hundred thousands possible millions in the Nuadh Eire star system, Extremely High. Use for such an army could be for a coup attempt in a very similar vein to the clone conspiracy back on the earth in the late 15th century. We will continue to monitor the situation.

The Embassy Intel unit continued to find more and more information that led them to the conclusion that the Blue Sun Corp. was planning on seizing control of the star system. The cost over runs for the building of new warships for the navy seemed to be covering the fact they had actually built several more warships. And the most worrisome evidence was that many top ranking officers in the Garda Siochana and Nuadh Eire defense forces had their spouses on the payroll of the Blue Sun Corp.

An extensive report was written up by the Intel Unit this along with copies of all the information that Seamus had given his life to get them, was sent by diplomatic pouch to Confederate Intelligence headquarters back on New Malaysia. While waiting for a reply to come back, the leader of Nuadh Eire, The Taoiseach was assassinated on his country farm. The Coup had begun.

Ambassador Mansur Al-Zawahri Stood watching troop transports landing at various strategic sites throughout the capitol city from the embassyÂ’s rooftop garden. He wore the new dark blue with gold trim shalwar kameez that his sister had sent him from Kashmir prime. The Kashmir Tiger roses were in bloom, their orange and black flowers the size of dinner plates. Ambassador Al-Zawahri had brought them from his familyÂ’s home back on Kashmir Prime and had planted them himself. He had given several away in pots to the nodeceaseded Taoiseach and to several members of the Oireachtas, the legislative branch of Nuadh EireÂ’s government, he had recently been informed that all members of the Oireachtas had been placed under house arrest.

When the coup had started tintelligencence unit had to inform the Ambassador that the self-proclaimed Blue Sun QueenÂ’s, Dr. Karen OÂ’Brien head of the Blue Sun Corporation, military was much larger than they had ever suspected and while most of the soldiers appeared to be 14 or 16 years old the assault rifles that they carried were quite real and you would be just as dead if they shot you as you would be if shot by an older soldier. Also as they had feared top ranking miliofficersciers had apparently been bought off and many of them had been given various titles, Sir this, Baron that and Duke who ever, and put in charge of various regions of Nuahd Eire. One military base seemed to be a site of fighting but it was brief.officersciers loyal to the republic seemed unable to launch any type of resistance.

The Embassy grounds were jammed with over two thousand Confederate citizens whom had either been studying, Visiting or doing business on Nuadh Eire when the coup had been launched. There were also nearly a hundred locals whom had asked for asylum including two members of the Oireachtas and their families. All of the locals had made it to the embassy before the blue army had parked several armored vehicles around the Confederate embassy. While the embassy guards were on high alert and carrying loaded weapons, they assured the Ambassador that it seemed to them that the new blue army was trying to stop local people from getting to the embassy for sanctuary. They noted that the armored vehicles weapons were all pointed away from the embassy and that all confederate citizens had been stopped and questioned but allowed to continue on to the embassy.

After two days Ambassador Mansur Al-Zawahri and various other ambassadors were invited to an informal dinner and meeting with the Blue Sun Queen. Ambassador Al-Zawahri was told to inform her that the confederation viewed the change in power on Nuadh Eire as an internal matter of the citizens of Nuadh Eire and one that they should resolve on their own.

Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1640]
If in the darkness of ignorance,
you don’t recognize a person’s true nature,
look to see whom he has chosen for his leader.

-Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1640]

Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien of the Blue Navy, at 19 was younger than any of the ship captains left over from the Republican navy. Yet she stood on the bridge of the battleship HMS Slaugh Ron brimming with confidence for she knew that she was a daughter of the Blue Sun Queen and that she was born to lead. She walked across the bridge to the command chair and flipped her long bright red ponytail forward over her shoulder as she sat down. She knew that this was where they rolled the dice. Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien’s stomach did a flip-flop as she ordered that a wormhole to the New Tibet Star System be opened. She looked about the bridge; every position manned by one of her younger brothers or sisters and said loudly “Victory is our destiny.” The bridge exploded into exploded into cheers as the fleet plunged into the wormhole and slid towards the New Tibet System.

After much pleading the palace guards got the Dalai Lama to flee the capitol as they were rightly convinced that the invading fleet would bomb the temple palace. The inhabitants of New Tibet watched in disbelief as the blue fleet easily destroyed the meager fleet that the New Tibet star system had. A fleet designed to stop smugglers and rescue merchant vessels; it was no match for the heavy cruisers and battleships of the Blue navy.
Muhammed Nasrullah and Bijan Khomeini from the balcony of the teahouse as Nuadh Eire transports bearing the logo of the Blue Sun Queen dislodged large numbers of heavily armed soldiers. They had arrived in the city by a nearly empty train six hours before The Nuadh Eire Assault troops had arrived. The two members of the brotherhood of the golden circle had left the large mountain retreat that their order maintained in the cedars district when the Dalai Lama had arrived. Their assignment a simple one, gather information on the activities and plans of the occupation force.
Everyone was shocked by the invasion as New Tibet and Nuadh Eire had excellent trade and diplomatic relations. The invasion was all the teahouse patrons were talking about. Muhammed and Bijan finished their tea and went to the small cramped apartment that they were staying in. Muhammed brought their clothes down to the small laundry on the first floor of the old red brick building next to their apartment building. Nasrullah got a whiff of their clothes and gagged; their first few hours in the city had been spent in the sewers taping into the communication cables.

Bijan sat down and opened up his laptop and started to check the different cable taps they had installed. Any and all conversations in Gallic would be automatically recorded and sorted by their A.I.
Both Bijan and Muhammed had been chosen for this assignment because the two of them could pass for locals in both appearance and fluency in Tibetan. The two had gone to university together back on New Malaysia. Neither of them could speak Gallic and were trying to studying it as if there were cramming for a final exam. The A.I. had not yet caught any conversations in Gallic yet, Bijan figured the occupation force was still only using their radios.

A knock at the door startled him out of his train of thought and after quickly hiding away his laptop he walked across the small living room and opened up the old worn out wooden door. A small middle-aged Tibetan woman wearing traditional Tibetan clothes stood there smiling it was Mrs. Khangsar Yangchen Dolma, which was how she introduced herself when they moved in followed by a quick but just call me Khangsar, she owned the building and as a widow with two small daughters the rent on the apartments was how she supported her family.
Mr. Khomeini would you and Mr. Nasrullah like to come for dinner tonight? With all this bedlam going on the girls and I would rather have some company” she said.
We would be honored,” replied Bijan“Great come by around eight” she said and with that walked back down the rickety stairs to the first floor apartment she shared with her two small daughters and three large cats.

Reported by Abu Umamah
Once a person asked the Prophet, "What is true faith?"
The Prophet replied, "When your good endeavors bring you pleasure and your transgressions cause you anguish, you know that you are a person of faith."
-Reported by Abu Umamah

Later that evening Muhammed and Bijan sat down at their landlord’s dining room table with her and her daughters for a traditional Tibetan meal. Khangshar, as she insisted on them calling her, served Momos, dumplings stuffed with ground yak meat mixed with chopped onions, cilantro, ginger and garlic these were steamed then eaten with hot sauce. She also put out bowls of Tsampa, roasted barley flour with tea poured over it and just a tad of yak butter added all of which they ate with their hands. They drank butter tea with the meal and as it was summer ate Sikarni, a spiced sweet yogurt-pistachio dessert at the end of the meal.

All during the meal they talked about the events of the last several days. The girls were excited and scared. All of the schools in the city had been closed for the remainder of the week; the girls were please by this but their mother would not let them leave the house so they were feeling trapped. They discussed the fact that the Dalai Lama had fled new Lhasa and gone into hiding that he had called on the people to meet the invaders with non-violent resistance. While at the same time Generals Loten Namling and Tenzin Gonpo ordered the Army into the countryside evacuating all the military bases and had pledged to fight a guerrilla war against the invaders. Everyone at the dinner table expressed shock at how young the Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien looked. They were sure she could not be older than 19 or 20 years of age. And yet from the video announcements made she seemed to be the person in charge. They were also surprised by how quickly the Blue Sun queen had launched an attack on them as she had only just consolidated power on Nuadh Eire. The evening broke up rather late with Bijan promising to teach the girls how to play Go later in the week. They all went to bed knowing that they had friends in the building.

While they slept several Confederate Abtu class recon ships slid into the New Tibet star System and very rapidly deployed hundreds of the newest version of the Jibra’il spy satellites through out the star system. The confederate ships then just as secretly as they had entered the system exited minus one, which stayed behind to monitor the spy satellites.
"Remain patient in adversity, for surely God's promise is true. And do not let those, who themselves have no certainty of faith, shake your firmness."The Holy Quran, 30:60

For weeks Muhammed and Bijan’s routine was the same, they woke up for fajr and made dhiker until curfew was lifted. Then they went out to have tea and breakfast in attempts to talk with soldiers whom were part of the occupation force in New Lhasa. They pretended to be trying to get help with learning Gallic, which wasn’t too hard as they were still learning the language, and would try to find out anything they could from the soldiers. While some of the soldiers were older men late 20s early thirties most of the soldiers including the officers were in there early and mid teens. Baby faced killers who obeyed orders without every questioning them. They bought them soft drinks and/or breakfast in exchange for Gallic lessons. Then one day at the teahouse nearest the blue army’s barracks Bijan heard two officers practicing phrases in Farsi.

Bijan walked across the brightly colored tile floor of the teahouse and up to the two soldiers. Their table was covered with the remains of their breakfast, several notebooks and two Farsi grammar books.

Excuse me sirs, could I buy you fine gentlemen tea in exchange for speaking with me?” asked Bijan. This was a standard phrase used by young people in the city trying to learn the language of their conquerors.

Sorry boy not today” replied the one who looked as if he was perhaps fifteen.

Over the next few days Bijan observed more and more of the officers practicing with Farsi phrase books.

Are you sure it is Farsi?” asked Muhammed as he poured tea at the small granite top table in their kitchen.

My Grandfather was a Farsi speaker. He was originally from Khorasan mining colony in the Farsistan star system, before he immigrated to New Malaysia.” Answered Bijan shoveling sugar into his tea.

New Persia is the closest star system it would make some sort of sense, but New Persia is a member of the Confederation. The Blue Sun Queen would be mad to go to war with the Confederation.” Said Muhammed.

The woman had her ovaries removed and all her eggs fertilized and had several hundred children born out of growth tanks. Does that sound like the actions of somebody who is sane?”

I’ll get word to the embassy about our suspicions. It will be up to people higher up than us to act on this information.”

The spy satellites deployed through out the new Tibet star system along with spies on Nuadh Eire were able to confirm that the Blue Sun Queen did indeed intend to invade the New Persia star system.
Admiral Hassan Al-Sadr sat in his room on the Bahamut class battleship the C.S.S. Malikal Mawt with the latest best selling murder mystery from New Malaysia on his lap. While the Confederate navy knew where the blue navy was going to attack, they were still not sure of the exact timing of the attack. So Admiral Al-Sadr sat with the fourth and fifth fleet hiding in New Persia’s largest gas giant waiting for the signal to attack. He wondered if he would finish the book before the Blue navy arrived.

Confederate Carriers had ferried over 200 Buraq fighters to New Persia Prime and automated defense satellites had been deployed around both of New Persia Prime’s moons as they had vital mining colonies on them. A second wave of ships sat in the New Kurdistan Star System waiting to slide into the New Persia Star System and trap the blue navy.

The Confederate fleet had been waiting for six days on high alert, Admiral Al-Sadr was worried that the men would lose their edge and that Nuadh Eire intelligence would learn of the ambush that awaited them. He was two thirds through his murder mystery and was rather sure he knew exactly who had done it. He had cancelled the day’s combat drill and was realizing that his cabin was a mess. A half eaten plate of humus, chickpea dip, and pita bread cluttered the small coffee table. An open tin of his wife’s home made Kataifi Ashta, a delicate custard filled pastry, sat on his work desk. He knew he was eating too much because of the stress of waiting.

Why don’t they just attack already?” he asked the empty cabin

Ten minutes later while he was trying to clean up his work desk, there was a buzz on his intercom and the second officer of the C.S.S. Malikul Mawt started talking very excitedly and informed him that the Jabri’l spy satellites scattered through out the star system had detected the simultaneous opening of several worm holes and had identified the ships coming through them as the Blue navy. The navigation officer had plotted the route the blue navy was appeared to be taking and estimated that they would pass be passing by the gas giant that the confederate navy was hiding in, in a little over 12 hours.

Admiral O’Brien we have incoming missiles “shouted the first officer of the battleship Slaugh Ron. She looked at the lidar screen and saw that it did indeed show missiles and Ships emerging from the largest gas giant in the new Persia star system. The blue fleet had positioned themselves so that the gas giant was between them and new Persia prime with the idea that by approaching from behind the gas giant they would be able to approach their objective undetected most of the way. Now it was obvious to Admiral O’Brien and most of the blue fleet officers that the entire operation had been compromised.

The long range sensors officer then informed her that they had detected the simultaneous opening multiple worm holes and that 2 confederate ___ carriers had emerged along with three battleships and several light cruisers. This cut off their and these confederate ships were moving to intercept them. Deciding that if she could not capture the Hyton crystal mines that she would destroy them, Admiral O’Brien ordered the blue fleet forward to New Persia prime at full speed.

Admiral Al-Sadr stood on the battle bridge of the C.S.S. Malikul Mawt listening to the fire control officers repeating the basmallah over and over again as they pressed the firing buttons for the ship’s missiles launchers. The Confederate ships concentrated fire on one Nuadh Eire ship at a time which allowed them to easily overwhelm the anti-missile defenses of the Nuadh Eire ships. In quick order the battleships The Amadaun, the Cuchullain and the Fragarach were destroyed; as the blue fleet made a desperate charge towards New Persia Prime it ran into the hundreds of Buraq fighters that stood waiting. In less than 24 hours from the beginning of the battle the invading blue fleet was destroyed.

The confederate fleet spent the next few days rounding up prisoners from the life pods that had managed to eject from the destroyed enemy fleet. Even though they had been told how young the enemy soldiers and sailors were many of the confederate officers expressed shock as they took in prisoners.

The confederate fleet in the new Persia star system was reinforced by three more battleships, the C.S.S. Issau, the C.S.S. Ayoub and the C.S.S. Musa, several days after the battle and then made 2 slides, the last bringing them into the Nuadh Eire star system to have a show down with the Blue Sun Queen’s forces only to find out that she had fled the star system with several dozen ships and several thousand of her followers. The confederates learned that when word of the defeat at New Persia arrived that it sparked an open rebellion among the population.

The Blue Sun Queen had been in power for less than a full year and yet had caused the deaths of millions on and off Nuadh Eire. With the Republic restored, the Oireachtas confiscated the Blue Sun Corporation’s entire asset and put all of their orphanages under direct government control.