Ahoy there me mateys! This is me third work by the author but not me last. I have loved every one. The first story was the black god’s drums which takes place in an alternate steampunk 1884 New Orleans where slavery in the South is not illegal. Then I read “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” which was a 2019 Hugo short story finalist and inspired by this real quote ““‘By Cash pd Negroes for 9 Teeth on Acct of Dr. Lemoire’ –Lund Washington, Mount Vernon plantation, Account Book dated 1784.” Awesome. Then this.
This is set in 1912 in alternate Cairo where a (female!) investigator is trying to figure out what led a djinn to die. It has steampunk flair, fun magic, and awesome world building. I loved the main character, Fatma el-Sha’arawi and her intelligence and spunk. I loved that magic led to Egypt kicking the British out. This is short at about 40 pages and that is me biggest complaint. I wanted more! I didn’t realize that this story is a prequel for Clark’s the haunting of tram car 015. I certainly need to pick it up as it has been on me list since it was first published. Plus it was nominated for the Locus, Hugo, and Nebula awards this year!
Clark also has another novella out later this year called ring shout that is currently scheduled for 10/13/2020. While I was lucky enough to get an eArc of that one (Arrrr!!) I will likely read tram car first while the prequel is still fresh. I be excited.
Side note: while I love short fiction, I cannot help but want novels by this lovely author! I want more!
Goodreads has this to say about the novella:
Egypt, 1912. In an alternate Cairo infused with the otherworldly, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine. What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and plot that could unravel time itself.
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