According to her this is "the pseudo-Asian SF story with bots, a dying colonial empire, and a prison orbiting a black hole–aka the one where I had to improvise four pseudo-Chinese poems before I could actually write any of the story’s scenes. " (her words, not mine), and she's been asking for feedback on this, either on Clarkesworld or on the World SF Blog.
The picture on the right is by the late Al Williamson, the winner of the 2010 Spectrum Grand Master Award.
I rather enjoyed this story, which plays in an alternative time line, with a slightly steam-punky Victoriana feeling (no, I wouldn't call it Steampunk, not really), where humanity has spread throughout the Solar System, material/space etc can be contained within and affected by 'folds', and the powers of the day have reached a precarious (and protected at great effort) 'Balance', which in turn has stopped all or most research and exporation (as this would be one-sided, and thus threaten the balance).
But then again, any story which mashes up Quantum Theory with a contrapunktion (see what I did there?) of Dr Duncan MacDougall's Weight of the Soul and the Dark Matter in the universe gets my vote, for sure!
Read it for yourself here - and if you enjoy it, why not vote for it at the BSFA Awards?
I've been made aware of a short 'Muslim SF' story, by the Malaysian writer and medical doctor Fadzlishah Johanabas bin Rosli (published earlier this year, it looks) in COSMOS Magazine; concerning the difference between humans and robots, the ability of having a 'soul' and being able to believe of the latter, and the human's reaction to any such claim.
Overall well written and enjoyable, even if it treads ground Isaac Asimov quite comprehensively covered with (especially the later) Robot stories; albeit not in terms of religion and from a Muslim perspective.
The full story, called Act of Faith, can be read here.
I'd like to draw your attention to two short stories I read (and enjoyed) recently - first up is Lavie Tidhar's Enter the Dragon. Later, Enter Another, a story craftily playing on the dissolution of reality in the wake of several Wikileaks. There's loads of name dropping, new concepts and technologies hinted at, and time going in loops - all handled with a similar lightness as the (also excellent) Dance Dance Revolution by Charlie Human.
And to up the weirdness stakes, considerably, I suggest you follow this with The Gallows-Horse, a story by Iranian author Reza Negarestani. It concerns, well, no. I'm not going to try, read it for yourelf. The closest comparison that my mind threw up is some of Ian Sinclair's work, although it doesn't completely reach the hypnotic pull away from reality that Sinclair at his best manages.
I found this to be entertaining and interestingly written story around the development of species, uplifting, co-development and more; all the more enjoyable due to the inventive and poetic use of language (yes, she does that on purpose when it looks like 'not proper English').
Milena has a website on SFF.net, where you can find some more of her writing!
The picture on the right is by Iamikan, and only related in my mind (and by this post, of course)