...this time over on Rob McCow's blog. Snippet:
Insha'Allah by Matthew Cook addresses concerns about Islamic society, in particular the role of women and the potential strength of the Mullahs in dictating the law. Science fiction often uses metaphor or extrapolation to make serious points about the way we live today. This story makes its points absolutely straight up with only a sprinkling of sci-fi in the background. It could be set in modern Afghanistan and be about a crashed fighter pilot, but the enemy being fought are the E'k, the fighter pilot has implants and technology under her skin and there are hints that the battle is taking place in the near future.There's a bit more, but you get the point... And for what it's worth I think Rob makes a good point: I do think that good storytelling should, wherever possible, deal with universal issues and must contain characters that the reader can relate to. As such, I tried to consciously tell a story that COULD be "transplanted" from a sci-fi setting. As always, I leave it up to the reader to decide if I actually MET this goal.