Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Insha'Allah review...


...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.


"Insha'Allah" in the news...

Anthony Williams has a mini-review of all the stories in Interzone #235 on his blog. Money quote:

Insha'Allah by Matthew Cooke, illustrated by Richard Wagner. A female doctor-turned-body-washer on a fundamentalist Muslim world is faced with treating a crashed female spaceship pilot, fallen from a battle for the planet raging overhead. A most unusual story which sticks in the mind.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interzone #235 - First Review!

A review of all stories in Interzone #235 is up at:

Money quote:

"The stories open with the best of the bunch in my opinion, ‘Insha’Allah’ from Matthew Cook and if it opens feeling rather derivative of current events in North Africa and Afghanistan, Cook eschews a story based on a science fictiony peace-keeping mission with high tech kick-assery, dwelling instead on the effects the conflict’s having on the local population"

What's interesting is that I wrote the story almost two years ago, well in advance of the current struggle in Libya/Egypt, etc. But I agree that I did certainly want to tell a different version of this sort of "Enemy Mine" type story, using themes based on our current overseas... ah... "adventurism". Whether I was successful or not is, as always, in the eyes of the reader.

More details on "Insha'Allah" and the other great stories in Interzone #235 are at the linked URL.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interzone #235 Details and Lineup

The lineup for issue #235 of Interzone is up with illustrations - see HERE for details.

I'm thrilled to be sharing this edition with Jon Wallace, Gareth L. Powell, Al Robertson, and reader-favorite Mercurio D. Rivera. There are also details on the page about where to buy the issue in the US, as well as information on how to take out a subscription (annual or even lifetime).


Friday, July 8, 2011

Insha'Allah Illustration - Interzone #235

TTA Press has the first page and illustration from my short story on their Facebook page... If anyone can tell me how to link to the bigger version, please let me know -since this is on Facebook, the full-size version doesn't seem to be right-clickable to access the "Copy Image Address" menu choice.

Graphic by Richard Wagner, who also, I'm told, also did the cool, retro-pulp cover (thanks, Richard!)

I'd link you to Richard's website but I'm having trouble locating it this is a rough morning for me for some reason, sorry... If you know Richard's web site address, please post it in the Comments section.


Insha'Allah in Interzone #235

If you're on Facebook, check out TTA Press's page for news on the summer issue (#235) - my short story, "Insha'Allah" will appear in there soon.

Although I'm not mentioned in the article, a partial lineup can be found over on Jim Steel's blog: Panglossian Hubris. Jim's the book review editor over at the magazine... not sure why he didn't think to mention me... Hmmmmm. But hey - check out that name placement - top billing this time!

Anyway. I'm thrilled to once more appear in Interzone - my first short story there, "The Shoe Factory", was very well received and made various long lists for assorted awards. I hope you'll enjoy "Insha'Allah" even more.