Open Access: Middle Eastern Science Fiction Special Issue

The MOSF Journal of Science Fiction, sponsored by the Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, D.C. has published their latest issue online, with a particular focus on Middle Eastern Science Fiction:

The issue is broken up into three sections — reflections, articles, and book reviews — and looks at science fiction in both literature and TV.

The introduction starts off painting speculative fiction in “the developing world” with a somewhat broad brush, and suggesting that SF is blossoming in Arab-majority countries as a direct result of censorship. Nor does the introduction define exactly what is meant by science fiction, or how genres can differ between languages and literary traditions. That said, there are a number of interesting articles within, as with Wessam Elmeligi’s examination of the relationship between place and power in Arabic speculative fiction, Diana Kasem’s look at the features and conventions of Arab science fiction in TV and film, and Layla Alammar’s look at spacio-temporal ruptures and “postmemory” in the collection Palestine + 100.

You can find the whole issue hosted by the University of Maryland.

Inside, you’ll find:


“Science Fiction, Rational Enchantment, and Arabic Literature,” by Aya Labanieh

“A Journey of Erasing the Self,” by Meltam Safak


“Herzl, Nakba, and Nationalist Escapism in Israeli and Palestinian Science Fiction,” by Timothy Quevillion, Ph.D.

“Islands, Rooms, and Queues: Three Tropes in Arabic Science Fiction,” by Wessam Elmeligi, Ph.D

“Arab SF Film and TV in the Twentieth Century,” by Diana Kasem

“‘Cached memories’: Spatiotemporal (Dis)ruptures and Postmemorial Absence in Palestine +100,” by Layla AlAmmar

“War of the Worlds: Geologic Consciousness in Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia,” by Paul Piatkowski, Ph.D.

Book Reviews:

Determann, J.M. (2020), Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life: The Culture of Astrobiology in the Muslim World, by Joan Grandjean