[CORK] Islam and Sci-Fi
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 16:30:52 -0600
Anybody else read _When Gravity Fails_ by George Alec Effinger and its
sequels? Near-future somewhat-dystopian sorta-cyberpunk, set in a
tech-infused slum (think Casbah) in a Muslim city / country.
Interesting stuff. Paints a fascinating picture of a (future,
speculative, "liberal") Muslim culture that might be very different
from the rabid neolithic suicide-bomber image that's so common.
Don't get me wrong, I think Islam is a memetic disease. All religions
are, IMHO, memetic diseases. But, like different strains of biological
parasites, different strains of the same religion (as well as different
religions) have varying degrees of pathogenesis.
Another bit: if you weren't paying attention closely, the reportage of
events in Iraq could easily sound like a mixed-up retelling of "Dune."
Shaddam = Saddam, fedaykin = fedayeen, etc. I had lunch w/ Frank
Herbert a few years before he died, we talked about how his Fremen
culture was largely based on a mishmash of Bedouin and other Middle
Eastern cultures. He said he wouldn't be surprised if that
marginalized subculture persisted for thousands of years, wherever we