el amal

Women swept nearly every category at the 2017 Hugo Awards
The 75th World Science Fiction Convention (commonly known as WorldCon) is being held this weekend in Helsinki, Finland. The convention is where the annual Hugo Awards are presented, and today, the...
By Andrew Liptak

BECAUSE SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC AUTHORS MAKE FOR CRAPPY READING: all praise to N. K. Jemisin, Amal El-Mohtar, Seanan McGuire and Ursula Vernon.

“a child with seafoam eyes
and dusky skin might cry, there
goes a girl with seven thousand years
at the hollow of her throat, there
goes a girl who opens her mouth to pour
caravans, mamelukes, a mongolian horde
from lips that know less of roses
than of temples in the rising sun!

-Amal El-Mohtar, from ‘Song for an Ancient City’


Most synopses of Victor LaValle’s new The Changeling describe the story of a rare-book dealer in Brooklyn whose life is torn apart when his wife disappears after committing an unspeakable act of violence. But, says critic Amal El-Mohtar, “this book is a changeling too, and accomplishes a deft, complex bait-and-switch almost halfway through.”

Find her full review here.

– Petra

anonymous asked:

Do you have and poems about the desert you could recommend?

I can’t think of many just now, but here are a few off the top of my head:

‘A Rhyme for the Odes (Mu’allaqat)’, Mahmoud Darwish
‘The Desert’, Al-Munsif al-Wahaybi
‘From Another Desert’, Agha Shahid Ali
‘This Life’, Rita Dove
‘Accepting Heaven at Great Basin’, Nathalie Handal
‘Song for an Ancient City’, Amal El-Mohtar
‘I Show You In The Face of Ugliness’, Nizar Qabbani
‘Desert’, Adonis
‘Blanco’, Octavio Paz
‘Petra’, John William Burgon
‘Memory’, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, tr. Agha Shahid Ali
‘Ozymandias’, Percy Bysshe Shelley
‘To The Desert’, Benjamin Alire Sáenz
‘Making a Fist’, Naomi Shihab Nye

You might like to read this book: Desert Voices: Bedouin Women’s Poetry in Saudi Arabia by Moneera Al-Ghadeer.


Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says it’s hard for her to talk about Can Xue’s new Frontier, “because its subtlety is so careful and precise and its effect so wild and diffuse. It’s difficult to talk about it except in effect — I find it necessary to write around it, to speak in spirals, because it isn’t a story so much as an experience of walking through spider-webs and dew.”

Find her full review here.

– Petra

Arabic, Greek & Turkish Songs to Jam Out To

  1. Hodri Meydan - Bengü (Turkish)
  2. Psahno Tin Alithia - Helena Paparizou (Greek)
  3. Nancy Ajram - Ma Tegi Hena (Arabic)
  4. Aşk Kaç Beden Giyer - Hadise (Turkish)
  5. Telafi - Bengü (Turkish)
  6. OPA - Giorgos Alkaios & Friends (Greek)
  7. Saharni- Najwa Karam  (Arabic)
  8. Tha Me Allios - Helena Paparizou (Greek)
  9. De tha se perimeno - Eleni Xatzidou (Greek)
  10. Bel Arabi - Latifa (Arabic)
  11. Seket El Salama - Amal Maher (Arabic)
  12. Thalassa - Helena Paparizou & Giorgos Sabanis (Greek)
  13. Gia Kanena - Natassa Theodoridou (Greek)

anonymous asked:

any poems by amal el-mohtar you especially recommend?

I love all the poems of hers that I have read, but my favourite is ‘Song for an Ancient City’, found here in Mythic Delirium. It’s so sharp and evocative, so musical and vibrant.

“she is the clamour
of tambourines and dirbakki,
nays sighing, qanouns musing, the complaint
of you merchants with spice-lined hands,
and there is dust in her laughter.”

no really the hugo results make me wanna Cry a little… like ok not all the ones that won were my Top Pick, but a lot of the categories actually had like a Decent Selection to pick from, and the hugo award i care the Most about went to the story that i ended up being the Most Emotional about this go-round, which is, of course, seasons of glass and iron by amal el-mohtar

i say “of course” bc i keep imagining i’ve tearily Wept over it to all of you and not just like, my dear friends who went to wiscon with me, who saw me actually cry snottily and with great vigor (i also had a terrible cold) over that short story probably like at least twice. 

i was so excited when i saw the ballot this year and i saw how like, how MUCH it was, you know, like how much more depth and breadth there was to it than the last few years, and i hope that happens next year too. 

also i’m making a note in my calendar for like, february, a note that says, “kat gets nominated for the hugos 2k18″ so i remember to relentlessly campaign for kat to be nominated for the fan artist hugo, 2k18. 

Here’s the premise of Jo Walton’s The Just City: Throughout time and space, whenever anyone prays to the goddess Athene for a chance to live in the Just City of Plato's Republic, she scoops them up, and sets them to making it happen – at the edge of a dormant volcano destined to explode.Through three different characters, including Apollo, we learn the history, progress and problems of the City, and the various ways in which those problems are addressed – or aren’t.

Brilliant, compelling, and frankly unputdownable,” writes critic Amal El-Mohtar,this will do what your Intro to Philosophy courses probably couldn’t: make you want to read The Republic.”

Read the rest of Amal’s rave review here.

olives, long green leaves
to look into my own hands, ringed in copper,
stained green as leaves or summer waves,
dipped in gold leaf like the pages
of a manuscript
until they clasped the slender waist
of a pomegranate tree, slimmer still than half my wrist
—  Amal El-Mohtar, from ‘The City Is Never Finished’

If you haven’t been reading N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, get on it!  Our reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says she couldn’t sleep or eat until she’d plowed through The Obelisk Gate:

By rights it should be full of the things we forgive middle books: necessary stalling; development of characters less interesting than in the first volume but nevertheless plot-critical; all the weary setup of scaffolding from which to launch the finale.

But it isn’t. If anything it’s even more engrossing than The Fifth Season, picking up right where that first book left off and plunging us deep into the Evil Earth and all its machinations.

Check out her full review here.

– Petra

wald-und-wiesen-blume  asked:

Hey there. I wanted to ask if it's okay to talk to you like chatting. I'm pretty new to Mori Kei, although the aesthetic is part of my life for a long time. Do you perhaps know some Mori related Animes/Movies/Books? #^_^#

Ah yeah! I can definitely recommend some! Let’s see…..


  • I recently watched an anime movie called Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies) and I enjoyed it! It’s a very simple story about a girl who meets a friend in a forest, and it has a really bittersweet ending! I wouldn’t say it’s a masterpiece, but it’s a really sweet little thing if you just need to kill some time.
  • Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends) has a very similar vibe to Hotarubi, and it’s so tender and perfect!! It doesn’t take place in a forest per se, but it has a very ~natural~ aura about it, and tbh the main character is very much Mori Boy material 👌👌👌 I’ve only ever read the manga but I’ve heard from other people that the anime is very good as well. I’ll get around to watching it…eventually…
  • I haven’t watched it yet, but I’ve recently found out about an anime called Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, which (from what I’ve heard) sounds super fanstasy-and-romance-y, if you’re into those genres. The main character is an herbalist (!!) who falls in love with a prince, and I’ve heard that the characterization is really well-done! It sounds like it could have some good mori-esque content in it.


Jeez, when’s the last time I’ve actually seen a movie? Umm…

  • Ernest et Celestine is a sweet animated film about 2 unlikely animals (a bear and a mouse) becoming friends! It’s adorable and silly and honestly I’m all for movies that have mice in them.
  • Back when PBS’s “Masterpiece” was still called “Masterpiece Theatre”, I remember as a kid they showed a live-action version of Wind in the Willows that I absolutely adored! I have no idea if it’s even still available to watch anywhere?? But if you can, I highly recommend it! It starred Matt Lucas, Mark Gatiss, and Lee Ingleby if that helps you on your quest to find it!


  • Classics like Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame) and The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) are always a good read if you haven’t looked at them already!
  • I love Watership Down (Richard Adams) soooo so much! It’s so well-written and engaging and it’s all! about! BUNNIES!!!
  • The Honey Month (Amal El-Mohtar) is such a precious book to me…it’s about a woman whose friend sends her a bunch of different-flavored honeys, and she tastes a honey every day for a month and then writes a short story that’s inspired by the honey’s flavor…they’re so pretty and they make me feel things…
  • I recently got a book from the library because it looked really mori…it’s called Evergreen (Rebecca Rasmussen) and I haven’t read it so I have no idea if it’s any good yet but I’ll just say it here anyway

Thanks for stopping by, and yeah, I’m always up for chatting with other mori girls! ^u^)/

'Borderline' Is Urban Fantasy With A Cinematic Punch
Mishell Baker's new fantasy novel follows filmmaker Millie Roper as she manages her mental and physical issues while hunting down a missing fairy nobleman — and trying to make a career in Hollywood.

Borderline (The Arcadia Project) Hardcover – March 1, 2016

by Mishell Baker (Author)

Borderline’s main character Millicent Roper is bisexual, in her mid-20s, living with BPD, has prosthetic legs after a failed suicide attempt, and is a filmmaker.

Millie has been in a psychiatric center outside Los Angeles for six months, ever since she leapt off her prestigious film school’s roof and ended a promising career. While there she’s approached by an organization called The Arcadia Project, which is supposedly in the business of enabling creative people living with mental illness to find employment in film and television.

It seems too good to be true — and is, as in truth The Arcadia Project manages the presence of fairies in our world, facilitating their relationships with humans and policing their comings and goings according to complicated protocols. When a highly regarded fairy nobleman goes missing, Millie quickly gets in over her head, trying to manage her physical and mental conditions while serving as an amateur detective and not blowing her shot at working in Hollywood.

I adored Millie. Brash, angry, incisively self-aware, she’s the kind of furiously intelligent protagonist I love to read. Her first-person narration walks an amazing line between conveying her personality and explaining the way BPD interacts with it, while never actually making it or her disability the focus of the plot or giving the book an After-School Special feel. In fact, in stark contrast to the troubling tendency in fantasy to represent mental illness as magical, Millie is anathema to fairies: As a consequence of her suicide attempt, her body is full of steel, such that she can disrupt most magic with a touch. - Amal El-Mohtar