Thursday, August 30, 2007

Acceptance at Mindflights

My story, "Infringement", has been accepted for publication at "Mindflights". It is a short-short of only about 80 words. I will provide the link to the story once it is published. At 80 words, it should be an easy read. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007



Different color text, based on Jetse's suggestion. Also, a quote from Shakespeare has been added at the top. Click on the image to enlarge it and read the quote. I would like to thank Matt Hughes for pointing out the appropriateness of this quote to the theme of the anthology.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anthology Cover


Here is the rough draft of the cover for "SF Waxes Philosophical". The cover design and artwork is by Laura Givens.

Ego Boosters and Other Things

Since its publication in Interzone 211, I have been hungrily searching for reviews of my story, particularly the positive ones. So far, my searches have been amply rewarded.

I felt like collecting the reviews here so that any time in future I felt particularly low about any of my writing projects, I could just re-read this post and get a boost.

Here goes:

Ahmed A. Khan's one-page short-short "Elevator Episodes in Seven Genres" delivers what it can reasonably promise given its concept and length, a playful piece on the slipperiness of genre boundaries, flitting from one to another between one sentence or paragraph and the next. In relating the simple story of a science teacher's vacation on the moon (that, of course, would be the science-fiction part), it tends toward the cute rather than the revolutionary, but the wry humor in the last bit made for a very satisfying cap to the tale. Tangent Online

...a rather sardonic piece Elevator Episodes in Seven Genres by Ahmed A. Khan, which tells a very short story, switching between genre conventions as it does so. Anthony G. Williams on his "Science Fiction and Fantasy" blog

Ahmed A. Khan’s 'Elevator Episodes' is a neat little trick, but depends on it's multi-genre gimmick rather than plot or character, hardly surprising given that it's only a thousand words long. Colin Harvey at "Suite101"

"Elevator Episodes in Seven Genres" by Ahmed A Khan: Short-short comedy with a nice punchline,and a serious point about the limitations of genre assignments. Londonkds blog at livejournal

Ahmed A. Khan's short piece gave me a good chuckle, too - and it's nice to see someone playing around with form in an SF context. Mike Alexander on the TTA Press forum

"Elevator Episodes in Seven Genres" by Ahmed A. Khan gave me a solid chuckle. Douglas Cohen - the Slushmaster at Realms of Fantasy - on his blog

Okay, that is for the ego-boost.

On other fronts, this weekend I went camping with my family and friends and had loads of fun in spite of a huge thunderstorm one night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Obit - Qurratulain Hyder

Just heard the sad news of the passing away of one of my favourite Urdu writer: Qurratulain Hyder. Here is a link to a nice OBIT.

Her novel, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), is one of the best novels (Urdu or otherwise) ever written.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On the Writing Front...

...the last couple of weeks have been good.

- Completed and submitted 2 new stories.
- Complied with revision request for 1 story.
- Recirculated 4 of my stories.

And with that, I have all my unpublished stories (12, to be exact) in circulation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A PEACE OF SORTS

I have just finished writing an SF story. It is titled "A Peace of Sorts" and runs to about 1500 words. I am quite happy with how this story turned out. I think I have done something right, and in just so many words too. Out it goes today, probably to F&SF. Let's see what GVG and JJA think about it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mundane SF

Just completed and submitted a 1000 word story to the Mundane SF issue of Interzone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Free Story of the Week #3

Anotherealm often runs flash contests. I rarely participate but sometimes, the contest theme is so intriguing that I cannot resist. One such competition was run back in 2001. Jean Goldstrom, then editor of Anotherealm, came up with a starting sentence:

It started out like any typical day in suburbia. Percolators perked, toasters toasted, garage doors opened to disgorge cars heading toward the freeway. Everything was beautifully ordinary, until the shadow passed over it changing everything in its wake.

The writers would continue from this point and go every which way they wanted to go. Somehow, the sentence managed to get my creative juices flowing and I dashed off a flash (about 250 words) in the next 15 minutes and sent it to Anotherealm.

And here it is: Until The Shadow....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

SF Waxes Philosophical

Those of you who had been following my old blog at http://ahmedakhan.journalspace.com know that I was editing an anthology of SF with philosophical underpinnings. The TOC of that anthology, SF Waxes Philosophical, has been finalised. Here it is in alphabetical order:

Michael Bishop: Diary of a Dead Man
Douglas van Belle: The Squirrel That Didn't Bark
Paul Carlson: Waveform
Sean Foster: Different and Again Different
Ren Holton: Lords of Light
Matt Hughes: Liw Osfeo and the Worm
Luke Jackson: The Saving Power
Ahmed A. Khan: The Shores of Id (I have reasons for including one of mine. See below.)
Ted Kosmatka: The God Engine
Marian Powell: Categorical Imperative
Ian Shoebridge: The Day the World Lost Gravity
Steven Utley: Chaos and the Gods
Jetse de Vries: The Third Scholar
Casey Wolf: These Old Bones

Need it be said that I am extremely happy with this anthology? I have received excellent stories in spite of (or because of) the challenging theme.

I have included one of my stories in the anthology for 4 reasons:

Reason #1: When I did not include any story of mine in the previous anthology, "Fall and Rise" (because I thought it was not good form), some of my friends and fellow writers (including some who were included in that anthology) berated me for not doing so. I care more about friends than form.

Reason #2: The anthology had stories dealing with western philosophy; it had stories dealing with far-eastern philosophy; but it did not have any story dealing with middle-eastern philosophy. So I thought my story would strike a right balance.

Reason #3: I think it is a nice story.

Reason #4: Haven't you ever heard of shameless self-promotion?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Free Story of the Week #2

Story time, again.

This week's story is a little fantasy titled "See-Saw".

It was published in Anotherealm in 2003. At that time, it was one of the most commented upon story on the Anotherealm bulletin board. Ninety percent of the comments were highly positive. There were a couple of criticisms because of the negative way I portrayed masturbation in the story. Well (imagine a shrug, here), that was my take. And I have no qualms about it.

Here is See-Saw.