Source: The Guardian

By now, Ursula K. Le Guin’s legacy as one of the greatest speculative fiction authors in history is secure. She passed away in 2018 but the stories she told, the characters she created, and the worlds she crafted continue to be celebrated by millions of fans across the world. Her work has reached and inspired a new generation of readers (and writers). There is no doubt about her place as one of the genre’s pioneers.

A lot of people may wonder what exactly made her so good as a fantasy author. The answer is obvious. It is, in fact, a…

Credits: The Nation

In many ways, reality is stranger than fiction itself. If we were to collect a record of what happened in our real world, it would surpass made up stories in its twists and turns.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in historical fiction, the genre where we recreate times gone by. Though the official genre is perhaps only a few centuries old, its roots and prototypes go way back. Every major nation and language group in the world has produced historical fiction. I mean who wouldn’t want to reimagine themselves and their history. …

Okay, so the first thing is to recognize that there is a problem for women in Pakistan and in the world. Repeated stats, studies, articles, etc. show that women in Pakistan are suffering. They are denied access to quality education, healthcare, employment, fair compensation, rightful share in the inheritance. They receive physical, sexual and so many other forms of abuse. The laws are disfavourable to them and often they have limited options when they are wronged. And this is just scratching the surface. Ask any woman what she goes through in this country and you’ll be surprised at the layers…

One of speculative fiction’s greatest authors once remarked that “stories of imagination tend to upset those without one”.

This was Sir Terry Pratchett, a man who had spent his entire career narrating deeply imaginative stories about the worlds he created and characters who inhabited them. These stories were funny, introspective, rich, and fascinating in their exploration of the human condition. And yet, his imaginary worlds were rarely taken seriously. Instead, they were dismissed as child’s play. While other literary genres like historical fiction, magical realism, romance, etc. had finally been recognized as genuine works of art, science fiction and fantasy…

Source: Ancient History Encyclopedia

South Asian history is a quagmire to get into. Modern political conflicts often make the region’s history a very contested space, where multiple narratives arise out of every historical event, individual and artefact. Every South Asian country has its own version of the past available. Distortions and skewed interpretations are in abundance. One group’s hero has become another’s villain as the battles of today are projected onto the past. And yet, there are sections in South Asian history that are potentially unifying. There are historical characters that all South Asians can celebrate, regardless of modern politics. Individuals that we can…

Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one

-Terry Pratchett.

At the onset, let us define speculative fiction. Instead of a detailed description, I will offer this easy definition: Speculative fiction is human imagination codified in a story.

Speculative fiction is the product of creative minds who endeavor to construct and decorate a world that doesn’t really exist. The scope, scale and essence of this imagined world is never restricted. It can take any form that the creator wants to give it. More importantly, every human mind is capable of producing these fictional worlds and realities. Each of these…

Hamza Sarfraz

Trying to make sense of the world. I write about history, speculative fiction, pop culture, anime, and other assorted interests.

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