The Haunting of Tram Car 015
June 28, 2020 1:30 PM - by Clark, P. Djèlí - Subscribe

Cairo, 1912: The case started as a simple one for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities ― handling a possessed tram car. Soon, however, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef are exposed to a new side of Cairo stirring with suffragettes, secret societies, and sentient automatons in a race against time to protect the city from an encroaching danger that crosses the line between the magical and the mundane.

A Dead Djinn in Cairo takes place in the same universe. This is a Hugo Awards 2020 post. You can see a schedule and a list of previously posted books here. sorry this post is a few days late, life got in the way
posted by dinty_moore (6 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I quite enjoyed this one, as well as the Dead Djinn one, and hope that there's some novel length stories in the future. I do have a soft spot for magical technology stories, but the cultural stuff was good also.
posted by Marticus at 3:58 PM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Tor purchased one from him, but I don't think it has a title or a debut date yet.

Ring Shout is another novella, comes out in October, and also looks fantastic.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:19 PM on June 29, 2020

I also enjoy this book, and will be adding it to my mental "good recommendations" shelf.

I do wonder how it reads to someone who is more intimately familiar with Egyptian culture.
posted by DebetEsse at 8:56 AM on June 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

This was so much fun - I really enjoyed Hamed as a point of view character, but also every secondary character was enjoyable in its own way (Onsi being ridiculous but useful was favorite). I enjoyed the mystery and the candy smuggling.

I also enjoyed the Black God's Drums last year, and though I would be open to reading more of that universe - or if Clark decided the thing to do was choose yet another place/time period that's been poorly used in alternate histories and re-center non-white experiences, I'd be good with that - I think I like this universe the best. With the Black God's Drums, I'd probably read a novel that might answer some questions. With this one, I'd happily read an entire series with these characters and setting.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:09 PM on June 30, 2020

I like this one a lot! I needed a bit of fun, and I liked the attitude shift we go through with Hamed. Onsi was adorable. It felt like we were a big wide world that we only got to see a small piece of. I thought there was more there there than in The Black God's Drums; that one just felt too short to me. Either I'm getting more used to novella-length pacing, or this one's just really good.
posted by j.r at 5:31 PM on July 4, 2020

I really liked this! It took me a while to get into it, but I chalk that up to pandemic brain because I read this back in March. Once I got into it, I got into it. I would like to read another book set in this world—I might check out his previous short story. The descriptions of the demon attacks were really pretty freaky! I liked the storyline about women getting the vote, also; I should check out some Egyptian history to see how much the author diverged from real world events.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:04 AM on July 5, 2020

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