Osama
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Osama

by Lavie Tidhar
Release date: May 2011
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: alternate history, mainstream, thriller
Tags: world fantasy award

Cover art by Pedro Marques.

World Fantasy Award 2012, BSFA Award nominee 2011.

Lavie Tidhar was in Dar-es-Salaam during the American embassy bombings in 1998, and stayed in the same hotel as the Al Qaeda operatives in Nairobi. Since then he and his now-wife have narrowly avoided both the 2005 King’s Cross and 2004 Sinai attacks — experiences that led first to his memorable short story “My Travels with Al-Qaeda” and later to the creation of Osama.

“In a world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante...”

“Joe’s quest to find the man takes him across the world, from the backwaters of Asia to the European Capitals of Paris and London, and as the mystery deepens around him there is one question he is trying hard not to ask: who is he, really, and how much of the books is fiction? Chased by unknown assailants, Joe’s identity slowly fragments as he discovers the shadowy world of the refugees, ghostly entities haunting the world in which he lives. Where do they come from? And what do they want? Joe knows how the story should end, but even he is not ready for the truths he’ll find in New York and, finally, on top a quiet hill above Kabul — nor for the choice he will at last have to make...”

“In Osama, Lavie Tidhar brilliantly delves into the post-9/11 global subconscious, mixing together elements of film noir, non-fiction, alternative history and international thriller to create an unsettling — yet utterly compelling — portrayal of our times.”

(updated 2017-09-20)

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