Escape from Baghdad!

by Saad Z. Hossain
Release date: March 2015
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, fantasy
Tags: satire

"Saad Z Hossain's upcoming Escape from Baghdad! (The Unnamed Press, March 2015) is the sci-fi and fantasy writer's debut novel, characterized as an Arabian-Nights-esque thriller. Having set the book in modern-day Iraq, Hossain started off his research reading blogs written by American soldiers in Iraq, and then braided together Norse and Greek mythologies." - Ploughshares

"It's a marvelous mix of genres, blending the visceral atmosphere of a war movie with the casual nihilism of Catch-22 or the original M.A.S.H. complete with an Indiana Jones-style treasure quest... A gonzo adventure novel that shreds the conventional wisdom that pulp can be pigeonholed." - Kirkus Reviews

"Saad Hossain has given us a hilarious and searing indictment of the project we euphemistically call 'nation-building.' With nods to Catch-22, Frankenstein, The Island of Doctor Moreau and the Golem myth, Escape from Baghdad! weaves fantasy, absurdity and adventure into a moving counter-narrative to the myth of the just war." - Daniel Jose Older - Npr

Welcome to Baghdad during the US invasion. A desperate American military has created a power vacuum that needs to be filled. Religious fanatics, mercenaries, occultists, and soldiers are all vying for power. So how do regular folks try to get by?

If you're Dagr and Kinza, a former economics professor and a streetwise hoodlum, you turn to dealing in the black market. But everything is about to change, because they have inherited a very important prisoner: the star torturer of Hussein’s recently collapsed regime, Captain Hamid, who promises them untold riches if they smuggle him out of Baghdad.

With the heat on and nothing left for them in Baghdad, they enlist the help of Private Hoffman, their partner in crime and a U.S. Marine. In the chaos of a city without rule, getting out of Baghdad is no easy task and when they become embroiled in a mystery surrounding an ancient watch that doesn’t tell time, nothing will ever be the same. With a satiric eye firmly cast on the absurdity of human violence, Escape from Baghdad! features shades of Catch-22 and Three Kings while giving voice, ribald humor, and firepower to to people often referred to as "collateral damage."

(updated 2015-07-18)

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