Alif the Unseen

| Tags: book, fiction, fantasy, sci-fi

“Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson is a nice mix of fantasy, science fiction and something I’ll call islamic mythology.

Alif is a hacker living in an unnamed emirate. He and his fellow hackers are fighting for their freedom against a hacker working for state security known as “the Hand”. The Hand tries to enforce total control over the citizens of the emirate.

Alif writes code. That code seems to be some form of machine learning software. Later a book named “The Tousand And One Days”, which is somehow a counterpart to “The Tousand And One Nights”, appears and seems to contain some hidden instructions that enable Alif to code an artificial intelligence.

It’s quite a ride with djinns, references to Star Wars and other nerdy stuff. Some compared it to the Harry Potter books, but it’s actually a different kind of story. There is something that resembles the “Diagon Alley” in the Potter books, but that’s about it. And that’s Ok. It does not need to be some new Harry Potter thing. It’s good as it is — on its own.