Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, by Usman Malik

★★★★☆ Recommended

Salman pursues the truth behind stories his grandfather told him about an impoverished princess he used to know back in Pakistan and the Jinn that protected her. (22,330 words; Time: 1h:14m)

Recommended By: JStrahan+2 Nebula+2 LTilton+2

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: All the pieces of the story come together beautifully at the point where Bashir hands Salman the envelope and we know his name will be on it. Salman learns that the cup and the carpet are a key the Jinn could use to destroy the material world (a safeguard were it found wanting?) and by destroying them, he sacrifices the past to save the future. Salman has seen his future, even if he's forgetting it, and is at peace with it, and that makes for a nice ending.

Con: It's an awfully long story.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 04/22/15)
Usman T. Malik Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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6 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Good story. Worth my time and money to read it. I agree with the rating.

    I thought a few paragraphs towards the end was a bit esoteric, but this is a minor quibble.

    1. I hope you didn't pay TOO much, since Tor gives it away for free. :-)

    2. Not too much. I read the short stories and shorter novelettes free online, but purchase an epub version to read on my e-reader for anything longer. It is just so much easier, and I can read anywhere.

    3. I didn't know that was available for Tor stories. Can you share a link to it?

      I subscribe to Clarkesworld and Lightspeed, even though they're free online, for the same reasons; it's just really nice to read the stories on my Kindle rather than my laptop. Tor is the only one (so far) that I have to read online.

    4. Use the Chrome add-on from to send long-form web articles to your Kindle eReader. I've used it to read over 6,000 New York Times articles on my Kindle over the past few years.


    Every story I've seen on that was free online, that I wanted in epub has been available at Kobo to purchase.

    Most of the genre semiprozines and magazines retail with Kobo as well.

    It just gives more options to readers depending on what device they have, and where they live.