Fantasy Book Club: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

  • April 27, 2014 · 2:00 PM
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This month's book is:

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the State’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line.

Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the head of State security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.

This book is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Kobo, digital or otherwise.

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If you RSVP and find you cannot make it, please change your RSVP so that we are not waiting for you. Please change it no less than two hours before the scheduled meeting time. If you RSVP and do not show, you will have to pay $10 when you attend your next event. This is to prevent those on the waiting list from missing out on an event.

The RSVP policy is the same as for the general meetup. Please see the entire policy here:

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We will be meeting at the Citigroup Atrium.

There's an entrance at 53rd and Lexington Avenue off the 53rd and Lex subway stop. You have to go down the steps; the subway station will be on your right and the Atrium will be straight in front of you. The doors are labeled.

There is a Barnes and Noble (with a Starbucks inside) on the next level up at 54th and 3rd. If you enter through the B&N, you will need to go through B&N (up a few steps from the entrance), past the NOOK display to the glass doors and down the escalator to the atrium.

We're generally pretty easy for newcomers to recognize--if in doubt, look for paper copies of the book on tables.

There's free wi-fi and restrooms in the Citigroup Atrium. Please let me know if you have any questions about the location.

We prefer that you finish the book, but if you don’t, you're still welcome. (But the entire book is fair game for discussion!)

Please let me know if you have any questions or future book ideas! I hope to see you there!

Also, join our Goodreads group!

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  • Sarah

    I just finished reading The Butterfly Mosque, and it's absolutely fascinating. I definitely recommend it. What's interesting is that the character of the convert in Alif the Unseen seems to be very different from how Wilson appears in her own memoir. I did a little digging, and I found this interview:

    At about 15:38 they start discussing the character of the convert and how she's an example of what Wilson was attempting to avoid during her own conversion to Islam. It's interesting to see how our interpretations of the character differed from the author's.

    May 13, 2014

  • Jana

    Hey guys! Just wanted to say that it was really nice meeting you yesterday. I had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the next meeting!

    April 28, 2014

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