If you’re reading this, you probably already know me, either from my writing or my presence on social media. But just in case: I’m Saladin Ahmed, author of the Hugo-nominated novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, numerous award-nominated short stories, and essays on race and geek culture.
I’m writing to update my wonderful readers on what I’m working on now, and to ask for your support in continuing that work.
Firstly, an answer to the question that I am asked every single day: Yes, there will be a sequel to THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON! Its title is THE THOUSAND AND ONE. Here’s a bit about it:
In 2012, Saladin Ahmed’s THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, praised by George RR Martin as “Old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery adventure with an Arabian Knights flavor,” was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and British Fantasy Awards, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal gave it starred reviews, and NPR Books called it “Terrific fantasy….Lord of the Rings meets the Arab Spring.” Now Ahmed returns with the hotly-anticipated sequel.
Revolution has come to the Crescent Moon Kingdoms, and ancient terrors roam the deserts and alleyways. Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, the last real ghul hunter in the city of Dhamsawaat, stubbornly ignores the turmoil around him — until his long-awaited wedding is interrupted by the enigmatic Queen of the Djenn. Meanwhile, the tribeswoman Zamia Badawi, haunted by dead kinsmen and forbidden love, becomes an unlikely general in a brutal civil war. And holy warrior Raseed bas Raseed undertakes a deadly journey back to the Lodge of God, hoping to purify himself of religious doubts and his troubling attraction to Zamia. Once again, Adoulla and his friends set out to make things right in a world gone wrong — but the greatest threat may be the one they can’t see.
It will be published in early 2016. This marks four years between novels, an unforgivable stretch in the world of genre fiction. Why? One word: depression.
I suffered from major depressive disorder for two decades before finally seeking treatment and being diagnosed last year. It’s a horror of a condition, as vicious a monster as anything my characters have faced. Because of depression I’ve left wonderful letters from fans to rot in my inbox. Because of depression I wrote *and then deleted* a nearly-complete draft of THE THOUSAND AND ONE.
Yeah. That sucked.
Happily, after several false starts, I’ve finally found the treatment I need. I’m the most hopeful I’ve been in a decade, and I have some incredibly exciting things planned. In 2015, readers can expect to see my work in a PC platformer, an online storytelling game, a couple of major nonfiction venues, and, very possibly, a comic book.
In the meantime, I need to make a living. I do this in various ways. I edit manuscripts on a freelance basis. I occasionally teach at local universities. I write nonfiction. Every year, this is ALMOST enough to make ends meet. For the past several years, however, the generous support of my readers has made all the difference in sustaining my career. I’ve done several ‘patronage drives’ over the past three years, each raising a few thousand dollars. These infusions are what have enabled me to continue writing, however slowly, and I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am for this support.
Now things are tight, and I’m asking again.
I get some folks’ distaste with this model of online beggary. But I also know that there are many readers who understand that some writers take a long time to produce, and that the work they produce won’t always be supported by ‘the market’ alone. I know that there are readers out there who are willing to invest a bit extra in the voices they cherish. I’ve tried to be one of those readers. I’m also lucky enough to have had a few of those readers myself. It’s to you folks that I’m speaking.
I know that there are other platforms out there for more sustained support of artists. I’m working on a couple of brand-new short stories to offer as part of a Patreon launch early next year. But to be frank, that’s a couple months down the road, and I’m in an immediate pinch. So I’m asking folks who like my writing and would like to see more of it to act as patrons via a paypal donation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As alwys, thank you all for your incredible support. I couldn’t do this without it.