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Jamil Nasir

Jamil NasirJamil Nasir was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent much of his childhood in the Middle East, surviving two major wars and the local schools. He returned to the U.S. in 1970, and started college (at age 14), studying hard science, philosophy, psychology, Chinese history, and many other things, finally graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of General Studies degree. He also attended the University of Michigan Law School. Between stints at school he hitchhiked around North America, working as a carpenter, fruit picker, warehouseman, gardener, shop clerk, and paralegal, among others. He currently works on large regulatory and litigation cases at a Washington, D.C. law firm, and lives in a suburb of Washington with his two daughters. He holds a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo. His other hobbies are photography and rampant metaphysical speculation.

Tunnel Out of Death: An ambitious novel that falls short

Tunnel Out of Death by Jamil Nasir

As a consumer of media, I’m usually OK with works that aren’t particularly focused on plot. Some of my favorite books and films are uber-quiet stories where “nothing happens.” Heck, I’m really looking forward to the new Terence Malick film, even though it appears to have the same narrative quality of a screensaver program. Character-driven works, works where the images sweep you away, works where the ideas make up for lack of story — I’ve enjoyed all of them. Unfortunately though, Jamil Nasir’s newest, Tunnel Out of Death, managed to test even my patience for non-story-driven fiction. I think partially because it tries so hard to have a story, at least at the start. If it hadn’t, if it had dispensed with all that, I might have been more open. As it is, though, this was a tough go for me from beginning to end, though it has its moments.

Heath Ransom is an endovoyant priv... Read More

More speculative fiction by Jamil Nasir

Quasar by Jamil NasirQuasar — (1995) Publisher: Hired to care for the psychotic heiress Quasar Zant, psychiatric technician Ted Karmade is catapulted into the dizzying world of unrepressed ambition and exposed to deadly secrets that test his survival. The Higher Space by Jamil Nasir science fiction book reviews

The Higher Space — (1996) Publisher: A suburban lawyer’s life is changed forever when he becomes involved in a seemingly simple custody battle that leads him to an enigmatic detective, a professor with dreams of immortality, and a doorway to a higher place.

Tower of Dreams by Jamil NasirTower of Dreams — (1999) In advertising, image is everything. Blaine Ramsey has an unusual occupation.  He travels to foreign countries and lives like a native.  He drinks in the culture with his mind, body, and soul.  And he does it all in the name of American capitalism. For Blaine is an Image digger, one of an elite few blessed with the power to “dream” authentic images from the deep unconscious of foreign lands that  are turned into alluring, computer-animated packages used by advertisers to sell their products. But in a dusty Middle Eastern villa, something goes terribly wrong.  Blaine is haunted by the recurring Image of a young Arab beauty suffering a brutal attack.  For Blaine, her Image becomes the seductive source of romantic obsession — and a nightmare from which he cannot escape. And as Blaine is about to discover, her appearance in his dreams foretells tragedy — a disaster the likes of which the world has never seen….

Distance Haze by Jamil Nasir science fiction book reviewsDistance Haze — (2000) If dreams are doorways, where do they take us? The Deriwelle Institute has millions in funding, Nobel prize-winning scientists, and a mission that could be crazy — or about to change the world… Science fiction writer Wayne Dolan — his career at a standstill and his life adrift — has just entered the Deriwelle Institute. Built on sacred Indian ground in southwest Michigan, it’s posh, well funded…and perhaps the world’s biggest hoax.  At least that’s what Wayne thinks.  Using advanced technology, Deriwelle’s scientists say they are on a mission to find God.  In reality, one is a grieving father hoping to contact his dead child.  Another has invented a baseball cap to measure unusual brain waves. Yet another says he has a vaccine to eliminate the genes that program humans to be religious. Are they all crackpots? Maybe. But from the moment Wayne walks through the Institute’s door, eerie events plague him: a recurring dream about a bank account number, visions of an ethereal girl, and the appearance of an old Indian shaman. Of course, Wayne sees the shaman only when he’s asleep.  And what is about to happen when Wayne is awake may be a nightmare of obsession, twisted desire, and secrets no human is ready to know….

The Houses of TimeThe Houses of Time — (2008) David Grant has a singular talent — he can affect the course of his dreams. Quite by chance, he discovers the existence of the Trans-Humanist Institute and their lucid dreaming lessons. He discovers that under the tutelage of Dr. Thotmoses he has more control over his dreams. However, his talent soon runs away with him and he visits dreamplaces while awake. The waking world and the dreaming world collide. Grant ends up sedated in a hellish mental institution… but escapes through his lucid dreams, which he is beginning to control — though the control is far from perfect. Grant discovers, to his horror, that Dr. Thotmoses belongs to the Caucasus Synod Western Orthodox Church, and that they have been grooming him because of his fantastic dreaming talents. Only someone with his talent at manipulating reality and dream can bring their prayer to the Divine Presence in the universe. Many have tried this journey, few have succeeded. Those who have returned successful are rewarded beyond their wildest dreams.

Short Trips by Jamil NasirShort Trips — (2010) An unconscious woman in the garbage bay of an interplanetary ship. A sexually transmitted virus that turns back time. A detective’s report from a parallel universe. The Angel of Death squatting on a branch of a neighborhood tree. A beautiful bodyguard android hiding in the wreckage of a ruined city. These 14 critically acclaimed and award-winning short stories by Jamil Nasir originally appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Interzone, Universe, and other magazines and anthologies.