Reborn City: Zahara the Expatriate

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Novel, Progress Report, Reflections, Writing
Tags: , , , , , expatriate–to leave one’s country to reside elsewhere

I’m about to edit another chapter of Reborn City (yes, I’m still editing, but my beta reader’s schedule has freed up a little, so the chapters are coming faster than before). Before that, I read a blog post (read here: about how certain characters in science-fiction are considered expatriates and what category of expatriates they are (yes, there are categories. Read the blog post if you doubt me). The post covered everything from Superman to Futurama to Star Wars to even Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters, and it got me thinking: Zahara Bakur, main character of my own science fiction novel, is an expatriate, or expat for short.

For those of you who haven’t read the novel–which is basically everybody but me and my beta reader and fellow author Matt Williams–Zahara was born and raised until her elementary years in Cairo, which in the RC universe is one of the last remnants of the Egyptian state (don’t ask me why, just read the book when it comes out). However Zahara’s father moves the family to New York City, which is now its own independent city-state, to attend NYU’s law school, and the poor girl has to adopt to a much more liberal and sometimes very Islamaphobic culture. Over the years she gets used to New York and finds friends that don’t judge based on a person’s religious affiliation, but things shake up horribly for Zahara when she’s fifteen.

What happens? Her father has to relocate to Reborn City, which is the Las Vegas of the strange world of RC. There Zahara has to adjust to living in a city that is worse than New York City in how Islamaphobic it can be. When Zahara finds herself coerced into gang life, she finds the whole gangster culture mind-boggling, especially the taken-for-granted hostility between the various gangs and the equating of surviving violence and conquering enemies as being tough and cool. Zahara has to live with this sort of culture and try her best to adjust to it while also integrating the gang culture with the culture of New York, her Muslim upbringing, and her naturally peaceful nature.

Even without all the science fiction elements in this story, you can see how much conflict Zahara has to go through.  But as the story progresses, I hope Zahara can find a new strength that she didn’t have before. I’ll see where the two sequels go with the story and hopefully things will get better for Zahara and her friends.

But before that, I have to see the first book out on the digital bookshelves. I’ll let you know how things go as I get updates. Blog on you later.

  1. It’s cool, because I get it!

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