Lavie Tidhar was in Dar-es-Salaam during the American embassy bombings in 1998, and stayed in the same hotel as the Al Qaeda operatives in Nairobi. Since then he and his now-wife have narrowly avoided both the 2005 King’s Cross and 2004 Sinai attacks—experiences that led first to his memorable short story “My Travels with Al-Qaeda” and later to the creation of Osama.
“In a world without global terrorism Joe, a private detective, is hired by a mysterious woman to find a man: the obscure author of pulp fiction novels featuring one Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante…”
Shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award.
"Not a writer to mess around with half measures ... brings to mind Philip K Dick's seminal science fiction novel The Man in the High Castle." - The Guardian
"Bears comparison with the best of Philip K Dick's paranoid, alternate-history fantasies. It's beautifully written and undeniably powerful." - The Financial Times
"Intensely moving." - Interzone
Tidhar (Cloud Permutations) offers perhaps the weirdest fictional take yet on Osama Bin Laden in this offbeat and enigmatic thriller. The prologue briefly describes the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi by al-Qaeda in 1998. But that section turns out to be part of a pulp novel, Assignment: Africa, the third in the popular Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante series, authored by someone writing as Mike Longshott. An unnamed woman who wants to locate Longshott hires Joe, a private detective based in Vientiane, Laos, for the job, with no expenses spared. The obvious first stop is Paris, home of Medusa Press, which publishes Longshott's books, but Joe's investigation doesn't follow a linear path. The less than rigorous internal logic (e.g., in this reality, Joe, who appears to be an ex-pat American, has never heard of the World Trade Center) and a bizarre encounter with Mr. Rick from the movie Casablanca may leave some readers scratching their heads.