Saladin Ahmed

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Saladin Ahmed
Born (1975-10-04) October 4, 1975 (age 42)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality American
Alma mater Rutgers University, MA
Brooklyn College, MFA
University of Michigan, BA
Henry Ford Community College
Genre Science fiction, fantasy
Years active 2000-present

Saladin Ahmed (born October 4, 1975) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer and poet. His 2012 book Throne of the Crescent Moon was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel[1][2][3] and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel.[4] He has also been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, the Nebula Award for Best Novel[5] and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Ahmed's fiction has been published in anthologies and magazines including Strange Horizons, Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Clockwork Phoenix 2 and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. He is also the author of Black Bolt and Exiles from Marvel Comics.[2][6]

Personal life and education[edit]

Ahmed was born in 1975 in Detroit, Michigan to parents of Lebanese, Egyptian, Irish, and Polish descent.[7] His father, Ismael Ahmed, formerly in the merchant marine, worked both in a factory and as a community organizer.[2] His mother was a political activist.

After graduating from high school, Ahmed attended Henry Ford Community College before transferring to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[7] After receiving a B.A. in American Studies, Ahmed earned an MFA at Brooklyn College and an MA in English from Rutgers University.



Ahmed's science fiction and fantasy stories have been published in magazines and anthologies including Strange Horizons, Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Clockwork Phoenix 2, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. In 2010, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.[8]

Ahmed's story "Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela", originally published in Clockwork Phoenix 2, was a finalist for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.[9] His story "Where Virtue Lives", originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, was a finalist for the 2009 Harper's Pen Award.

His novel trilogy The Crescent Moon Kingdoms is currently being published by DAW Books.[10] The novels are fantasies inspired by One Thousand and One Nights.[11] The first book in the series, Throne of the Crescent Moon, was published by DAW Books in February 2012.[12][13]

Ahmed's poetry has been published in various literary journals and books and has been awarded fellowships from the University of Michigan, Brooklyn College, and the Bronx Council on the Arts.

In October 2017 gained media attention for a Twitter post addressed to the cereal company Kellogg's: "why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism." Kellogg's indicated they would change the artwork on future Corn Pops shipments.[2][3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Throne of the Crescent Moon was a finalist for both the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.[5][1][3][2] Ahmed won the Locus Award for Best First Novel for the novel.[4]

He was also a finalist for the 2010 and 2011 John W. Campbell Award and the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.

He has been a Guest of Honor at various science fiction conventions, most recently WisCon 42.





Short stories[edit]

  • Star Wars: Canto Bight - "Rules of the Game" (Del Rey, December 2017)
  • "Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy" - Rags & Bones, ed. By Melissa Marr, Tim Pratt (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, October 2013)
  • "Amethyst, Shadow, and Light" - Fearsome Journeys, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Solaris, May 2013)
  • "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted" - Apex Magazine 18, November 2010
podcast by StarShipSofa
podcast by DrabbleCast
Finalist for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Short Story
podcast by PodCastle
Finalist for the 2009 Harper’s Pen Award.


Ahmed's poetry has appeared in the following journals and anthologies:

  • Callaloo Volume 32, Issue 4 (2009)
  • Against Agamemnon: War Poetry (WaterWood Press 2009)
  • Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press 2008)
  • Margie: The American Journal of Poetry Volume 6 (2007)
  • We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon (Interlink Books 2007)
  • The Brooklyn Review #19 (2002)
  • The Brooklyn Review #18 (2001)
  • Big City Lit (2001)
  • Mizna Volume 3, Issue 1 (2001)
  • Abandon Automobile: Detroit City Poetry (Wayne State University Press 2001)
  • Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing' (Kitab/Syracuse University Press 2000)
  • Arab Detroit: From Margin to Mainstream (Wayne State University Press 2000)


  1. ^ a b "2013 Hugo Award Nominations". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cavna, Michael (October 26, 2017). "Kellogg's will change its Corn Pops box after author says it teaches 'kids racism'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Aaron (October 26, 2017). "Kellogg's gets rid of racially insensitive art on Corn Pops box". Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Locus Awards Winners", Locus Online, June 29, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "2012 Nebula Award Nominees Announced", SFWA, accessed February 23, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Krug, Kurt Anthony (May 1, 2017). "Award-winning Oak Park author tries his hand at Marvel Comics' 'Black Bolt'". Oakland Press. 
  7. ^ a b "Biography", Saladin Ahmed (, archived November 15, 2010, accessed December 2, 2010.
  8. ^ "2010 Hugo Awards Winners," Locus Magazine, September 5, 2010, accessed December 2, 2010.
  9. ^ "2009 SFWA Nebula Awards Final Ballot", Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc. (SFWA), accessed December 2, 2010. Archived 1 February 2011 at WebCite
  10. ^ "People and Publishing", Locus, September 2010, p. 8.
  11. ^ "YEE-HAW! I've signed with DAW!", Saladin Ahmed (, accessed December 2, 2010.[page needed]
  12. ^ Penguin Group Throne of the Crescent Moon page
  13. ^ "THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is now on sale!", Saladin Ahmed, February 7, 2012.

External links[edit]