Audiobook, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Short Story

Short Story Short Review: The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is a great addition to The Dead Djinn Universe

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“The Haunting of Tram Car 015” by P. Djèlí Clark
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Haunting of Tram Car 015” is a stand-alone novella and the third entry in the Dead Djinn Universe by P. Djèlí Clark. You can find it in various formats, such as a 96-page ebook on Amazon which is included in a Kindle Unlimited membership, a trade paperback published by Tor/Forge, or an audiobook produced by Recorded Books and narrated by Julian Thomas. I was able to borrow the audiobook version from hoopla via my local public library, and it clocks in at about three and a half hours. This novella was a finalist for the 2020 Hugo Award, the 2020 Nebula Award, and the 2020 Locus Award.

In this novella, we receive more detailed descriptions of our favorite alternate Cairo 1912, as well as glimpses into the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities as they work on the case of a possessed tram car. We meet the folks on the caise, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Osni Youssef. They soon realize that the haunting is not likely a ghost, since ghosts aren’t really a thing, but it may be something involving a djinn. But of course it’s a little more involved than that.

There is a small shout out to Fatma, the protagonist of “A Dead Djinn in Cairo,” as she’s described as one of the most famous agents if the Ministry. I was pleased that we also got a shout out to Siti, the woman who assisted Fatma with the Big Bad of that short story. I didn’t know she was involved for a while, as she introduces herself by the name Habla. Apparently she collects dolls.

I appreciated the inclusion of some intersectional feminism in the form of women’s suffrage and more progressive ideas about gender roles. Boilerplate eunuchs have been mentioned in previous stories in this universe, but this particular story introduces the idea that those automatons could learn to think for themselves since they were sentient.

CW: children and pregnant women in danger

View all my reviews

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