The Haunting of Tram Car 015 (2019) by P. Djeli Clark

“The tram in question is a design of the djinn,” he explained. “It is endowed with a machine mind imbued with magic. The tram is thus capable of thought, which it uses to guide itself and its passengers safely.”

P. Djeli Clark’s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is a story set in an alternate 1910s Cairo where supernatural beings such as djinn and angels exist alongside the regular citizens. It’s a population which includes mystics and sorcerers, as well as our two main characters: agents Hamed and Onsi of ‘the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities.’ They are called in to investigate the reported haunting of a tram car.

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The case seems simple enough at first. After a meeting with the tram company’s Superintendent Bashir, the two agents proceed to the haunted tram car to see what they are dealing with. Continue reading

A Dead Djinn in Cairo (2016) by P. Djeli Clark

‘His skin was a sheath of aquamarine scales that shifted to turquoise beneath the glare of flickering gas lamps.’

It was the title of P. Djeli Clark’s 2019 novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015 that caught my attention. I’d seen it recommended on Amazon when I was browsing for a new book. It had also appeared on the Locus 2019 Recommended Reading List; a list I always look forward to every year. Before buying a copy, I discovered¬†A Dead Djinn in Cairo was a short story published in 2016 that was set in the same universe. So I quickly purchased it and read it through in one sitting–it’s only just over 40 pages long.

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Brief Summary Continue reading