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Prayer beads clicked between the fingers of Song Muhanmode ben Mahdi, Emperor of China and Imam of All Islam.

“Does the letter continue?” he said.

The secretary cleared his throat. “The missive ends, your Majesty, with the words, ‘they shall surely kill us all. May Allah have mercy on us.'”

Silence filled the Hall of the Great Shia, as profound as the space between life and death. Then the lacquered nails clicked again across the beads, counting down the ninety-nine names of God.

“May Allah have mercy on them,” said the Imam-Emperor, “indeed.”


If you liked that teaser, please consider buying Tales from Alternate Earths, an alternate history anthology containing TREASURE FLEET, a story about a Muslim southern China’s voyage across the Pacific.

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