Iranians in space

Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

Why don't we have futuristic stories? If you look at Iranian literature, all of it takes place in the present or the past. I say "all" for the sake of argument since I'm sure there are a handful of exceptions. Generally speaking, Iranian writers have avoided venturing into the future.

I wonder why that is. Why is it that every year there are hundreds of science fiction books written by Americans, but nothing by Iranians. We are not alone as the imagination of other world authors also doesn't extend beyond earth or venture far into the future.

I think it would be interesting to experiment, to push ourselves to imagine realms that resemble nothing like the past or the present. To make-up entirely new societies and norms. The only link with the present would be names and language. But there's not even a need for those. Why have any links to the present? Dream up something entirely new and different.

What fascinates me is the ability to see beyond all our present problems and limitations and imagine whatever we please. I think imagination is the first step towards change. Not always change for the better, but change nevertheless. To experiment and learn in the process.

We belong to a culture which resists change. One of our biggest heroes, Rostam, famously kills his son, Sohrab, and this has been interpreted as the consistent domination of the old over the new, slowing the speed of change to a crawl.

I have a suggestion. Let's try to break this trend just for fun. There are many good writers on this site these days. See if you can come up with an Iranian story that takes place at least 500 years in the future, preferably in some distant galaxy. However far your imagination can go.

I can't wait to see what you come up with :)


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And the winner is...

by Jahanshah Javid on

Mordam az khandeh. Jayezeh behtarin daastaane sci-fi ro bordi, faghat beh khaatereh hamin chand khat

روی اصول قانون داروین و تئوری تکامل که بخوای حسابشو بکنی‌، تا اون موقع مثلا "محسن سازگارا" به جای پنج تا انگشت توی هردست، حداقل هفت تا انگشت داره، که یعنی‌ طبیعت فهمیده که ایشون وقتی‌ میاد جلوی دوربین واسه برنامه‌های یوتوب و دستاشو اینجوری اونجوری میکنه و "موارد" میشمره و "مطالب" میگه، نباید انگشت کم بیاره،


Why is it that every year

by benross on

Why is it that every year there are hundreds of science fiction books written by Americans, but nothing by Iranians.

We use our fictions for politics.



by Minoo66 on



Anyone think

by bottled-banana on

Iranians will be the first to discover a "sooraakh kerm", i.e. a worm hole? :)

That would sure make travelling to the other side of the Galaxy a lot quicker, where we can proceed to introduce alien races to the joys of chelo-kakab with doogh, shirini Yazdi and get them to dance along (handkercief in hand) to marhoom Nemat Aghassi's all time classic, "Labeh Kaaroon"...



by Faramarz_Fateh on

I am working on a futuristic novel in which the rocket which was supposed to take Antarnejad and Khamenei to the moon is lost in space.

Stayed tuned. 

Anahid Hojjati

I was fan of Aziz Nasin too, Dear Divaneh and Anonymouse

by Anahid Hojjati on


Dear Divaneh, I liked your story about what Aziz Nasin did with his Erotica story, and you have a good point regarding writing about what touches one.

Growing up; dear mouse, I read many of Aziz Nasin's books. 

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Divaneh, you made an excellent point. While we have so many problems here on earth, today in the present, why fly off into space literally and imaginatively?

Aside from the merits of science fiction, it is very difficult to dismiss those who believe that having a space program is a complete waste when so many people are suffering on earth.

But as human beings I think we are dreamers and curious about the universe. The vast unknown beyond our planet is something we instinctively desire to explore.

I'm glad you will try to write a sci-fi story. I love your writings.


Aziz Nassin! I remember him and his books, he was very cool!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Jahanshah Javid

I stand corrected

by Jahanshah Javid on

Ali A Parsa, you're right old man. Honare adaptation and survival nazde Iranian ast o bas.


What? Futuristic? Iran?

by divaneh on

Aziz Nassin, the famous Turk satirist has a story where his editor asks him to write an erotic story instead of the normal satire about the social issues. This in editor's view would attract more readers as people are more interested in erotica than everyday problems.

Nassin struggled for a bit and then had a glass of wine and started writing something like this (just based on my memory)

I picked a glass of Martini and went on the deck of the cruise liner. There, watching the beautiful Mediterranean sunset, facing the sea was the most attractive woman that I had ever seen. Her inviting legs, her moist dark hair, beautiful curves and the little red dress that modestly covered this Venus were all calling me.

- Hello, you are the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen.

- Ha, ha. Thanks.

- I mean it. You look stunning; you have such beautiful lips, so red, contrasting your pale complexion.

- That’s what a good lipstick does for you, but they are now becoming too expensive. All make up prices are rocketing and with these ever rising rents it's now very difficult for a beautiful woman, ....

And then he is back to his normal societal issues. He concludes that you write about what touches you and in a society that has so many hungry people and so many problems, you cannot write erotica. 

Now JJ jaan, Az Kouze Hamaan Boroun Taraavad...

I however will give it a try.

Ali A Parsa

JJ, Sir, please admit that even you can err!

by Ali A Parsa on

I am afraid that you are still not off the hook! You say "Ali A Parsa, I see your point. Maybe I should have said we are less open to new ideas that can bring about change." Young man, with all due respect and good will toward you I do not want you to hang onto the opinion that Iranians are less open to change. They really are more open to change than the people of other countries in the region. Iranians are among the best masters of adaptation and change and they should be crdited for possessing this degree of survival mechanism. Just compare any Iranian in America to people of other ethnicity and you will find out. Do not also overlook how this character has played a role in submitting to the conquorers while simultaneously hanging on to their own unique identity, perhaps waiting for a more opporune time for a complete overhaul.



Azarin Sadegh

I might try writing a gory story about the day the world ends,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Or maybe a science fiction short story "a la Petit Prince" who one day had watched the sunset forty-four times.

But not today...maybe on weekend. Actually, for me this is a real challenge (I really don't like sci-fi books or movies), but I like challenges, especially the literary ones! 

Dear JJ, Thanks a lot for your creative suggestion! 



by anonymous111.2 on

There was the "Djinn" movie that came out in the 90's (with a possible sequel) that was about the Persian "Jenn" story, complete with an Ahura Mazda and all.  I don't have the time to look now, but I'm sure you can find it on IMDB.  

BTW, extremely bad movie! 



Are we not already living in space? A kind of a wormhole?

by Hovakhshatare on

A freak of nature time warp called IRR. Threw us back 1400 years so 500 years from now, we'll only be 900 years behind. In earth or space.


Niki jaan an Iranian horror movie = Girl's Dormitory

by Anonymouse on

I generally don't like horror movies, think it's a waste of time. This is a good Iranian horror movie.  While not a great drama or anything, it is entertaining and worth watching for an hour and a half's worth! I like just about all Iranian movies.


Poisonous Honey below is also another horror movie, although I'm not sure if it is a thriller or horror.


Everything is sacred.

Niki Tehranchi

Great idea!

by Niki Tehranchi on

I would also love to see a good Iranian gothic horror story.  I am sure there is a budding Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King among our pool of talented fiction writers.  Do we even have native demons or vampires in our folklore?  I have never heard of them.

Or a love story told through food and fantasy, a la Like Water for Chocolate.  We have such a rich cooking tradition that it is a shame no one has come up with a writing that makes this an integral part of the storytelling.  I am thinking of Jhumpa Lahiri who always weaves mouth watering descriptions of Indian cooking in the midst of her stories about immigrants and families.

It would be really cool to read a science fiction story told through the perspective of an Iranian.  Growing up, I went through a science fiction phase and those books still hold close to my heart.  John Wyndham was a favorite, with the Day of the Triffids and the Chrysalids.  David Graham's Down to a Sunless Sea.  And of course Jules Verne's novels, which were so ahead of their time.


I admire all of you courageous writers

by Monda on

I'm the one who gets goosebumps even watching Nova! The idea of existence on other galaxies frighten me beyond my present capacity.  To me it's all an unknown black cold territory that currently I can't muster courage to get near. I'm not a writer anyway, so thank god my head won't even go to that realm! Can't wait to read your imaginative pieces but I will brace myself for horror-induced headaches when I read them :o)

P.S. I notice my heart rate going up by reading JJ's blog then again when I just heard Faramaz's link. 



King Pakal

by anonymous111.2 on

You must have ESP (which in and of itself could be a good sci fi storyline!).  The Mayan King Pakal is the guy that I am focusing on.  There are many reasons why I chose him, most of which, unfortunately, boil down to the issue of marketability.  While I’m still focusing on the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis, the way I’m approaching the subject matter is different from Erich von Däniken…and that is all that I can say at this time.  I will share an excerpt when it’s done.   And you are correct about George Melies.  In my opinion (as well as others), he is the father of the sci fi genre that we are accustomed to these days.    

Jahanshah Javid

Nazy & Faramarz

by Jahanshah Javid on

Good luck Nazy! Go for it!

Thanks Faramarz, hilarious! Over-population of virgins after the demise of radical Islam :))))

All of you who want to attempt writing science fiction, please post in your blog.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

ما (که از بنده گان برگزیده خداوند هستیم !) هر بار که به دربار ملوکانه حاضرت ملکه ماری جوانا شرفیاب می‌شویم،یک مینی مسافرتی هم به فضا و دیگر کهکشانات می‌کنیم.این به مورد حساب است ؟!


Faramarz jaan what were d virgins wearing?Not a spacesuit I hope

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Darius Kadivar

May work on one too ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Good idea !

Thanks for suggesting it.



Banana, thanks for the kind words

by Cost-of-Progress on

Yes, I assembled my thoughts and put it together right after reading JJ's blog. I am a bit of a buff when it comes to these things. Helps me escape the nasty thoughts about the brutalities of today's life on this rock.

As for your questions: No fossil fuel on Ahura 5, but rather Dilithium Crystal mines everywhere (anti matter engines baby). And chelo-kabab? But of course. No self respecting Irooni will set foot on a place where chelo kabab is not the king of meals...LOL.





Jahanshah Javid

Where's our Georges Melies?

by Jahanshah Javid on

anonymous111.2, best of luck in your project. Hope you can share an excerpt one day.

My favorite intriguing image associated with the "ancient astronauts" theory is the Mayan "seated astronaut":

I don't buy the theory, but this work of art (and others) point to an amazing imagination.

Look at this clip from Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon", sixy-something years before the Apollo mission:

Back then (1902), who but one with a wild imaginative mind could come up with such an "impossible" thought?

Where's our Georges Melies?

Go for it anonymous111.2.


يك دو سه بى نهايت


Bottled Banana,
I really liked your Star Trek idea. Here is mine. The Twilight Zone

It is the year 2100. The earth is finally a peaceful place. All the world's problems have been solved. There is no hunger, no global warming and everyone is getting along fine. Iran is a democracy. Peace has been established in the Middle East. The radical Islam and suicide bombing have been vanished for decades.

A spaceship lands in Tehran. The curious Iranians gather around the spaceship. The door opens. The ramp comes down. And then thousands of virgins walk out! The crowd is overwhelmed.

Ever since the death of radical Islam, the virgin population on the planet Heaven have been growing. With no jobs and no prospect, they have been languishing. The problem had finally reached a point that they had to leave and find men in other galaxies!

The virgins are excited to see the men. The men agree that each will take one virgin home. Then comes a voice from the back of the crowd, “You are entitled to 72 virgins. Only the most pious of you should have the virgins!” says the man in black turban.

People gather around to see who the man is. They whisper, “He says that he is the 12th Imam, and that he just came out of the well in that old religious site!” The crowd listens to him. A fight breaks out. Everyone wants 72 virgins. The virgins are scared. They get back into the spaceship and leave the Earth for another galaxy!

And that’s how the story ends...


Nazy Kaviani

I'll try it!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thanks for the writing call, Jahanshah. I think we should all give it a try. I am sketching mine and I'll write and share it sometime over the weekend. You'll have to promise to be kind to me!


I'm currently working

by anonymous111.2 on

on a screenplay project involving "ancient astronauts".  But it probably won't be ready for another 6-8 months (that's the "raw" version without any rewrites) , as it needs a lot more research. It's my first journey into the sci-fi world.  I have a lot of horror genre stuff, but they are all in screenplay format--and I don't think that they're the type of stuff that you're looking for.  I did email you some time ago about the short story that I wanted to send you, which takes place in the "near future" in Iran.  Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it as fast as I wanted to as I had to meet some deadlines on other projects that I was working on before the end of the year.  I will try to finish it and send it to you soon.  

BTW, here's some info. on ancient astronauts:




by bottled-banana on

Bravo on that short sci-fi story, especially if you really did just put it together today. Most impressive.

One question, do you think the 37th centry inter-stellar Iranian explorers will manage to find copious reserves of fossil fuel on Ahura-5 to make them feel nostalgic about the old days, circa 20th and 21st centries, back in the old home land?

And will chelo-kababi Naayeb open a branch on Ahura-5 to cater for the gastronomic needs of the Iranian miners?

Jahanshah Javid

Evolutionary change

by Jahanshah Javid on

Ali A Parsa, I see your point. Maybe I should have said we are less open to new ideas that can bring about change.

And yes, democracy cannot be exported or imposed. But in a democratic society, freedom of thought and expression play a key role in bringing about change -- evolutionary change by consensus.