The Hyperreal Fiction of Majid Salim
Friday, 21st April 2017
Majid Salim is the author of four novels, with an international readership. The titles – The Tides of Reality, 2015; The Eye of Control, 2015; The Gravity Well, 2016; and The Ascending Stairway, 2017 – suggest sci-fi adventure thrillers, but they have a distinct voice that morphs between literary genres – supernatural, mystery, espionage, thriller, science-fiction – and different historical, current and future time-eras.
Majid was born in Birmingham in 1976, went to King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, and lives in the B13 area. His fourth novel, The Ascending Stairway, 2017, is set in a transcendent, hyperreal, contemporary Birmingham. It is a story where odd things happen – spaceships appear, but in a cool way – with magic realist influences outside the range of normal or physical human experience. The story has a strong feminist content as a coming of age story about two girls, rich and poor, leaving school with parallel journeys into adulthood, although they never meet.
His first novel, The Tides of Reality, is a tale of the unknown, of damned and mysterious spirits. Set in the 1850s, it concerns ‘The Ship’, even the name of which has faded into history, and sailors existing in a torpid state endeavouring to remember where they are going and who they are. As they drift aimlessly across an unnamed ocean the crew struggle to recall the events that led to their impasse and to regain mastery of the vessel from something intangible and elusive.
While his second novel, The Eye of Control, is a dark espionage and intelligence thriller set in London during WWII with unpredictable plot twists, assassinations, subvert missions, computer technology, and secret codes embedded in the newspapers.
His third novel, The Gravity Well, is a science-fiction thriller about a UFO that has crashed on Earth that asks: Are we alone in the universe? And what would happen if non-human life forms were discovered? The United States Special Forces are keeping this information secret and determining how to control the potential dramatic scenario, concerned with the possibilities of what exactly is on the UFO, and what would they want from the people of Earth?
Majid studied English Literature and Philosophy at Manchester University and his literary sources include the Latin-American magic realism of Jorge-Luis Borges, and the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson. The science-fiction writing of Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick is particularly influential, as are the dystopian visual worlds portrayed in films such as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
Majid’s approach to writing is parallel to watching films, as he visualises the narrative as a series of cinematic scenes. As a novel storyline progresses with multiple plots, he does not know exactly what is going to happen, but allows a psychological freedom for characters and situations to develop. His writing is both skilful and intuitive, merging naturalistic elements of real life, observation, and imagination with the supernatural and hyperreal to create a unique voice that he describes as Authentic Reality. All books can be found at Amazon.