2018 Salam Award

The winner of the 2018 Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction, which recognizes emerging speculative fiction writers of Pakistani origin or residence, was announced September 29.


  • Akbar Shahzad for his story Influence


The two other finalists were:

  • Nur Ibrahim for the story A Picture of the Dying World
  • Nur Kahn for the story In the Village Where the Mazaar Now Stands

Honorable Mentions

  • Kasim Mohammed  – Stop Paying Attention
  • Saher Husnain – Repairman
  • Ramlah Nadeem  – A Foolproof Reason
  • Maira Asaad – Up on the Eggshell Bridge
  • Fatima Taqvi – The Dead Man’s Gift

The Salam Award judges were E. Lily Yu, Elizabeth Hand, and Anil Menon.

Eligible for consideration were original, previously unpublished English-language stories of 10,000 words or less by persons residing in Pakistan, or of Pakistani birth/descent.

Usman Malik reported in June that the award has entered into a partnership with Orlando-based Burrow Press and their Functionally Literate Reading Series. Starting in March 2019, each year’s Salam Award winner will be invited to do a public reading in Orlando, Florida, with travel and lodging aided by a subsidy from the Burrow Press.

Malik also said the winner will be encouraged to attend the International Conference for the Fantastic in Arts (ICFA), and they were working on covering the expense.

The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction is named for Dr. Albus Salam, one of the pioneers of science in Pakistan.