Naseem Jamnia: The Bruising of Qilwa - in conversation with Charlie Jane Anders

October 20th, 2022



Deep in the woodwork at Bookshop West Portal, there are some big time fantasy and science fiction followers. This event features rockstars from both of those worlds. We're excited to host Naseem Jamnia for their debut fantasy work The Bruising of Qilwa. We're thrilled to host a lively conversation between Naseem Jamnia and award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders. This event is free to attend and currently slated to be in-person. We are monitoring the COVID situation and remain committed to following all public heath guidelines. We are flexible and will hold this event virtually if need be.



In this intricate debut fantasy introducing a queernormative Persian-inspired world, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease that causes political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family.

Firuz-e Jafari is fortunate enough to have immigrated to the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, fleeing the slaughter
of other traditional Sassanian blood magic practitioners in their homeland. Despite the status of refugees in their new home, Firuz has a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa, working with Kofi, a kindly new employer, and mentoring Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee with powerful magic. But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease that leaves mysterious bruises on its victims.

The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly performed blood magic. In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice, un- tangle sociopolitical constraints, and find a fresh start for both their blood and found family.








Naseem Jamnia is a former neuroscientist and recent MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Their work has appeared in the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus, The Writer’s Chronicle, and other venues.

Jamnia is a 2018 Bitch Media Fellow in Technology and a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction, and they recently received the 2021 inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellowship.

In addition to cowriting the academic text Positive Interactions with At-Risk Children, Jamnia’s work has been included in the Lambda Literary EMERGE anthology (2020) and We Made Uranium! And Other True Stories from the University of Chicago’s Extraordinary Scavenger Hunt.

A Persian-Chicagoan and child to Iranian immigrants, Jamnia now lives in Reno with their husband, dog, and two cats. Find out at more at and on Twitter and Instagram at @jamsternazzy.


Charlie Jane Anders is an author, columnist, and speaker living in San Francisco. She has written multiple science fiction books, including the Unstoppable series, and has published a book of essays, Never Say You Can't Survive, about how creativity bolsters resilience. She also hosts a recurring literary event, Writers with Drinks, in which local writers share their work with an appreciative and tipsy audience. 





Photo credit: Sarah Deragon


Event date: 
Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 7:00pm
The Bruising of Qilwa By Naseem Jamnia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616963781
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tachyon Publications - August 9th, 2022