Skip to main content

The Faithful Soldier, Prompted by Saladin Ahmed

* Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate and sponsored links. Learn more on my Disclosure page.

"The Faithful Soldier, Prompted" is a 2010 science fiction short story by Saladin Ahmed. It is about a former soldier who make a dangerous trip to post-apocalyptic Cairo to get medicine for his wife.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Old Cairo by southtopia, CC 2.0 License

Ali is making the insanely dangerous trip from Beirut to Old Cairo. Why is it so dangerous? Well, there are the sand storms, the bandits and especially the nanohanced tigers. Why risk it all in this unsafe world that is the result of worldwide economic meltdown – the so-called Global Credit Crusade? Well, because his lovely wife is dying and they can’t afford medical care for much longer. Oh, and something keeps giving him messages via his retinal screens. Yeah, stuff like “go to the Western Mosque in Old Cairo.” What? That is nearly 400 miles! Oh well, the messages have been strangely persuasive – even if things don’t always end up like Ali wants them to. Time to start packing for a long hike, Ali!

Some Juicy Tidbits About This Story

  • Word count: 3,447 (6 pages)
  • Did you know that Saladin Ahmed is “descended from Arabs and Irishmen?” Yep. Learn more about this amazing author on his web site.
  • * Warning: Be careful, this story has a lot of “adult language” in it – so stay away if you don’t like that stuff.

Where To Find The Faithful Soldier, Prompted

  • This short story first appeared in the November 2010 edition of the online webzine Apex Magazine.
  • You can read (or listen to) a free version of "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted" at Escape Pod.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted" then you may also enjoy the other Saladin Ahmed story I have reviewed: “Hooves And The Hovel Of Abdel Jameela” – about an ancient Middle-Eastern doctor who helps a very strange couple.