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The Haunting of Tram Car 015

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,604 ratings  ·  378 reviews
P. Djeli Clark returns to the historical fantasy universe of "A Dead Djinn in Cairo", with the otherworldly adventure novella "The Haunting of Tram Car 015".

Cairo, 1912:
The case started as a simple one for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities - handling a possessed tram car. Soon, however, Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner Agent Onsi Youssef
Audiobook, 3 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Recorded Books, Inc.
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Cairo, 1912 or so. There's a ghost in Tram Car 015, although Senior Agent Hamed is fairly certain it isn't a ghost. You see, the world has been opened to the land of the djinn since 1860 or so, and it's more likely that the troublemaker is some kind of lesser djinn. But Inspector and his new sidekick, the enthusiastic and open Agent Onsi will certainly find out. Meanwhile, the women of Egypt are mobilizing, advocating that Parliament give them the right to vote. It makes for a very volatile ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
A pitch-perfect investigative story, characters and worldbuilding I thoroughly enjoyed, and I had a big smile on my face by the end. I love this alternate history version of Cairo! And setting an investigation of a haunted tram car during the lead up to a vote on women's suffrage was immensely and unexpectedly satisfying.

Longer review video:
K.J. Charles
Absolutely terrific. A fantasy-detective novella set in an alternate early 20th century Cairo, where the emergence of djinn a few decades ago have turned Egypt into the main global power. Our heroes are from the supernatural department of the police, attempting to deal with what looks like a routine haunting of an aerial tram car, which rapidly lurches out of control. Brilliant world building, which manages to be super vivid and detailed without ever feeling overloaded or slowing the story, and ...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
A monster-of-the-week story set in a well worn, beautifully expansive world. It is unique, charming, and deeply magical in a way that only asks for more stories to be told.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is a wonderful, atmospheric novella set in an alternate Cairo, featuring haunted steampunk technology.

I already knew I liked P. Djèlí Clark's writing because of The Black God's Drums (...another alt-history, darker novella you should try if you haven't already) and because of A Dead Djinn In Cairo, which is set in the same universe as this book and is also free online (and you should read it). Even though I loved both of these, I was still surprised by how much I
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Wait, your tram is haunted?” The superintendent answered with a dour nod that made his moustache droop. “Tram 015, that runs the line down to the Old City. It’s one of the newer models that came out in 1910. Only two years in service, and we’re already having these troubles. God protect us!” “I didn’t know trams could be haunted,” Onsi murmured, plopping another sudjukh in his mouth."

This is a bizarre and harrowing fast ride on an urban elevated tram system in an “alternate” Cairo, Egypt of a
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1912 in the same alt-history story universe as the author’s A Dead Djinn in Cairo, The Haunting of Tram Car 015 excels on multiple fronts: as a [magical] detective yarn, as a chilling, classically structured haunted house story, and as a vehicle for historian Clark’s speculative re-imagining of modern Egyptian civilization. The story follows Hamed Nasr, an agent for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, and his eager but inexperienced new partner Onsi and they ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
Read because I much enjoyed A Dead Djinn in Cairo. This is set in the same time and place, although with more "everyday" type characters. I'm expecting that the author has at least one more story planned for Cairo, as some of the details about the side characters, especially Siti, seemed to suggest a larger story.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
An alternate reality, the beginning of the 20th century. Cairo is the center of world culture and technology, magic and the arcane arts are now widespread, so much so that even the conservatives at Harvard and Oxford and finally attempting to include it into the curriculum, and humans are living and working alongside otherworldly creatures on a daily basis. The world is a marvel, but it's not without problems, and that's why Agent Hamed and Agent Onsi have their jobs with the Ministry of ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid one from Clark. This novella felt more deeply developed than The Black God's Drum but is equally exquisite. This stories also addressed issues (though tangentially) of feminism and empowerment. I am still out on the epilogue but I am definitely yearning for more stories from this world.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Listened to the audio version and I found the story so good! I only wish it had been longer.
I love this world created by the author! And though we only get to spend a short while with the dapper Agent Fatma, we follow a different investigator, Investigator Nasr, and his trainee as they deal with a haunted tram car and legends, and women campaigning to get the vote.
The world building is great, and I love this alt-1912 Cairo peopled by djinn, spirits, angels, and investigators.
To the author: Please write more in this world; I love these stories!
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Agent Hamed takes his new partner to investigate a haunting in a tram car—except everyone knows there's no such things as ghosts and no one has ever heard of a haunted tram car.

Clark is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite short story and novella writers. I absolutely love his alternate 1912 Cairo, where djinns appeared, helped sweep away the tide of European imperialism and transformed Egypt into a major world power and Cairo into one of the most predominant metropolitan cities.

Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Set in Cairo circa. 1912, The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is an excellent detective story with imaginative world building, strong writing, ample folklore, and steampunk elements. At its core, it is a haunting of an aerial tram car, which is how residents (Cairenes) move around the Egyptian city. Two agents from the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities are dispatched to resolve the problem, and they are baffled as to the nature of the being (djinn, ifrit or something worse.) ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful characters in an inventive and unusual Middle Eastern fantasy setting, with a light tone I found irresistible. A bit slight, if self aware about it. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a full novel in this world eventually.
Matthew Quann
Man, what a terrific little find this was.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 follows a fairly straight forward supernatural detective plot, but is embellished with a likeable characters, a genuinely unique fantasy world, and great writing. P. Djèlí Clark's tale of grizzled and grumpy detective Hamed and his fresh new partner, the overly-enthusiastic Onsi, makes for a hell of a good buddy comedy. Not only does Clark do a great job of establishing the tone of this novella, he continues to hit all the
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-2019
Clark is rapidly becoming one of my favorite fantasy writers. He gets world building and does a great job of presenting difference without it being cloying or didactic. And Carol’s review said it better and first:
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, fantasy
Actual rating: 4.00

Great worldbuilding in such a short book. I hope the author writes more stories in this universe.
Superb! I pre-ordered this follow up to A Dead Djinn in Cairo as soon as it was listed, and hadn't really paid any attention to the blurb, so I hadn't realized Fatma wouldn't be the main character here, and that was a slight adjustment as I started reading. But Agents Hamed and Onsi deliver a satisfying investigation / adventure in Clark's amazing magical steampunk alternate Egypt.

I did miss the queer feel of aDDiC a bit, but Siti is here, though in a very different role, and there is a cameo
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I keep trying to figure out what I want to say about The Haunting of Tram Car 015. Is the prose gorgeous? Yes. Are the characters wonderfully alive? Absolutely. Is the world-building astounding? Yes and yes again.

But what sticks to the mind long after marginalia of the book has begun to blur is the idea of it. The stand-out creation here is Cairo as it could have been, Cairo without colonization, Cairo allowed to stand fierce and gorgeous, to grow unobstructed. There are so many lines in the
Holly (The Grimdragon)
“Quite dreadful. No one liked desk duty. It often seemed half their job was paperwork as it was. Who joined the Ministry for the thrill of filling out endless reports, in triplicate no less? Then again, he thought dismally, neither did they expect to spend their days haggling with government bureaucrats over haunted tram cars.”

I have yet to read P. Djèlí Clark’s The Black God’s Drum, but it’s high on my TBR list! From what I understand, The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is set within the same world
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Great alt history with wonderful worldbuilding and fun characters. Plot was served well by the novella format, even with a good subplot thrown in. I'd happily read more about the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. I'd also be thrilled to live in Clark's version of Cairo.
In an alternate, steampunk-ish 1912 Cairo a pair of detectives investigate reports of a haunting in one of the city's tram cars. I enjoyed the unusual setting and world-building but this felt a little on the short side. I'd happily read more about these detectives if this became a full-length novel series.
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, sf-f
As with Dead Djinn in Cairo, the main interest here is the enticing world-building. Again, the plot and characters seem by-the-numbers. I’d love for PDC to expand these stories into novel-length, so we can get a better sense of how this fascinating djinn-soaked world really works. Oh, and the coolest thing here: The titular haunted tram is airborne!
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel

I have the Tor publishing label has some interesting novella's so outside of the Murderbot series I thought I'd check one out. The Haunting of Tram Car 015 appealed to me mainly thanks to the name. It seemed to cover what the book was about without actually reading what is was about so I jumped on board, pun 100% intended. P. Djèlí Clark is a name I haven't come across, but the Goodreads review were kind so it minimised the risk of a bad book.

Why the 4.5

The book is quick and pulpy. The
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark, is an interesting first novella in what could be a new fantasy world. Taking place in an alternate early 20th century Cairo on the brink of social change, the story follows two agents of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Beings who are investigating a haunting on an autonomous Djinn created tram. The haunting turns out to be more dangerous than they could imagine, as they delve into the creature, and its connection to the ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PDC has made himself a firm favourite with this charming novella. As with The Black God’s Drums, I found myself enchanted by the world building and drawn into the story. Great characters and a plot that gathers pace to a satisfying climax - but with so much going on in the background to bring me back for future stories.

Loved it.

Full review to follow.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has one of my favorite alternate-history world-building, plus a great mix of magic and technology.
3.5 rounded up
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Phenderson Djèlí Clark.

P. Djèlí Clark likes creating fantastic, dangerous, and exciting worlds. Usually with heroines & heroes. Almost always with magic & monsters. His short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Lightspeed, and in print anthologies including Griots, Steamfunk, Myriad Lands and Hidden Youth.
“Except,” Hamed put in, “if what you say is possible, women could have thought up the al just as easily.” Abla shook her head sternly. “No woman would ever think up something so ridiculous.” 0 likes
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