Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star Anthology Announced!

Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star Anthology Announced!

Outland Entertainment is excited to announce the upcoming launch of their next anthology, Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star.

VIKING and MUSLIM are two words that are rarely, if ever, positively associated in the public discourse or the mainstream news cycle. However, co-editors Joshua Gillingham (The Gatewatch, Old Norse for Modern Times) and Muhammad Ahmad (A Mosque Among the Stars, Islamicates) are out to change that.

Set in the same historical universe as the card game Althingi: One Will Rise, the anthology Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star explores the fascinating connections between Vikings and Muslims at the height of the Viking Age. Featuring fourteen authors of both Viking and Islamic historical fiction, including Linnea Hartsuyker (The Golden Wolf Saga), Sami Shah (I, Migrant), and Genevieve Gornichec (The Witch’s Heart), this groundbreaking collection of cross-cultural stories is set to launch May 4, 2021 on Kickstarter. 

[Althingi: The Crescent and the Northern Star is an anthology that explores the fascinating connections between Vikings and Muslims at the height of the Viking Age.]

“Cross-cultural conversations are so important,” said Gillingham. “And they don’t just happen. This anthology sheds light on the real historical connections between Vikings and Muslims, who were both thriving at the height of the Viking Age while mainland Christian Europe was floundering in the so-called Dark Ages. Especially with recent political events, we’ve witnessed the real consequences of continuing to propagate fundamentalist versions of history. We need to highlight and celebrate the connections between our cultures and histories now more than ever.” 

Just one example of this is the fact that the only first-hand, eye-witness account of Vikings comes from the Islamic scholar Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, an ambassador from Baghdad sent to observe the Volga Bulgars in 921-922 A.D.; it is thanks to his work that we have knowledge of the iconic Viking ship burial, wherein a Viking is burned at sea surrounded by wealth and weapons. Fadlan’s writing, as well as many other connections, are explored through this anthology of cross-cultural short stories. 



Archaeologist here. Not much historical evidence for these interactions outside of Ibn Fadlan, and a single carving on the Hagia Sofia. “Dark ages” is also recognized as a misnomer in academia; Eurpope was hardly floundering. Are you sure this is historically based?

Hi AS! Josh here, one of the editors. Those two sources you mention are important for sure! Don’t forget about Norway’s King Harald Hardrada’s extensive campaigns as part of the Varangian Guard and the vast assortment of Viking Age grave hoard finds all across Scandinavia and the British Isles with coins and other artifacts from Persia and beyond.

This anthology is a work of historical fiction and not an academic publication but all the stories have a historical tie-in based on actual historical events as evidenced by written or archeological sources. If you’re not fluent in Arabic you are missing a large portion of these sources as scholars in Al-Andalus in Spain and the House of Wisdom in Baghdad were keeping incredibly detailed records from diplomatic, scientific, and military ventures.

I know not everyone is up for academic reading, but if you’re an archeologist you might find some of these interesting. Hopefully these English sources shed more light on the topic!

Fraxinetum: An Islamic Frontier State in Tenth-Century Provence, France

The Golden Age of Spain under Abd al-Rahman III (912 – 961 A.D.)

The Islamic Conquest of Sicily

The Sons of Ragnarr Loðbrók in Morocco (Dr. Green, Oxford)

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