19 June 2019

Indian science fiction that is not rehashed mythology (part 4 of 5)

Science Fiction | The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction | Tarun K Saint (editor)

Continuing the ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (I really liked it) review... This is part 3 of a post broken up so that I can tag all the authors in a story-by-story review. You can read part 3 here.

The Beneficient Brahma by Chandrashekhar Sastry

This is a fantasy, not science fiction. It’s the fairy godmother trope with a just a little twist.

The Goddess Project by Giti Chandra

This is out and out sci fi, and the reveal at the end is a jarring extrapolation of contemporary mobs and their BMKJ cries. The smidgeon of hope is insufficient, though I suppose that may well be the best we can get.

The Last Tiger by Mohammad Salman

This is a satire that is so satirical and pointed that the less attention that is drawn to the fact, the safer the author is. Hats off, man. This is dark humour at its best and most cruel to the target, with laugh out loud slapstick moments and awful puns.

A Night with the Joking Clown by Rimi B Chatterjee

When most of the men die of over sensitive skin from Male Hypertoxic Syndrome, the rest of them rule the world, and the women are slaves, hoping to ‘make it’ to the level of getting a boyfriend instead of just being slaves. This society mashes toxic masculinity, passive femininity and predatory capitalism. Into this evil world comes an underground singer, causing disruption and dreams in the slave pits. The narrator, a New Guy without a lineage, and so lower in the pecking order, is given the job of flushing out this provocateur. I believe a book is forthcoming. But I prefer the simpler viciousness of the slave society in A for Anything (Damon Knight). This is more than I can stomach. It is gamer fantasy gone horribly wrong.

The Dream by Muhammed Zafar Iqbal (translation)

Julian jerks awake from a dream of being torn by wild dogs. Could this world, too, be a dream? He knows now how to find out. A short and brilliant gem of a story. The world will never be quite real after this.

And on this whimsical note, I once again press Pause, and and start a fresh post for the rest of the stories in this collection.

...End of Part 4...

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