The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction by Tarun Saint – Review

Book: The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Anthology)

Edited by:  Tarun Saint

Publisher: Hachette India

Pages: 424;

Price: Rs 388

The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction is one of the first collections of contemporary and historic sci-fi stories from the subcontinent to appear in the 21st century. While the world is very fond of the sci-fi genre and the vast diversity it attempts to bring in, reading names of Indian heritage in the genre was unusual but very refreshing. This anthology by South Asian writers is precisely what the industry needs, but may not be the exact thing the readers are looking for.

The 28 listed stories in the book have some of the most unique and amazing perspectives of how humanity is bound to lead us to destruction. Thanks to aliens or our scientists, we will suffer and will fail to the brink of extension. But that’s not all, there are a few stories of love and harmony in there too. Authors like Harishankar Parsai, Clark Prasad, Rimi B Chatterjee have brought the best of the lot. While they do put you in deep thought, some of the stories truly manage to create an impact with a great connection to the characters. Even if you don’t want to end up rooting for them.

At our disposal, we have a mix of very short to reasonably long tales, notes from an author to poems hinting at a grim future. Rimi’s A Night Joking Clown and Clark’s Mirror-Rorrim will have you tearing through pages while Parsai’s Inspector Madeen on the Moon will have you in laughs at humanity’s fate. The stories, however, feel very liberal and true to their cause.

Reading from time travel, space travel, and a lost dystopian future, all tropes are new to Indian authors and our native stories. This anthology does justice to them as much as possible, thanks to the editor, Tarun Saint. There are some great gems in this treasure while it is wiser to look for more somewhere else. The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction is a hope for better narratives for the genre in the Indian publishing industry, but is also a reminder of what may or may not work.

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