Asian writers have been writing science fiction for some time. The Muslim Fantasy and SF writers group on Facebook (yes, really) took me to Sultana’s Dream, a classic short story of Bengali fiction written by Rokeya Sakhaway Hussain in 1905, where women take over the planet aided by technology and men are locked away. But the work remains largely unknown and little read.
When the book in question arrived on my desk a few weeks later, I practically denied it’s existence. And even when I did venture forth I could not bring myself to fully immerse myself. I fear this says more about me then the said novel. I have, since childhood managed to avoid any sort of parallel universe or post apocalyptic one headed beast. I have stayed away from the likes of Star Trek and Star Wars, failed to sit through a single episode of Dr Who. I have not even read a single page of The Hobbit. But I fear I’m alone in this. My call out to showcase Asian Sci Fi & Fantasy writers was met with universal enthusiasm. And although I’m yet to finish a single one of the novels on this list, the very existence of them fills me with equal amounts of excitement and dread.
So here it is…The books and authors you (and I) really should have heard of and read by now:
From India, meet:
Amish Tripathi is a publishing phenomenon. The Shiva Trilogy have sold over 2 million copies, and he recently sold the film rights to Bollywood director, Karan Johar. The trilogy draws inspiration from Indian mythology, religious symbolism and philosophy. Amish’s Shiva Trilogy is the fastest selling book series in Indian history. The first book, which was originally self published, Immortals of Meluha was shortlisted for the prestigious Vodafone-Crossword Book Awards 2010. Forbes Magazine has listed Amish amongst the 100 most influential celebrities in India. You can read our headline interview with Amish Tripathi here.
From the USA, meet:
American Indian author, Manil Suri is a professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has written three novels, The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva and The City of Devi to critical acclaim. Suri has been longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award, LA Times Book Award, PEN/Hemingway Award and the W H Smith Literary Award, and has won the McKittrick Prize and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He was named by Time magazine as a ‘Person to Watch’ in 2000. The final part of the trilogy, The City of Devi follows the story of Sarita and Jaz as they search for their lovers in a post-war Mumbai.