Our title in review today, The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Volume 2 is one such fabulous piece of writing that not only explores horror, fantasy, alien, time travel, space and climatic fiction but does so in a non-contemporary, futuristic kind of detailing. Agreed all forms of science fiction are formulated on the basis of some kind of metaphoric, abstract inspirations drawn from prevalent or historical perceptions, yet this one differs in the modicum that not only is the writing style a more modernistic, refreshing one but so are the different subject ideas, core plots, their execution of situational happenings, the incidentals, the characterizations and the complete portrayal of alternate, possible hypotheses and realities which could possibly indicate the presence of another dimension of the metaverse as we know it.
The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Volume 2 by Tarun K Saint
From sinister plans of xenocide to speciesists who have taken it upon themselves to Off-World those unlike them; from simulations that memorialize stories obliterated in a book-burning world to the Master Pain Merchant who is always at hand to administer a dose of long-forgotten sensations; from genetically modified Glow Girls who can kill with a touch to a droid detective actively seeking out justice – this stellar volume of cutting-edge science fiction, in prose and verse, showcases 32 of the most powerful voices in the genre from the Indian Subcontinent.
Taking forward the formidable task achieved to critical acclaim by the first volume of The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, the present collection masterfully transports readers to worlds strangely familiar, raises crucial questions about our place in the universe and testifies to the astonishing range and power of the imaginative mind.
I can’t help thinking somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be.Taylor, Planet of the Apes
Don’t we all resonate with this one and believe in it? Yes, indeed there surely has got to be someone else apart from humankind, alive and very much existent in this wide, wide universe. Some species on whom ride the complete habitat balance of that constellation, the ergonomics of life and nature on that particular planet, asteroid or star. Have you guys given this a thought? Yes, life exists in different forms and species and Science fiction is surely one genre that explores the quantum and depth of this hypothesis.
This is the second book of Golliancz South Asian Science fiction. 32 Stories and poems from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tibet and such places have been included in this one.
Containing concepts from converting humans to bioweapons, climatic apocalypses, first Alien contacts to sophisticated surveillance employed to population controlling, ideas seemed to have simply pulsated in a 360-degree manner, having written and executed from a multi-dynamic spectrum and vantage.
My personal favourite from a host of writers Indian as well as International was “The Song Of Ice” translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha, the piece which speaks of climatic catastrophe.
Another one by Sri Lankan author Navin Weeraratne is a dystopic set in an underground world where libraries are no longer existent. Another brilliantly conceptualized piece.
The Maker of Memorials by Vajra Chandrasekara speaks of a human who creates war memorials, working alongside the “Prehistory department”. Yes, you heard right. These guys are into making pieces that will rewrite history. Uncannily interesting huh?
2020-NKARV a stirring yet playful kind of poem by Kaiser Haq from Bangladesh is a pandemic related piece speaking of compassion and sensitivity in these troubled times.
Bring your own spoon by Saad Z Hossain is a story of a jinn who decides on helping the main character Hanu set up a kitchen to prepare food for residents of climatically affected Dhaka. A piece that speaks optimism in volumes and also subtly nudges us to stand united in these uncertain times.
All in all, 32 pieces, 32 voices with the kind of talented writing that will shake the realms of your traditional thought processes, compelling you to move beyond the ordinary visualization of the world, taking you to oblivions that are much more specifically and intricately detailed out for the perusal of your not only your mind’s eye but also a treat for rummaging around within the unexplored horizons you might otherwise refrain from going to.
A very good book for those who wish to read and indulge in different forms of science fiction and revel in the amazing concepts of the same. Nor to forget the stellar pieces of writing by some of the best Authors, having been amalgamated for you in this one.
I hope you like the book review of The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Volume 2 by Tarun K Saint. Do let us know what you think in the comments.
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