Last we checked in on South Asian speculative fiction, we gave a few recommendations on where and who to start reading if you’re interested in the same.
This week, we give you some more choice examples of excellent speculative fiction by South Asian writers. Here are a few more stories we love, for your reading pleasure (if you’re a reader), and to further clue you in on the kind of speculative writing Juggernaut is looking for (if you’re a reader and a writer):
The Shadow Collector by Shveta Thakrar (Uncanny Magazine): A fragrantly mythic tale about a royal gardener with a talent for raising living flower-nymphs and a penchant for stealing shadows. With prose like spun crystal, Thakrar’s story weaves glittering poesy around a subtly sinister heart that speaks of the violence of desire, ambition, envy, of passion itself. A tale that could have been plucked straight from the 1,001 Nights, full of the fluid transformative magic of fairy tales.
The Jaguar’s Wife by Anil Menon (Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts): A zombie story so sprawling and odd in its ambition that it feels like a novel in microcosm. Rich with Swiftian wit and a kaleidoscopic spectrum of stylistic shifts, Menon crafts a quasi-academic/scientific history (complete with footnotes) of the rise of a new subspecies of human, Homo acervus (dubbed zombies), which in turn becomes a satirical examination on the dangers of xenophobia, colonialism and racism. Disturbing, hilarious, and singular. A fine example of South Asian speculative fiction that isn’t rooted specifically in South Asian culture, but no less rewarding for it.
Three Tales from Sky River: Myths for a Starfaring Age by Vandana Singh (Strange Horizons): A haunting, beautiful triptych of exoplanetary myth, planting new cultures in the fertile loam of imaginative storytelling. Gorgeously written and conceived, Singh’s three myths exist in a timeless space that is both future and past, evoking the magical nature of storytelling and how it can both transform and preserve the changing nature of reality as perceived by cultures moving through time and space.