HAPPY FLASH! FUTURE, and happy NaNoWriMo Day 1, to those of you playing along this year. ♥ -Last week I invited you to join me in a rich walk through the growing worlds of speculative fiction–especially sci-fi/fantasy– in India (read that post here). We listened to conversations and read stories by Mimi Mondal, Gautam Bhatia, Salik Shah and others. But there’s a huge name in speculative fiction that we saved especially for today: Samit Basu.
Samit Basu is widely credited as having helped launch the current wave of speculative fiction writing in India (as a distinct genre), starting from the 2003 publication of his Gameworld trilogy, continuing in the UK/US publication out of India of Turbulence in 2012, up through the 2020 Simon & Schuster India’s publication of the “anti-dystopian” Chosen Spirits. He’s also known for his 2019 film House Arrest, which finished the year in the top five most-viewed Indian movies for Netflix.
How did it all begin?
Samit Basu: The desire was to take every myth… every classic book that had influenced me, and out of those to build something new…. and to add something that was missing from the books I’d read…. Growing up there were lots of books, like Lord of the Rings, like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld–which was a huge influence on my first books–but for me, the understanding of genre was not there. I did not see how these stories were different in a significant way from something like Enid Blyton’s books, because the Famous Five eating tongue sandwiches in Cornwall was as alien to me as Bilbo Baggins’ wandering out of the Shire.
It’s that “what if.” It’s the gap between what you’re consuming and what you would have built yourself, that leads to your starting to build it yourself. [Samit Basu, interview Sept 2020 with Bound, below]
We welcome you to join us for this fascinating, informative, funny, and inspiring interview with Samit Basu, the writer who launched a genre.