Tag Archives: Samit Basu

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Samit Basu’s Exiting Superhero Novel RESISTANCE

We’re pleased to be able to bring you an excerpt from Samit Basu’s novel, Resistance!

Here’s what the book is about:

In 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to pulverize iconic monuments and star in their own reality show. But now, from New York to Tokyo, someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them…

Read on for an excerpt!

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INTERVIEW: RESISTANCE Author Samit Basu Talks Superheroes, Indian Speculative Fiction, and More!

Samit Basu is a writer of books, films and comics. His first novel, The Simoqin Prophecies, published by Penguin India in 2003, when Samit was 23, was the first book in the bestselling Gameworld Trilogy and marked the beginning of Indian English fantasy writing.

Samit’s other novels include Turbulence, Resistance, Stoob, and Terror on the Titanic. Turbulence was published in the UK in 2012 and in the US in 2013 to rave reviews. It won Wired‘s Goldenbot Award as one of the books of 2012 and was superheronovels.com’s Book of the Year for 2013. All five of Basu’s novels have been Indian bestsellers.

Samit was born in Calcutta, educated in Calcutta and London, and currently divides his time between Delhi and Mumbai. He can be found on Twitter, @samitbasu, and at samitbasu.com.

Samit was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his new novels, being a trendsetter within Indian publishing, and more!

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MIND MELD: Our Favorite SF/F/H Villains and Why We Love to Hate Them

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Villains: We love to hate them and bad guys, and gals (and other things that fit into the baddie category), can haunt our dreams and capture our imaginations. With that in mind, I asked our panelists this:

Q: What are a few of your favorite literary (SF/Fantasy/Horror/Spec. Fiction) villains, and why? What made them stand out for you?

Here’s what they had to say…

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An Interview with Samit Basu, Author of TURBULENCE


Samit Basu is a writer of books, films and comics. His first novel, The Simoqin Prophecies, published by Penguin India in 2003 when Samit was 23, was the first book in the bestselling Gameworld Trilogy and marked the beginning of Indian English fantasy writing. The other books in the trilogy are The Manticore’s Secret and The Unwaba Revelations. Samit’s other novels include the young adult novel Terror on the Titanic, and a superhero novel titled Turbulence. Turbulence was published in the U.K. to rave reviews in 2012 and is to be published in the U.S. in 2013. It won Wired‘s Goldenbot Award as one of the best books of 2012.

Basu’s work in comics ranges from historical romance to zombie comedy, and includes diverse collaborators, from X-Men/Felix Castor writer Mike Carey to Terry Gilliam and Duran Duran. His next graphic novel, Local Monsters, will be published in 2013.

Samit was born in Calcutta, educated in Calcutta and London, and currently divides his time between Delhi and Mumbai. He can be found on Twitter as @samitbasu, and at samitbasu.com.


Nick Sharps: Sell me Turbulence in as few words as possible.

Samit Basu: Please buy Turbulence.

Right, I’ll try again with a few more words, but that’s the lowest word-count I can achieve while remaining polite. Turbulence is a superhero novel, set mostly in India and the UK. Fresh take on the genre, from a non-Western perspective. Passengers on a flight from London to Delhi find they’ve mysteriously gained physical abilities related to their deepest desires. What would you do if you actually got what you wanted? And how would you feel if you suddenly had the power to change the world?
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MIND MELD: Non-Anglo Presence in the Hugo Awards – Is it Possible?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This year’s Hugo award ceremony was a very interesting one, regarding gender and ethnicity. Most of the winners were women (congratulations to E. Lily Yu for the Campbell, and Maurine Starkey, Ursula Vernon, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne M. Valente, Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, Betsy Wollheim, Sheila Williams, Charlie Jane Anders, Kij Johnson and Jo Walton) and the Short Story winner, Ken Liu, is of Asian extraction, so maybe we can safely say the fandom has finally reached a point where writers are finally being voted for the sheer quality of their work instead of their sex or their color? Even if it’s too early to tell, things are seemingly going in the right direction regarding this matter – but there are still many things to assess. One of them is the virtually invisible presence of non-Anglo writers in the Hugo Awards (also in other Awards, but hey, this is Hugo week, so let’s talk Hugo as a symbol of all the other awards in Anglosphere).

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: Do you think the Hugo Awards nominations are underrepresented by non-Anglo writers? Do you think it’s something to care about? If you care, what do you think could be done to change the current state of affairs?

Here’s what they said…

Berit Ellingsen
Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian writer whose stories have or will appear in Unstuck, Coffinmouth, Rocket Science, elimae,SmokeLong Quarterly, Metazen and other literary journals and anthologies. Two of her stories received an honorable mention by Ellen Datlow for Best Horror of the Year Volume 4. Berit’s novel, The Empty City (http://emptycitynovel.com), is a story about silence. Her short story collection, Beneath the Liquid Skin, will be published by firthFORTH Books at the end of 2012.

I looked through the list of Hugo nominations for the last 10 years and the only nominations of work from outside of the Anglophone countries (the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) were the movies Spirited Away (nominated in 2003) and Pan’s Labyrinth (nominated in 2007).

Is that because translated work is not commercially viable, lacks popular appeal or literary quality? Some of the biggest commercial successes in recent years outside of SF/F have been translated work, such as Stieg Larsson’s or Jo Nesbø’s crime fiction, and Per Petterson’s literary fiction. Not to mention the imaginative work of Haruki Murakami, who is currently favorite for the Nobel Prize in literature. Hence, that conclusion does not seem to be correct.

Perhaps the lack of nominated translated work reflects the lack of translated work published in English SF/F in general. I find this problematic because that leaves literally a whole world of fiction with long traditions in the imaginary and fantastic, such as the Scandinavian, Japanese, Mongolian, Eastern European, African, to mention a few, largely inaccessible to English-speaking readers. I say this as a writer whose biggest influences have been translated work, from Scandinavia, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Korea and Japan, as well as the Anglophone world. Without translations, there would have been little access to those works. (I write in English myself, my stories are not translations from Norwegian.)

Also, in what ways will reading or knowing works only from your own culture and language skew your perception of the rest of the world?

As has been discussed in other Mind Melds, translations and the flow of culture follows the general lines of political and financial dominance, from the English-speaking nations to the non-English, and from the industrialized countries to the developing countries, and much less frequently in the opposite direction.

It’s therefore very refreshing to see that some editors, such as Jeff VanderMeer and Nick Mamatas, are presenting translated fiction from outside of the English-speaking nations. Maybe that’s what’s needed for translated work to catch on in SF/F; more translated work published, a higher degree of exposure, more visibility, more magazines being open for submissions of translated work, so that translations become something familiar instead of something strange.

I find this important, because reading or watching a story from outside of one’s own country and becoming acquainted with the fears and hopes of other cultures and other people, might be one of the easiest and most direct ways in today’s conflicted world that we can truly get to know one another beyond the grating of economic and political differences and sensationalist news.

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