From India to the world
Every year in the first week of February, Locus, one of the oldest sci-fi magazines, releases its Year in Review, and sci-fi fans around the world eagerly await the recommended annual reading list. A treasure trove of recommendations across sci-fi, fantasy, and horror and across multiple categories, this playlist is a consensus of Locus editors, columnists, critics and critics. And this year the list was special because perhaps for the first time many Indian authors and publications were on it.
Regular readers of this SpecFix column may recall the three sci-fi anthologies included in the 2019 Best Indian Sci-Fi list (“A Good Year for Science Fiction and Fantasy”; dt. 6.12.19). One of them, The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, edited by Tarun K Saint, is on the list of Recommended Locuses in the “Original Anthologies” category, possibly a first for an anthology published for the first time. in India. A recommended read for anyone interested in South Asian science fiction, the Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction is not just a collection of original English novels written by writers such as
An Indian writer who figures prominently in the Locus list is
Other Indian writers who feature in Locus’ short story list are Nibedita Sen (with Advice For Your First Time at the Faerie Market & We Sang You as Ours) and Mimi Mondal for her novel His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light. Of course, no year-end list can be complete if it doesn’t have Vandana Singh on it and needless to say, she finds a mention for her story, Mother Ocean from XPRIZE’s Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, Current Futures. (ed. By An VanderMeer). For me, there was some great news the inclusion of which would have made this big list even better: Strange Horizons’ haunting and heartbreaking short story, And Now His Lordship Is Laughing, by Shiv Ramdas; one that this reader counts as one of the best sci-fi stories of 2019. Hailing from elsewhere in the South Asian region, the Bangladeshi writer
Tuesday (featured in last week’s SpecFix; ‘Funniest reading on this side of Tuesday’, dt. 1/31/202). So go ahead and enjoy these stories – if you haven’t already – and check out the rest of the Locus list as well. You might find your favorite reading there.