Twenty years ago, a friend of mine from England gave me a beautiful gift: a book titled Poems on the Underground, a collection of poems that were selected to be displayed on unlet advertising spaces in the London Tube. The reasoning was that the Underground is an inescapable part of life for commuters, and we all have a yearning for poetry, or at least prefer reading poetry to ads. The project was a hit with commuters. And I still have my amazing book. The poems are as vibrant as ever. Continue reading
This winter, I returned after a gap of some years to visit my old hometown Lucknow: the capital of the most populous and tumultuous state of India, Uttar Pradesh. There were parts that looked utterly different – enormous, walled-off parks with stern statues, bright and noisy malls, a river development and – most surprisingly – the beginnings of a metro.
And there were parts that were just the same – the crowded, cow-dung smeared streets of the old city, the boys flying kites on the rooftops, the myriad little shops and food stalls to tempt the unwary. There were just as many cows as when I was a child, and a lot more people and traffic, resulting in the kind of nightmare congestion that would give road rage to a flying pig. Continue reading
For a writer, there is no better way to welcome the new year than with a new publication. I am delighted to announce that my story Piety, Prayer, Peacekeeper, Apocalypse has been published by Podcastle and is available both to read and to listen as a podcast, narrated by Stephanie Morris. Thanks to the lovely folks at Podcastle, and to Stephanie for an amazing narration! Continue reading
Well, November sure was horrific. In keeping with the world news these days, I’ve been reading some fantastic dystopian fiction – namely, Station Eleven. What an amazing book, elegantly crafted from multiple points of view, jumping back and forth in time – before, during, and twenty years after a deadly flu outbreak that wipes out most of humanity.
I reckon I read over forty books a year, and I deeply enjoy most of them. So it is very difficult to come up with a top ten list for 2016, but I feel I must, in the interest of contributing something positive toward the end of the year – a summation, as it were, that has nothing to do with politics, or reality. So here it is, in order of publishing year. (Note that the books were not necessarily published in 2016. It’s just when I got around to reading them.) Continue reading
I’ve been focusing more on my novel this year – I’m at the 56K mark on my sequel! – and written rather less short fiction than last year. However, I’ve still gotten quite a few story acceptances in the last few months, along with the usual plethora of rejections. I’ll update my short fiction page by and by, but meanwhile, here is a list of publications I’m looking forward to in 2017, apart from the projects I’ve already blogged about:
Piety, Prayer, Peacekeeper, Apocalypse
A secondary-world fantasy that I loved ‘world-building’. Scheduled to be published and podcast by Podcastle early in 2017. This will be my second appearance in Podcastle – the first was a reprint (Hatyasin), and this one is an original! Continue reading
The other day, I was walking down Queen Street with my sister, who insisted on playing Pokémon Go the whole time. It was mildly annoying – I can’t abide games myself, and refuse to buy a smartphone (I know, I know, I’m a dinosaur). Anyway, the upside of this was that she kept ‘discovering’ the amazing murals that adorn the walls and shop fronts and alleys off Queen Street. Forced to slow down, and look, I too discovered them anew. And here are some pictures we took of that leisurely stroll. Thanks to all the artists who make our streets into walking art discoveries. And thanks to my lovely sis for making me slow down enough to appreciate them. Enjoy.
Okay, this is my final post on this topic. The third exciting project I am proud to be a part of is Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling published by Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications, due out this November, and edited by Monica Valentinelli. Each story in this collection examines a tired trope or common cliche and twists it into something new.
My story in this anthology is titled Real Women are Dangerous and is inspired by the 100 million Missing Women of Asia. The term ‘missing women’ refers to the number of extra women who SHOULD have been around in a particular country or region if the ratio of men to women was the same as it is in other parts of the world where girls and boys get the same level of care. Continue reading