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cover of the book Theory's Empire

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cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

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cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

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cover of the book How Novels Think

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cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

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cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

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cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

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The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Contemporary Indian Speculative Fiction

Posted by Amardeep Singh on 07/05/06 at 09:36 AM

Samit Basu has put together a wonderful series of essays and interviews on the subject of contemporary Indian speculative fiction. It’s really a small encyclopedia rather than a blog post, so here are a couple of pointers on where to start. First and foremost, go here to read about the question of Indian speculative fiction in the context of the recent flourishing of “literary” Indian Writing in English.  And here Basu deals with the question of “authentic” Indian superheroes (as opposed to the bad, but familiar, ripoffs of western superheroes). Both are highly recommended links. Basu also gets into some questions about the publishing industry and the current dominance of diasporic writers over writers based in India itself here; the publishing and marketing questions are less intrinsically interesting to me than the nature of the form, but in the case of this particular genre it’s hard to get around them.

As a teaser, one of the gleanings from Samit’s discussion of India-related superheroes is a baddie called “Commcast,” who is defined on Wikipedia as follows:

Garabed Bashur, a native of India, is a cyberpath who possesses the mutant ability to psychically retrieve, interpret and store data from any form of electronic media (essentially a highly potent electronic form of telepathy). He was trained in this ability by Professor Charles Xavier, but Xavier rejected Bashur upon learning of his criminal tendencies. (link)

In an era of outsourcing and the explosion of Indian high tech, it’s not at all surprising to see Marvel Comics go this route. I think it’s funny that they’ve given him a name ("Commcast") that essentially rhymes with the name of my current Cable/Internet company ("Comcast"); and actually, it’s a pretty good name for a villain. (At least they didn’t give him the name “Teevo”...)


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