Thursday, June 09, 2022

Q&A with Samit Basu

From my Q&A with Samit Basu, author of The City Inside:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I think The City Inside does a fair bit of work: even without any context readers would know it’s an urban setting and expect some sort of exploration, or interiority, or mystery. The information that it’s a near-future sci-fi novel set in Delhi, India, with a focus on internal change as its protagonists try to cope with multiple-choice 21st-century crises that affect everyone in the world, with an additional Indian layer of chaos? Not so much.

Two years ago, the Indian edition was called Chosen Spirits - that title was from an old Urdu poem about Delhi, but when I sold the book to Tordotcom in the US, my agent suggested the new title - the older title sounded too spiritual for a book that would be read as dystopian/cyberpunk, and I agreed. It’s also a book about power, privilege, belonging, popularity and conformity - so I thought The City Inside totally...[read on]
Visit Samit Basu's website.

Q&A with Samit Basu.

--Marshal Zeringue