‘For wicked wit, for post-modern superheroics, for sheer verbal energy and dazzle, Samit Basu doesn’t so much push the envelope as fold it into an n-dimensional hyper-envelope, address it to your hind-brain and mail it with a rail gun.’- Mike Carey (X-men, Lucifer, the Felix Castor series)
‘You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp and you will demand a sequel.’- Ben Aaronovitch (Doctor Who, Rivers of London)
“Turbulence has it all… Solid writing, great character development, humor, personal loss, and excellent points to ponder in every chapter.” – Wired
“The characters are brilliantly written… With a globe-trotting sensibility even James Bond would be proud of, the cinematic action sequences are as breath-taking as anything Hollywood has to offer, so the campaign for a big-screen version, or failing that, at least a sequel to the book begins here!” – IGN
“What is the best superhero novel of all time?… it’s time to add another book to our list.” – superheronovels.com
“… inventive and very clever. But most of all, it is fun. If you have ever picked up a comic book and enjoyed it, then this is a must-buy.” – Starburst
“… a thoughtful exploration of the blurry difference between heroes and villains. Ethical questions are deftly scrutinised in a depth that a comic book or film would struggle to match.” – The Sun
No. 1 bestseller (India)
Superheronovels.com’s Book of the Year (2013)
No. 2 on hot new SF release list (Amazon UK)
Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections – but then he gets on a plane from London to Delhi and discovers, a few days later, that he has turned into a communications demigod, able to control and manipulate all networks, including the internet. And he’s not the only one with a secret.
Everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly. Uzma, a British-Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma. Tia, a housewife from the troubled Indian north-east, can now live out all the lives she dreamt of by splitting into multiple bodies. And these are just the nice ones. Terrible new forces have been unleashed. Businessmen, politicians, criminals, each with their own agenda. One of these is Jai, an indestructible one-man army with an old-fashioned goal – military conquest of the world. And there’s another, even more sinister force at work. A mind capable of manipulating mobs, of driving humans and superhumans into an all-destroying frenzy.
Aman and his rag-tag collective of superhumans find themselves in grave danger in a part of the world that needs radical change much more than it needs protection. They must decide what to do with their powers and their lives – and quickly. Aman dreams of uniting their powers to fight the world’s real villains – faceless, amorphous corporations, corrupt government officials, religious fanatics. Of ensuring that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to help those who need it most – untold millions without food, power, schools or voices. He intends to heal the planet. Save the world. But with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others, playing with lives, making huge, potentially disastrous decisions. Will they actually make the world better or will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?
TURBULENCE is a hyper-real novel set in an over-the-top world. It features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory – F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows – but is essentially about two very human questions.
How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted?
What would you do if you were given the power to change the world?
Turbulence – read by Ramon Tikaram (Game of Thrones)
Buy the book (US) (UK, India links later in this post)
More Reviews (US)
” …not only should it be the frontrunner in terms of superhero prose going forward, but it might just be a dark horse candidate for genre novel of the year.” – Fruitless Pursuits
“For any superhero fan, Turbulence is a must-read. It’s got everything you’d ask for out of a comic book, packed into a clever, action-packed novel. It’s got a modern edge that puts it in it’s own category of awesome.” – Nerdophiles
“The writing is superb, the characters feel real… I literally had to shut myself in a room during the finale, it was that riveting.’ – GeekNutz
“If you like superhero stories and are looking for some truly unique powers AND a completely new locale, you MUST read Turbulence. It. Is. That. Good.” – Geek Dad
“The challenges his characters face are not just world domination, warped nationalism, and megalomania, but also realistic concerns like their professional goals and self-doubts. Overall, Turbulence is a clever update to the superhero genre, bringing a realistic upgrade to the 21st century that involves more heart and substance than just adding new costumes and cell phones.” – Mind of the Geek
“It’s funny, smart, touching at times and horrifying at others, and it definitely speaks to the universality of human nature… I loved every minute of it and I think you will too.” – Popcorn Reads
“Its view is unrelentingly lofty, and its tense is an eternal present in which everything seems to be happening at once… Basu’s flair for character extends to a real understanding of what makes each character funny, both intentionally and unintentionally on their part.” – The Geek Girl Project.
‘A strong contender for novel of the year, Samit Basu’s Turbulence races along at lightspeed and leaves you breathlessly demanding more.’ – One Metal
‘Samit Basu does characterization incredibly well, bonding the reader with the characters as quickly as a television show. His visual descriptions give a focused picture of the action, with the reader filling in the small details to complete the characters.’ – Fanboy Nation
‘Samit Basu explores not only superhero origins, but where they will go from there, with a spot-on mix of excitement, thoughtfulness, and emotional depth… Basu never misses the mark. And so this book is as highly satisfying as its sequel is eagerly anticipated.’ – Mugglenet/A Fort Made of Books
‘That action – which isn’t always physical or literal – makes the book really exciting. There were times I had trouble putting it down to go to bed.’ – With An Accent
“Where Samit Basu shines is knowing how to take these powers and warp them to fit his twisted and lovely book.” – Geek News Network:
‘Turbulence covers it all: action, romance, politics and moral dilemmas. And it will definitely leave you wanting more.’ – Fangirl Confessions
‘There’s a Superman, and he’s Indian! As much as that hurts my red, white, and blue (American!) pride to write, it does actually make for one hell of a good story.’ – Atomic Moo
” …between his plot/story-scaffolding, his descriptive action sequences and a high-octane ending, Mr. Basu will leave no comic book fan wanting.” – The Pull Box
‘Samit Basu offers a superhero story about people who aren’t American (though American superhero comics exist and are referenced), and in which women aren’t automatically relegated to the status of sex-objects. I really liked it.’ – Fistful of Wits
“What’s amazing about Turbulence is that while it does a great job of paying proper homage to the many superhero stories from comics’ past, it also presents a story that feels very unique and original.” – The Geek Hard Show
“…Basu’s light touch is also deceptive; the writing here is often very good, and the super-powers — like that of the multiplying (and then reintegrating) Tia — consistently well-presented. Impressive, too, is how well he realizes his characters in just short descriptions and snappy dialogue.” – The Complete Review
“Well-rounded characters, a gripping plot, rippling with great writing.” – Popculture-y
“I’ve felt like Turbulence is a perfect sibling to Misfits, another great take on the superheroes genre, and as such I would recommend it to anyone looking for a original superheroes tale with a bit of a twist.” – upcoming4.me
“Set in a raucous India and packed with strange characters, Turbulence promises an exciting, unusual read.” – Book Riot
‘Basu’s novel is so engaging because there’s a wonderful mix of action and humor… Truly, a pyrotechnic feat of the superhero-oriented imagination.’ – Asian American Lit Fans
“Basu doesn’t simply take Turbulence to comic book places as it reads and feels like a novel throughout. However, if you’re a fan of comics, this book would certainly still quench your literary thirst.” – Immersion Online
“Basu blends tongue-in-cheek humor with philosophical questions about what obligations (if any) people would have if suddenly blessed with super powers… The book is a treasure trove of funny moments and one-liners.” – The Los Angeles Beat
“It’s a funny book, reminds me of Neil Gaiman at his wittiest in some ways, but it’s also sad, joyful, angry, tense… the characters are engaging, and the action is skillfully executed.” – westeros.org
“There is a lot of humor here as well as heart; it’s a great character study… The characters are very likable and Samit cleverly addresses many loopholes in typical superhero plots. I really enjoyed this from start to finish, clever, funny, witty and a great read.” – City of Films
‘Samit Basu has written a rare beast among spec-fic books – a book that’s both about something important, and a good story on its own merits.’ – Dorkadia
“What makes Turbulence such ideal holiday reading is author Basu’s brisk-paced writing style as well as the novel’s Indian setting and characters…’ – Scifi Movie Hype
Here’s a video review from Geek Mundo
“Writer Samit Basu has found a great balance of humor and seriousness in Turbulence, but most of all it’s just a fun superhero novel to read and questions to ponder yourself when done reading.” – Retrenders
Turbulence is covered in a very entertaining comics webcast on Investcomics. It’s on from minute 31 or so but do watch the whole thing.
“All-in-all, Turbulence is sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, sometimes bizarre, but always compelling and definitely worth a read. You won’t want to put this book down.” – Fanboy Comics
“…if Samit Basu is any indication of the quality of writers on the Subcontinent, then look out world, because we’ve been missing some real talent.” – NerdTrek
“Turbulence took me completely by surprise. Samit Basu doesn’t need a brand new idea to tell a gripping story. It’s clever, full of jokes, brutal action, personal loss, and hearty characters. To say the least, there’s never a boring moment.” – Nerdophiles
“Turbulence balances itself between many things: super hero deconstruction, large scale widescreen blockbuster action pieces, and interpersonal relationship dramatics… a perfectly balanced soup of super hero derring-do lifted from the pages of a comic book and played out brilliantly through the prose of a novel.” – Part Time Fanboy
” …it’s one of the most charming, playful, smart and socially aware SFF books out there… unites a fiercely political interrogation of his source materials with an unabashed delight in his affection for those tropes and themes.” – Strange Horizons
Suvudu interview: Turbulence
SF Signal interview: Turbulence
Turbulence in The Cultural Gutter
Interview at Geek Mundo.
Geek Native Interview
Interview at Fanboy Comics
Interview at Popculture-y
Unleash the Fanboy interview.
Buy the book (UK)
More Reviews (UK)
“Turbulence is an excellent book, a thoughtful read that throws out questions without any easy answers, that opens up the superhero genre to deeper analysis, and yet is also an incredibly enjoyable superhero story itself.” – Fantasy Faction
“Samit Basu’s Turbulence is one of the best I’ve read, intelligent, action-packed, well characterised and with the added interest of setting the story in India: the book has a very fresh feel and avoids the clichés.” – Adrian Tchaikovsky
“As unpretentious as it’s entertaining, as compelling as it’s thought-provoking, it not only establishes once and for all that the novel is as much a home for the superhero tale as film, tv and comics… it’s not just an astute and captivating read, but an important one too.” – TBTAMC
“Turbulence is a new breed of superhero novel and likely to appeal to both classic hero fans as well as fans of contemporary fiction…This is one of those rare superhero stories that is not overshadowed by the powers but is told in the humanity that pulls the superhuman together.” – Geek Native
“Basu knows his stuff… he conjures up a vast array of imaginative powers… unflinchingly depicts the costly consequences…” – SFX
“He is the country’s preeminent fantasist… Turbulence delivers exactly what it intends: an entertaining, well-written read. In the genre’s history it will be seen as an important work, a reflection of the subcontinent’s growing self-confidence.” – Anil Menon, World SF
“If you’re looking for brilliantly written, fun and fast paced action that leaves you wanting more, this is definitely it. One word of warning though, you may ignore your loved ones completely until you’ve finished it.” – The Tattooed Book.
” … the best fantasy writer you’ve never heard of… looks set to redefine the superhero genre for the twenty-first century.” – Reader Dad
“Turbulence is very deliberately of its time, and it works very well as a slice of early 21st century life. Any story looking at superheroes will reflect back what we as a society revere and amplify, the signals sent out about the qualities we seek in our idealised selves” – British Fantasy Society.
“It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s intelligently witty, it’s great…. I found it difficult to put down. Loved, loved, LOVED it.” – SFFWorld.com, Mark Yon.
“The action is fast and full of iconic fight scenes… The humour and cultural references are fun and spot on… ” – Geek Syndicate
” …his comic timing especially with his characters is quite excellent… Basu has definitely got his own flair for the extraordinary” – Pissed Off Geek
“You can see the novel as a film from the word go and I’ve never read a book like that before. I’d love this to be made in to a film actually for my imaginings to become reality.”- BookGeek
Geek Native Interview
TBTAMC – The most in-depth interview yet! On Turbulence.
Q and A at The Tattooed Book.
Interview at the British Fantasy Society.
Interview at Reader Dad
Guest post at Pissed Off Geek: Top 10 Superhero Films
Ben Aaronovitch being extremely kind to the book.
This is the Indian paperback cover, designed by Peter Cotton.
There’s also a limited edition Indian hardback, with an extra section that reveals more about a few characters. This is the cover, the image is by that formidable world-famous artist duo Sarnath Banerjee and Bani Abidi. Remember to play spot-the-difference with the back cover if you pick this up.
The Facebook page is here.
Here are two videos from the Mumbai launch, with the ever-fantastic Cyrus Sahukar:
Part 1, where Cyrus does a fake bodice-ripper reading from Turbulence after asking me a few questions
Part 2, where Cyrus unveils his Karan-Joharesque lie detector and probes even further.
Mumbai Mirror on Turbulence going Bollywood.
Bloomberg UTVs report/review video
NDTV-Hindu report on a launch.
Turbulence in The Hindu.
Interview in the Mumbai Mirror
Loose talk about Bollywood and bookbans in DNA.
Buy the book (India)