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Chosen Spirits – Responses

  • “It infuriates me, then, that a novel as passionate, as angry and a smart as Chosen Spirits has not been published outside of India. We need more books like this, books that speak to the experiences of people living in other parts of the world, books that rail, through the prism of science fiction, against populism, racism and oppression, books that confirm that the problems we face are global, not local.” – Locus
  • “If you’re of Delhi, and writing a novel of Delhi, then it’s kind of impossible to ignore class—as it’s something that hits you in the face every moment that you navigate through the physical and social landscape of the city. I think what I like about Chosen Spirits is the care with which it portrays all of that ” – Strange Horizons
  • “… yes, it is gloomy, but we need science fiction like this. Our world is more interconnected than it has ever been. What happens in India today can easily happen in Europe and North America tomorrow. Indeed, some of it already is.” – Salon Futura
  • “It brings Orwellian dystopia and satire closer home with click-bait headlines that you may have read last week, its vision of technological surveillance is as soul-chilling as it is brilliant; and the violence without being graphic is relentless on your peripheral vision; but it also gives you mostly incorruptible, frequently idealistic, incredibly soft-hearted people, it gives you the kindness of strangers, and it gives you the hope of resistance.” – Scroll.
  • ” Brilliantly written, structurally inventive, completely immersive. ” – K J Charles
  • “Basu’s characters might not be having a good time “in the f***ing middle of it”, but he is certainly having tremendous fun working within the outer limits of what our warped near-future could look like… If Basu revels in the window dressing, his portrayal of the relationships between characters is masterfully sensitive to detail.” – India Today
  • Chosen Spirits, set not far into the future is utterly persuasive in its construction, scathing in its cynicism and is laced with social commentary.” –Open Magazine
  • “a critique about caste, a nuanced portrayal of Delhi’s recent protests against proposed citizenship laws and takes a stunningly horrifying look at our corporate future… Basu’s Chosen Spirits is quite the unicorn, it lies at the intersection of indigenous sci-fi, a scathing examination of contemporary India, and a visual ode to the city of Delhi. ” – BLink.
  • “It’s less speculative fiction and more caustic investigation of the times we live in. Set in an India just a decade from now, Chosen Spirits is about a world where technology and religious bigotry combine with near-total corporate control over the lives and bodies of citizens… a novel of ideas. There are so many conversations, sharply observed mannerisms, tics. It reads like a sci-fi social satire, a comedy of manners.” – +Interview in Mint
  • “It is a world where truths are curated and independent thought is under scrutiny. Science fiction elements have been tempered to comment on a future fraught with possibilities emerging from our current realities.. Incisive analysis of society and politics is at the heart of Chosen Spirits.” +Interview in Khaleej Times
  • “An odd balm for nerves: an “anti-dystopian” book… uncomfortably close to reality… uncannily prophetic” +Interview in The Hindu Weekend
  • “Even the things that feel radically different at first glance are, upon reflection, not so distant from us after all… Dissent and your rights will evaporate, ask too many questions and even your own family might ‘unperson’ you, a la Orwell.” – +Interview in FirstPost
  • “Chosen Spirits is not interested in being a flight of fantasy. The novel talks about issues that are critically important to us in present-day India and keeps reminding the reader that the past can’t be buried, no matter how much anyone tries.” +Interview in Dear Reader
  • “…look into the near future, with plenty of humour, aided by unflinchingly honest mirrors held up to India’s upper middle class.” – +Interview in The Hindu Metro Plus
  • “If we keep going the way we are, we’re bound to land in an algorithmic nightmare filled Hindu Rashtra. Maybe we could all use Samit Basu’s brilliant words as an antidote, a reminder of why we erupted into a full spring revolution.” – Essay in Six Impossible Things
  • Books on Toast interview with Anuya Jakatdar
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About Samit Basu

Novelist. Best known for fantasy and science fiction work. Most recently, The City Inside (Tordotcom)/Chosen Spirits (Simon and Schuster)


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Copyright (c) Samit Basu. Images copyright respective holders.
May 2020


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