The City Inside

Order here

Guest post on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea

Guest feature on Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup: when is dystopia just the real world?

My Favorite Bit guest post on Mary Robinette Kowal’s site

Den of Geek interview/feature

With Arley Sorg for Clarkesworld

io9/Gizmodo essay: Immigration advisory for fictional dystopias

Tor.com essay: How to be a protagonist when you’re not the Chosen One and the world is unsaveable

The City Inside

This near-future epic by the internationally celebrated Samit Basu pulls no punches as it comes for your anxieties about society, government, the environment, and our world at large—yet never loses sight of the hopeful potential of the future.

Order at Amazon|Barnes and Noble|Indiebound|Powells

“They’d known the end times were coming but hadn’t known they’d be multiple choice.”

Joey is a Reality Controller in near-future Delhi. Her job is to supervise the multimedia multi-reality livestreams of Indi, one of South Asia’s fastest rising online celebrities—who also happens to be her college ex. Joey’s job gives her considerable culture power, but she’s too caught up in day-to-day crisis handling to see this, or to figure out what she wants from her life.

Rudra is a recluse estranged from his wealthy and powerful family, now living in an impoverished immigrant neighborhood. When his father’s death pulls him back into his family’s orbit, an impulsive job offer from Joey becomes his only escape from the life he never wanted.

But as Joey and Rudra become enmeshed in multiple conspiracies, their lives start to spin out of control—complicated by dysfunctional relationships, corporate loyalty, and the never-ending pressures of surveillance capitalism. When a bigger picture begins to unfold, they must each decide how to do the right thing in a world where simply maintaining the status quo feels like an accomplishment. Ultimately, resistance will not—cannot—take the same shape for these two very different people.

Excerpt: Joey

Excerpt: Rudra

Order here


Guest post on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea

My Favorite Bit guest post on Mary Robinette Kowal’s site

With Arley Sorg for Clarkesworld

Den of Geek interview/feature

io9/Gizmodo essay: Immigration advisory for fictional dystopias

Tor.com essay: How to be a protagonist when you’re not the Chosen One and the world is unsaveable

Mysterious Galaxy Virtual event with SB Divya (tech fails stop around the 6 min mark)

Event with Saad Z Hossein for Third Place books

Interview with Misha Grifka for Ancillary Review of Books

Interview with Paul Semel

Keen On podcast on LitHub

With Adrian M Gibson for SFFAddicts podcast

Coffee in Space podcast

r/fantasy AMA

Interview with Marshal Zirangue


“There’s a chilling effect to Basu’s…near-future sf epic, set in a social media–glutted world…The novel’s theme, that the truth does not and cannot set anyone free, is as disturbing as it is thought-provoking.” – LibraryJournal

“The reader’s immersion into their world is truly felt in the conflicts that follow in trying to find a way to be true to oneself when, as one character sums it all up, “What is the point of this tech if it can’t tell us the truth?”” – Booklist

“Part cyberpunk thriller and part lunatic satire, The City Inside imagines a surveillance-state version of Delhi beset by futuristic traps and wonders, at once claustrophobic and brimming with possibility.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer

“As history might prove, the mass uprising of the poor, as envisioned by Indi, rarely affects a sustainable shift in the dynamics of power imbalance, especially against an insidious, all-pervasive system. Basu thus creates a cautionary tale of a possible future, leaving us only with an outline of how to navigate it.” – SFRA Review

“Samit Basu manages to pack in a ton of great ideas, character development and worldbuilding. It’s also a book that contains a heaping pile of heart, humor and positivity, offering up some much-needed levity in these strange times we are in.” – Fan Fi Addict

“I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I was getting lost in the world. And the entire themes of cyberpunk and the ethical ramifications – I loved it. How Basu asks us how our value of reality, illusions, and truth change.” – Utopia State of Mind

” The City Inside made me sad in my favorite way to be sad—the way that pushes me to think more and be more present in my life. Samit Basu has a keen mind with a talent for societal observation, wonderful prose, and a fast-paced and direct style of storytelling that doesn’t miss the details but gets right to the point.” – The Quill To Live

“The writing is an absolute treat. It’s dense, in the descriptive and absorbing sense; it’s deeply evocative; and still entirely readable. I enjoyed every minute of the reading even while I was completely horrified by the experiences of the characters.” – Randomalex.net

“The City Inside is a story that shows how ill-prepared the world is for the inequality we live under to reach its conclusion. I found this novel just as unsettling as a good Black Mirror episode for how deeply the author seems to understand where we are as a society.” – Black Nerds Create

“That might actually be one of the sicker realizations of The City Inside, the part where I could see myself living in this world because Basu makes it seem so inevitable.” – GeeklyInc

The City Inside was on anticipated-books lists at places like PolygonBook RiotThe Washington Post, io9/GizmodoBookbubThe Portalist, tor.com , The Philadelphia Inquirer, Transfer Orbit, Daily HiveLawyers Guns and MoneyFantasy Book Critic, Goodreads, The AU review, SCLS New Jersey, CrimeReads and DiscoverSciFi.



International reviews (as Chosen Spirits)

“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

“… 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

“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

“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

“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

And now, a bonus dog

Comments are closed.

Author pages/Buy books

Copyright (c) Samit Basu. Images copyright respective holders.
June 2022


%d bloggers like this: