How biryani chokes a history book

What do biryani, wrestling, Russel Market and children have in common? A fantastic ride through 1920s in Bangalore! My new short story ‘The Biryani Choke’ is a rollicking tumble set around the opening of the Russell Market in Shivajinagar of the 1920s.

The story is being published in an anthology by INTACH Bangalore appropriately called Eleven Stops to the Present: Stories of Bengaluru. If you don’t know, INTACH Bangalore are folks who are known to conduct terribly entertaining heritage walks in the city. The anthology is the brainchild of Meera Iyer (who wrote Discovering Bengaluru: History. Neighbourhoods. Walks, a must-have book if you like discovering history by foot) who has also written a story in it. Other amazing writers in it include: Aditi De, Anirudh Kanisetti, Anitha Murthy, Edgar Demello, Meera Iyer, Menaka Raman, Nagaraj Vastarey, Sandhya Rao, Shruthi Rao, and of course Zac O’Yeah.

Upcoming anthology by INTACH

Eleven short stories for children, by eleven awesome writers who take you on a journey through Bengaluru and Bangalore, from about 2000 years ago to the 1980s

Releases soon!

The book is an ambitious idea to introduce the city’s history to children through fiction stories set in different periods of Bangalore (or Bengaluru, that’s also history now). When Meera asked me to write a story, I knew the place in Bangalore I wanted to write about. I had already been there….

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Short story shortlisted in prestigious French awards

This is surreal at a serious level. A short story I wrote a couple of years back, The Daughter That Bleeds was translated in French as ‘La Fille qui saigne’ by Mikael Cabon and published in Galaxies magazine, an SFF fanzine in France. This happened last year and I was gleed at that point and then forgot about it.

I just found out that the translated short story has been selected for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire Awards of 2020 in France. It has a hilarious tale attached to it.

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Me: Top 50 Startup Women in Switzerland

Woah. I am in a list of Top 50 Startup Women in Switzerland. What most of you don’t know if that I founded a startup in Zurich in the #FinTech space in 2018. The idea was to do new projects and to meet people and to earn money so I could feed my mainstream career – fiction writing.

So this accolade, is completely daze-inducing and glee. I’m surprised on how the little paths we choose to walk on, send us somewhere we hadn’t planned upon at all. Life is so beautiful.

The startup, Cooby, is a global cooperative and I’m one of the co-founders. We are developing blockchain-based SaaS products, which are open source. We also create technical and white papers for clients. It’s quite fun for the geek part of me as I get to meet people and listen to stories in the crypto, blockchain and fintech spaces.

Never thought it would get me in a Top anything list. This was something I started for fun. Isn’t that the most important? I tell this to myself as I see another rejection for my fiction in my inbox. Such is life. A constant rollercoaster.

Giving a talk at WorldCon 2019 + Evil Plan

It’s this week! I have some exciting news from my end. I’ve been invited to Dublin for WorldCon 2019, the biggest convention for the speculative fiction industry in the world, to give a talk on my work and on the work of emerging speculative fiction authors from South Asia. 

My talk will explore science and fantasy fiction voices from the South Asian community that are reworking the genre, playing with its tropes and redefining it by inverting colonial motifs.

I’m hoping to give this talk again in India sometime later this year or early next. Let’s see.

Follow this thread for updates

This is where I’ve listed my evil plan during my talk to introduce them to the wonderful work being published in South Asia. Mhahaha.

WorldCon Schedule

TALK: Current trends in South Asian SFF

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Eurocon: How I got interviewed by French media

During my visit to Eurocon 2018, I met a French lady in a corner. I was quickly stuffing my stroller and getting ready to talk about Indian fantasy.

She juggled with equipment. We got talking. She turned out to be a TV journalist from a French webzine ActuSF and I invited her for the talk I was about to give.

And that’s how I got interviewed by Samantha. I had no experience of talking while being translated and how to learn how to stop my thoughts. It was funny.

Also read, Five lessons I learnt at Eurocon.

(Thankful to Thomas for his patience with me!)

New: Short Story in Magical Women, a feminist fantasy anthology

Happy to announce that my hilarious, wacky short on a chudail get-together: ‘Grandma Garam’s Kitty Party’ has released in Magical Women, a feminist fantasy anthology published by Hachette India and edited by author and friend Sukanya Venkataraghavan.

It’s a fantastic collection that brings together authors writing on feminism from across the country, including powerful voices like Kiran Manral, Krishna Udaysankar, Sujatha SV, Trisha Das, Samhita Arni and may powerfu others.

You can order a copy on Amazon.

Blurb: Magical Women

A weaver is initiated into the ancient art of bringing a universe into existence. A demon hunter encounters an unlikely opponent. Four goddesses engage in a cosmic brawl. A graphic designer duels with a dark secret involving a mysterious tattoo. A defiant chudail makes a shocking announcement at a kitty party. A puppet seeking adventure discovers who she really is. A young woman’s resolute choice leads her to haunt Death across millennia. . .

A compelling collection of stories that speak of love, rage, rebellion, choices and chances, Magical Women brings together some of the strongest female voices in contemporary Indian writing. Combining astounding imagination with superlative craft, these tales will intrigue and delight readers in equal measure.

Continue reading for excerpt from the story. Order a copy on Amazon.

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Interview: Bangalore is perfect to write

Interview in Economic Times on how Bangalore’s slow pace gives Shweta Taneja time to weave stories.

Having grown up in Delhi and working there as a journalist, working there as a journalist, Taneja was drawn to India’s software hub through what she read about it and heard from people who had travelled there. It was also Bengaluru that Taneja thought would be a great place to start her career as a novelist. “At that time, I didn’t know anyone in Bengaluru.I had never visited it. But to me, it was a city with a relaxed pace, beautiful weather, a vibrant music scene and friendly people,“ she says .

From the capital city to Bengaluru

As she went on with her life in the national capital, moving to national capital, moving to Bengaluru remained a distant dream. “By 2008, I was tired of living in Delhi. I got married and it was when my spouse gave me the option of trying out life in another city that I chose Bengaluru,“ she says.

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SF story released in a blockchain-powered anthology

Excited to announce that my short story Agni’s Tattoo was released in Whose Future Is It? the first anthology published by Cellarius, a collaborative SF universe based on blockchain.

Cellarius is a collaborative science-fiction storytelling project. focused on a near-future mythology and powered by the Ethereum Blockchain. Right now, they are inviting authors to write stories within the scope of the universe (Read their Universe Guide here) however in future, it will be open to everyone, across the world.

When they approached me, after reading their Universe Guide, I decided to find out what happens when AI-powered gods come into a destroyed, dystopian Mumbai, where caste groups rule.

That’s Agni’s Tattoo. I’ve kept the story open-ended as I hope once the collaborative platform develops, someone picks Agni up and talks about her. (Keep reading for excerpt).

About the Cellarius Anthology

Whose Future is It? is the first Cellarius anthology includes 13 works of short cyberpunk fiction exploring humans’ response to a superintelligent AI takeover in the year 2084. From 9 notable writers, including a New York Times bestseller, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Nebula Award winner, the Cellarius stories range from mind-bending thrillers to classic adventure tales, human-machine love stories to the formation of new religions. Decide for yourself: whose future is it? Buy online on Amazon.

Homotranscendus by Gwen Singley (from Cellarius)
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Story translated to French, Romanian and Dutch

I’m glee to announce that my short story, The Daughter That Bleeds, has been translated and published in three European languages: French, Romanian, and Dutch. (Details below)

About The Daughter That Bleeds

The Daughter That Bleeds is a tale about a market for fertile women who have become rare in a post-apocalyptic India, told with humour and empathy. The story reflects upon notions of gender, class, fertility and parental affection. 

The story as been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award in Asia. First published in The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018 in English, you can buy a copy here. (Read excerpt)

Translated in French: Galaxies SF

Galaxies SF is a reputed French magazine that publishes science fiction and non-fiction on authors from across the world. These are the people who organised Eurocon 2018.

I’m quite chuffed that Daughter That Bleeds was translated into #French by and was published in Galaxies magazine, the people who organised last year’s Eurocon 2018. I can read a bit of French, thanks to lessons for a few months and the title seems to be translated literally. I did interact with Mikael Cabon, the translator of this story, over email where we discussed the word ‘soorma’.

Translated in Romanian: HelionSF

 It’s called Sângele Fiicei Mele in Romanian and has been published in HelionSF, the biggest SF fan magazine based in Romania. Read the story online.

When journalist and friend Darius Hupov, who interviewed me for a podcast about my work, asked me if I wanted to translate, I wasn’t sure The Daughter That Bleeds would translate well. Judge yourself by reading it online.

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Editor’s Choice Award: The Daughter that Bleeds

Proud to announce that The Daughter That Bleeds, a short story I wrote, that has been published in The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018, has been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award. 

All of 2018, as I prepared The Rakta Queen for publishing and moved countries, I’ve been busy typing away hilarious, maddeningly weird feminist speculative fiction stories. The Daughter That Bleeds was one of them and it was a glad moment for me when it got selected for this prestigious anthology. 

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