Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Cyberabad Days Cyberabad Days
by Ian Macdonald

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

What will India be like in 25 to 35 years time? What will be the state of that forgotten Asian tiger, with its vast middle class, forecast to be bigger than the population of the United States in 25 years, and even larger peasant underbelly in the year 2045?

In seven related stories Cyberabad Days presents a vision of that future. Failed monsoons giving rise to a new aristocracy of water merchants; fractious Indian states fighting for scarce resources thereby giving rise to telecommuting cyber-warriors; a bride crash as sons are selected ahead of daughters seriously imbalancing the population – these scenarios and more are all explored in how they impact on the people who have to live through it as a part of everyday life.

Although it is a collection of stories this book can be read as one large novel with India as the central character. I enjoyed it and the visions of the future it gave, with despair and joy in equal measure. Possibly one of Ian McDonald’s finest works.

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