A Book Review of Sami Ahmad Khan’s Aliens In Delhi


  • Publisher – Niyogi Books
  • Language – English
  • Paperback– 300 pages
  • Genre – Political Thriller, Science Fiction, War Thriller

Blurb

In the near future, the ISI and RAW discover that securing the borders of Pakistan and India is the least of their problems. An extra-terrestrial race of reptiloids prepares to invade Earth — by turning our smartphones into gene-tampering weapons.
Humanity might soon be extinct.
As people in Delhi start turning into alien hybrids, India gears up to face a foe unlike any other.
From unveiling the actual reason behind the Chandrayaan mission to the truth about Osama bin Laden, this explosive geopolitical science-fiction thriller depicts how contemporary India responds to an alien invasion.

The Review

Samit Basu’s Turbulence gave us some fancy aliens via flight journey, thank God the Kryptonians & Martians are not exclusively focused on the USA, but this time it is India. Khan’s novels are full of shapeshifting ( bit of X-Men vibes)  aliens on Ghalib’s land. The administrative nerve of the country is full of such creatures near the cellphone tower and…… (let there be some mysteries).

The setting of Aliens in Delhi is across some of the key locations of the world, some in the occidental world, some in the middle east, some in the Indian subcontinent. There are some lines describing the pathos of  Kashmiri people, beautifully woven.

The narrative is immensely fast paced and feels like a high dosage of western war thriller (oh yeah, bring it on Das Boot, Guns of Navarone & yes more). There are few scenes where the author provides intricate details about shape shifting people in and around Delhi and as a science fiction novel, Aliens in Delhi makes a mark over here, in tits and bits. Khan must be  reading a lot of genetics, especially the lesson which deals with mutation, believe me it was one  hell of an experience. As a reader I have enjoyed this rapid mixture of experimental writing. Thumbs up for such a unique moment of ecstasy.The character development is a bit complex since here are many protagonists and you might get confused, who is the main one ? ISRO plays an important role in the novel , so yes like Star Trek – Space is actually the final frontier over here. The author infuses some key political events and serves them in an exciting platter. You will be able to relive X-Men comics, science fiction movies like Species, Men In Black, Aliens and much much more. But the inspiration never belittles the originality of the book, the Indianisation of the plot is extremely convincing and yeah, dam interesting.You need to use your power of imagination but in a logical way, at times the novel is extremely cerebral. You will come across RAW, ISI, Oval Office and yes the looming threats of geopolitical issues, the novel makes you aware of the perilous time.

And beware of your intelligent smart phone, fuck I am scared of these phones.

And Qa’haQ, omg !

And yes, Aliens in Delhi needs a graphic novel adaptation. Frank Miller, are you free?

Verdict

 Read it, Get a Hard Copy because a soft copy on a phone might lead to….. ( Let there be mystery again).

About The Author

Sami Ahmad Khan writes, researches, teaches, translates and edits Science Fiction (SF). He is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to the University of Iowa, USA, where he studied SF and creative writing, and holds a PhD in SF from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (JNU). His debut future-war thriller Red Jihad won two awards, and his second novel – Aliens in Delhi – was displayed at the 5thChina (Chengdu) SF Convention. Sami has taught at IIT Delhi and JNU, and currently discusses life and literature at GGS Indraprastha University, Delhi, where he also supervises MPhil and PhD research on SF. His research papers on SF, and his SF stories, have appeared in leading journals and anthologies across the world, and his critical work has been translated into the Czech. His next is a monograph on India’s Anglophonic SF, which is currently with a university press.

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