Varun Sayal’s Time Crawlers: Hextuple Delight


Blurb
Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in my book “Time Crawlers” which has 6 tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories. A quick look at the stories:
TimeCrawlers - KDP - 1600x2560
** Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon: **
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.
** Death by Crowd: **
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?
** Genie: **
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.
** Time Crawlers: **
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….
** Eclipse: **
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?
** The Cave: **
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.
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Time Crawlers: The Book Review

I have been a voracious reader of science fiction but I have hardly come across any Indian English authors who have been able to stupefy ( Rowling effect) the readers to the core. Well, there is Samit Basu with his GameWorld Trilogy, Turbulence, Resistance among others and now Varun Sayal’s Time Crawlers leaves a deep impact with myriad themes and compelling storytelling.

It is a hextuple delight, well six stories in a book, so I took the liberty of using such bizarre word like a hextuple delight. One of the best features of this book is the style of narration. While in one of the stories the author uses the traditional storytelling, shifts to a drama like narration and amuses the readers with the interview technique. Keep it up, Mr Sayal.

Each of the six stories comes up with its unique charm. I am not going to divulge the plotlines, lol.

Almost all the stories have impressed me as a reader and a researcher in science fiction. Keeping apart  “Death by Crowd”, I would rate all the other pieces as excellent pieces of science fiction. Again there could be a separate post for this story alone, it raises few disturbing questions.

In order to be a writer, one needs to go through other works in the particular genre. I think ( entirely my point of view), Mr Sayal has been inspired by Issac  Asimov, Clive Barkers and Joseph Heller among others. The issues raised and the conflict conjured sums up to a unique reading experience.

Sayal believes in experimenting with narrative techniques and while doing so he never uses complex literary jargons in his narration. The simplicity is truly amazing and in the end, he creates a hullabaloo in the mind of the readers about the conflicts in the stories i.e. he raises some hard hitting questions. Well done, Mr Sayal.

 

Verdict : You need to buy this one. 4.5/5

Pros

The readers get to enjoy varieties of themes like mythology, time travelling, dark web, cosmic entities, artificial intelligence and parallel worlds among others in a single paperback.

The compelling storytelling by the author.

Impressive plot build up.

Gripping cover design, well covers are one of the most intriguing factors of a book’s selling point.

I enjoyed the nomenclature of a few characters like Trikalacharya, Jokie among others.

Cons

Death By Crowd could have been the best of the lot but it fades away in the end

The stories could have been a bit longer.

 

I have received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest review. Thank God, I accepted this one. I loved it.

 

author-pic

Author Bio:
VARUN SAYAL is an engineer and MBA from I.I.T. and I.S.B. (top schools in India), who has been involved in theatre as a playwright, actor, and director, and has also been an independent movie-maker. His genre of writing is predominantly science fiction blended with mythology and a sprinkle of the gruesome actualities of life. In his own words:
“I think of each story as a surreal, fast-paced narrative that pulls in the reader right from the beginning, takes them through a voyage into an alternate dystopian realm, bequeathing to them images etched permanently on their minds. I live by the quote, ‘a true art calms a disturbed mind and disturbs a calm mind.’”
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Website and Social Media Links: 
• Website: http://varunsayal.in/
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Buy Links
Images from the internet.
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The Mahabharata Code : The Book Review


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The Book Review

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata

Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

 

Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam

Dharmasangsthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 ,Verse 7-8.

(The English Translation)

Whenever there is a decay in righteousness,

And there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I , Myself come forth ;

 

For the defense of the good, for the demolition of evil-doers,

For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.

 

This sloka has been my cult favourite since the days of  B R Chopra’s Mahabharat. Books based on Mahabharat have always intrigued me .But most of them nowadays are about the spinning of that same wheel, except Devdutt Pattanaik’s Jaya and Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel.

I have been conducting my Mphil thesis on Indian Science Fiction ,thus I am bit acquainted with most of the writings on this genre.Rao’s The Mahabharata Code has been running out of supply owing to its high demand. I wanted to go through it.

The book begins with lots ambiguity and like a master storyteller Karthik Rao unravel the complex mesh of the plot..well it gets much more interesting onwards.

The cover design has been an elegant masterpiece.I have an weakness for such brilliant piece of art.The narration has been reasonably fast paced and Rao manages to keep his readers to the edge.The anecdotes are top notch and the philosophy are never too loud to digest.You will relish the book with a witty smile on your lips. Rao provides the setting of science fiction and transport all the readers to the world of a Nasa Scientist Narayan Rao . The plot thickens with the encounter of  Narayan with a mysterious Gandalf styled person who wants to recreate the Mahabaharat.

The characters have been skillfully carved out of the ancient discourse of the great Indian epic and moulded  into a futuristic  setting  of  space science fiction. Special mention about the schemer and the scripter of the epic Ved Vyasa. I have always thought that Ved Vyasa remained only a partial character in the epic ,but here he is in full authority of the novel.

You cannot ignore his brilliance as a master conniver. You will feel allied to characters like Shrishti and Holy Hades. Krishna in Tharoor’s narration was a Keralian youth and one of the most weakest in the novel .I was bit skeptical about Rao’s characterization of Krishna ,well you have to go through the book to find out whether he is as mighty as the Gudakesh of the original Mahabharat ,who promises to appear again and again where there will be the domination of evil upon earth or he is just a mere wager in the great plan of Vyasa ?(refer to the sloka at the top)

Watch out for the brilliant scientific conceptualization about the impotency of Arjun and well you cannot ignore the game of dice..(sssh the dice can operate only through the voice command of our favourite Shakuni Mama ).You have read the epics and come across many uncomfortable questions..well the authors provide some witty explanation.

I am waiting for somewhat different piece of Science Fiction from the talented author  Karthik Rao.Keep it up Mr Rao.Well after Samit Basu , I can see a master story teller of Science Fiction in Indian English Literature.

Pros

1.Perfect Cover design

2.Awesome characterization.

3.Excellent plot execution.

4.Nirbhaya Shot and Electronic Dice.

5.The modern setting.

6.Krishna and Ved Vyasa were top notch creations.

7.Simple and hilarious.

Cons

1.Those boring conversation between Narayan and Shrishti.

2.Time to delve into something more innovative.

Rating – 4.5 out of 5

 

 

 

 

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THE MAHABHARATA CODE

by

KARTHIK K.B.RAO

 

Blurb

 

“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here.

 

As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

 

Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”

 

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About the author

8a58d-karthikkbrao

 

 

Karthik K.B. Rao

 

Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.


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THE MAHABHARATA CODE : AN INTERVIEW WITH KARTHIK K B RAO


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Debraj Moulick Interview
  1. In original Mahabharat Ganesh was the writer, who is the writer over here in this retelling of Epic ?are you the great Ganesh ?

The writer here the protagonist NR as the entire story is being recalled by him while in coma. I am not sure about Ganesh , but NR is trying to be a Vyasa here.

  1. Don’t you think there have been innumerable retelling of the epic ?How your book is different from them ?

Where i feel my book is different is that I have stuck to the original as much as possible and the book is not just one character’s perspective. I have made an humble attempt to give scientific rational explanations to events described in these epics using concepts of physics, modern day technology as well as some of the practices followed in the software industry I am part of. I have also tried to explore further and explain some of the uncomfortable sections described in these epics like why did Rama ask Sita to undergo agnipariksha?  Why did Dronacharya ask Ekalavya his thumb as guru dakshina? I have also used some of the ideas from books like chariots of god and tv series like Ancient aliens.

  1. Don’t you think Mahabharat is just a way of promoting the greatness of Vishnu ?

I would beg to differ , perhaps Ramayana was promoting the greatness of Vishnu. The epic itself was named after Ram, it also talked about an utopian society called Ram Rajya etc. Whereas in Mahabharata, Vishnu as Krishna takes a backseat for the most part and allows other characters to express themselves. He is happy playing kingmaker and guiding the pandavas. He even takes a vow that he will not use any weapon in the great Mahabharata war and is content being the charioteer to Arjuna.

  1. Have you gone through Anand Neelkanthan’s Ajeya and Devdutt Pattanaik’s Jaya? What are your views about these books ?

I have read Jaya and Anand Neelkanthan’s Asura but not Ajeya and loved both these books. I consciously decided not to read any myth-fiction books related to Mahabharata while I was writing my book so I don’t get influenced by them in any way.
5.In tv series like Ancient Aliens, Krishna have been projected as an Alien from an advanced planet ? Plz comment

As I have mentioned in the acknowledgement section in the book Ancient aliens was one of my inspirations while writing this book apart from the book chariots of god. If Krishna happens to be the paramatma herself (J) whether him being alien or not is immaterial!

<br /></div>

 

THE MAHABHARATA CODE

by

KARTHIK K.B.RAO

 

 

 

<span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b><br /></b></span> <span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b>Blurb</b></span><br />

 

“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. 

 

As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 

Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”

 

<span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b>Grab &nbsp;your copy&nbsp;@</b></span><br />

<span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b><br /></b></span> <span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Mahabharata-Code-Yet-another-retelling/dp/9352068882&#8243; target=”_blank”>Amazon.com</a> | <a href=”http://www.amazon.in/Mahabharata-Code-Yet-another-retelling/dp/9352068882&#8243; target=”_blank”>Amazon.in</a> | <a href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mahabharata-Code-Yet-another-retelling/dp/9352068882&#8243; target=”_blank”>Amazon.co.uk</a> |</b></span><br />

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<br />

Karthik K.B. Rao

 

Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.

<span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b><br /></b></span> <span style=”font-family: &quot;georgia&quot; , &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: large;”><b>You can stalk him&nbsp;@</b></span></div>

              

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