Cyberabad Days (India 2047 #2)
As I've mentioned here several times before, there are many of us science-fiction fans who believe that the industry has entered a whole new "age" in the last ten years, one major enough to be compared to the four eras that came before it (to be specific, the historic "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '4 ...more
This is every bit as good as the magnificent River of Gods.
Like Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance and Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, this book takes you to India and lifts you right out of where you are. Like them, it's written so seamlessly that the author never gets in your way. You're watching through a perfectly clean window.
But McDonald's India has robot soldiers and servants, wearable links to AIs, etc. right alongside the saddhus and ragged beggars and social rul ...more
My favourite of the stories is probably The Djinn's Wife, though An Eligible Boy and Sanjeev and the Robotwallah are both close contenders. I think it's because of how nice the slice of life pi ...more
I would say McDonald's writing is just as good at it is in his recent novels and he has a great ability to pack in a lot of excellent world-building and characterisation into a relatively small number of words. His vision of an India caught between tradition and advanced techn ...more
But that's the kind of thing that McDonald is good at... solid future worldbuilding, evoked with pyrotechnic prose but centered on characters with emotional depth and resonance. He even handles with grace the quixotic task of taking on th ...more
My favourite of the stories was "Vishnu and the Cat Circus", which provides an excellent timeline for the other stories and for River of Gods, as well as providing a lot of background information, including a lot ...more
What elevates McDonald's stories (and, i ...more
Writing Style: 3/5
"Every fairytale must have a wedding."
Thus says the narrator in "The Djinn's Wife," my favorite of these seven short stories. So our author obliges and provides a wedding. He would do this over and over again, rely on an anticipated convention or narrative structure (as well as providing a wedding) in which to situate the story. These conventions were, to me at least, exotic in that they relied on Indian culture, history, and frameworks, h ...more
I think McDonald's strong point is cre ...more
"Vision by vision the Ganga revealed itself to Kyle: next he become aware of the buildings; the guesthouses and hotels and havelis shouldering up to the steps, the ridiculous pink water towers, the many domes of the mosque and the golde spires of the temples and little temple down at the river leaning into the sit; ...more
Vale mucho la pena. Uno de los relatos "Vishnu en el circo de los gatos" es el que mas se relaciona con la no ...more
This collection of stories or novelettes was a fun introduction to McDonald's cyberpunk world set just 35 years in the future in India. The stories at the beginning of the book were s ...more
McDonald doesn't explain anything--you get all sorts of Indian words, slang, ideas, locations... but no idea what they mean at first. You have to figure it out through context. Which for a while makes for a more engaging read, but ends up being very tedious. Plus, these stories all sort of follow RIVER OF GODS, but you don't get all of the info, so it's easy to get lost. I read GODS yea ...more
As usual in a collection of stories the quality varies, from the normal to the very good. My personal favorite was "The Little ...more
Ian McDonald's chops as a storyteller and visionary have become apparent over two decades of cutting-edge SFóin short stories, novels, and the trickier novellas and novelettes that have often formed the springboard for longer works. The stories in Cyberabad Days showcase those skills, distilling the author's extrapolation of the present into a cyberpunk, dystopian future that is still fundamentally human despite the increasing dominance of technology in "a world that manages to be convincingly,...more
There are few authors able to so fully “transport” me to their imagined worlds as McDonald.
Here he takes several regular SF tropes (AIs, information singularity and genetic engineering) and examines them via their impact on the lives of people not directly involved in bringing them about.
This makes his stories accessible and emotionally engaging.
In many cases a lot of the technical extrapolation and big idea stu ...more
And told they were, trickling out in periodicals and anthologies since the novel’s publication and winning awards along the way. CYBERABAD DAYS is the culmination of the saga b ...more
Like River of Gods, I'm very glad I read this after having visited India. All of these stories are great, but the one I liked the best is easily "The Djinn's Wife". If Scherezade lived in 2050, this is the story she would tell.