A Great Interview with Samit Basu…

SamitBasu-AuthorPicColour-BlogHot on the heels of the US release of TURBULENCE, Zeno client Samit Basu has been interviewed by the great genre website, SF Signal. TURBULENCE, the first in Samit’s super-hero series, was published by Titan Books in the US earlier this month (and almost a year ago in the UK, also by Titan). We thought we’d share some snippets from the interview, in which Samit touches upon his inspirations and also the highly-anticipated sequel, RESISTANCE.

First up, the author had this to say about TURBULENCE:

‘[It] is a superhero novel, set mostly in India and the UK. Fresh take on the genre, from a non-Western perspective. Passengers on a flight from London to Delhi find they’ve mysteriously gained physical abilities related to their deepest desires. What would you do if you actually got what you wanted? And how would you feel if you suddenly had the power to change the world? … A book about a group of people who suddenly found anything they did had tremendous consequences, whose every action would have a huge impact on the world around them.

Samit also explained how his approach to super-heroes and manifested super-powers was different to other mythologies – and that his approach could be argued to be more contemporarily relevant:

‘It was interesting because it led to a lot of thought on what people really wanted today, assuming the biggest stories and trends in the media were an indication. This isn’t really an age of big ideas – if the Turbulence event had happened in the late ’60s or early ’70s in America, for instance, you’d have a lot of spacemen and aliens. But for it to happen now, to a group of people on a British Airways flight – you had to have a lot of them developing powers that related to the things most important in their life, such as a perfectly toned butt, or a reality show, or a billion Twitter followers. Of course the old classic things people have always wanted – power, love, sex, money, in one form or another – showed up a lot. And the people who got really interesting, more original powers were people whose minds were not really aligned with mainstream thought at all, like Anima the anime warrior-princess and Sundar, who invents things in his sleep.’

Basu-T1-Turbulence-BlogWhen asked what power he would like, Samit cryptically replied, ‘People in the book don’t get the powers they’d like, they get the power they really want – and who knows what I really want.’

Great news for fans of the first novel, Samit also offered some more information on RESISTANCE, the sequel due to be published in November 2013:

‘It’s set in 2020, in a world dominated by superheroes, and is set all over the world, with a lot of scenes happening in imaginary future versions of New York and Tokyo. A lot of it is about the human response to the new world order. Most of the main characters who survive Turbulence are in it, but a few of the major characters are new, and human. Let’s say if TURBULENCE is the Superman book, RESISTANCE is the Batman book.’

With the book now out on both sides of the Atlantic, Samit is excited (so are we, actually) to see how it is received: ‘I’m thrilled that the book is out in the US, which is really Superhero Central, and I’m really curious to see how it does. In India it was mostly an eccentric novel set largely in India, where very few people are actually interested in SF or fantasy or superheroes, but when it went to the UK there was this sudden sense of finding readers and fellow writers with a greater understanding of what the book was trying to do and where it came from, apart from the details of where it was set. I’m really hoping that experience translates to America as well.’

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