••• The International Writers Magazine - REVIEW
The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao
Titanbooks - ISBN: 9781803361246
published June 2023
Sam Hawksmoor review
enigmatic story of marriage and a city's survival
I freely admit that I do not know how to review this Indian Science-Fiction novel. 513 pages of mystical power plays between architects who can manipulate the world around them with the power of their minds and the others, mere engineers or citizens who are scorned by the elite because they lack these skills.
Yet they must all lived together in this (Ashram) a castle in the sky that hovers over a lethal, every raging jungle where mankind can no longer inhabit. You could call it metaphorical or you can take it for what it is, a projected future of India where much has gone wrong and these floating giant ashrams are the only thing keeping humans alive but perpetuate all the petty issues that plague present day India.
The writing is dense, poetic and sometimes you get lost in the jargon and woe betide any reader that loses their concentration for a moment, you will get lost in the many passages and chambers that are literaly woven into place by the architects. Imagine this is some lost Star Trek adventure written by an esoteric professor of literature. The relationship between the two main protagonists are realistic and fraught. Ahilya the archeologist and Iravan, a senior architect who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. They face an ever certain maritial breakdown which is somehow central to the survival of the whole city in the sky.
There are many times I put this book aside, determined not to pick it up again, but I persevered to the end as it rushed towards enlightenment and horror. In the end I was sad to let go. It is a unique insight into how Asian view their future and science fiction in general.
© Sam Hawksmoor July 2023
author of The Repossession of Genie Magee and more