I have been recommending River of Gods by Ian McDonald since I finished reading it in November. Plenty of praise has been given to McDonald on the novel: “masterpiece”, “major achievement”. Nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The richness of the world McDonald created in that novel is something I have repeatedly compared to William Gibson‘s watershed novel, Neuromancer. Cyberabad Days is a return to the India of 2047. It is a smaller volume than the novel that spawned it. Weighing in at just short of 300 pages, it contains seven stories all set in the same world of River of Gods.
“The Little Goddess” is a 2006 Hugo nominee, best novella. “The Djinn’s Wife” is a 2007 Hugo Award winner, best novelette. Also included are the previously-published stories “Sanjeev and the Robotwallah”, “Kyle Meets the River”, “The Dust Assassin”, “An Eligible Boy”, and the new novella “Vishnu at the Cat Circus”.
Cyberabad Days is a triumphant return to the Inda of 2047, a new, muscular superpower of one and a half billion people in an age of artificial intelligences, climate change-induced drought, water wars, strange new genders, genetically improved children who age at half the rate of baseline humanity, and a population where males outnumber females four to one. India herself has fractured into a dozen states from Kerala to the headwaters of the Ganges in the Himalayas.