SPELLCASTERS

Chanchal Mitra wakes up in a far-off desert town, sharing a dingy hotel room with the flamboyant Mr. Kapoor, who is planning to abduct a billionaire. Kapoor insists that the billionaire tycoon is an impostor. Chanchal is unwittingly drawn into the plot. Soon they are joined by the mystery woman Sujata, her eyes dark like murder; and then a crutch-clutching ex-sailor, who is quick with a gun. In the smog-swathed capital city of Aukatabad, an organic chemist engaged by the tycoon to design a mind-altering drug, is found dead from an overdose. Elsewhere, the billionaire industrialist’s chocolate factory is contaminated by salmonella while Sujata fights a fiery death at the hands of hired killers. As weird weather overtakes the land and Kapoor sets out with his accomplices to kidnap the businessman, the flimsy lines between friend, foe and lover begin to quickly disappear.
ISBN: 978-9391125882

Published by: Olive Turtle (Niyogi), 2023.

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MULTISPECIES CITIES - SOLARPUNK URBAN FUTURES 


Edited and introduced by Christoph Ruprecht, Deborah Cleland, Norie Tamura, Rajat Chaudhuri, Sarena Ulibarri

Cities are alive, shared by humans and animals, insects and plants, landforms and machines. What might city ecosystems look like in the future if we strive for multispecies justice in our urban settings? In these more-than-human stories, twenty-four authors investigate humanity’s relationship with the rest of the natural world, placing characters in situations where humans have to look beyond their own needs and interests. A quirky eco-businessman sees broader applications for a high school science fair project. A bad date in Hawai‘i takes an unexpected turn when the couple stumbles upon some confused sea turtle hatchlings. A genetically-enhanced supersoldier struggles to find new purpose in a peaceful Tokyo. A community service punishment in Singapore leads to unexpected friendships across age and species. A boy and a mammoth trek across Asia in search of kin. A Tamil child learns the language of the stars. Set primarily in the Asia-Pacific, these stories engage with the serious issues of justice, inclusion, and sustainability that affect the region, while offering optimistic visions of tomorrow's urban spaces. 
The book is listed in Grist's `The Definitive Climate Fiction Reading List'. It has been nominated for the inaugural Utopia Awards.  

ISBN-13: 978-1734054521
Anthology: Approx. 100,000 words / 330 pages
Published by: World Weaver Press (USA) 

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THE GREAT BENGALI POETRY UNDERGROUND

(Translated from the Bengali with an introduction by Rajat Chaudhuri, রজত চৌধুরী )                   
In the pages of Bengali little magazines of India and Bangladesh and the obscure recesses of an ever-vibrant literary culture, spring other voices, other words – another art of seeing. Hidden from the glare of mainstream writing and often ignored in the portals of high culture, secret wizards of verse are chiselling away at experience, conjuring up the poetry of a stricken time. 

A poetry which genuflects before no one while delivering its irreverent message in whispers or cat calls. The subterranean chambers of Bengali underground poetry echo with angst and experiment, glow in the blurry heat of passion or slip into a meditative silence as it plumbs the depths of the heart. This collection trawls the darkest corners of the Bengali literary universe offering to English language readers, the first glimpse of an uncharted ocean – its winds, storms and unstoppable tides.


Poets: Agni Roy, Novera Hossain, Mitul Dutta, Tanmay Mridha, Atanu Chakrabortty, Gouranga Mondal, Shapla Shawparjita, Pratyush Bandopadhyay, Aysa Jhorna, Arpan Chakraborty


ISBN-978-981-14-9496-3
Published by: Kitaab (Singapore)

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CALCUTTA NIGHTS

Calcutta Nights, Hemendra Kumar Roy, Rajat Chaudhuri

(Translated from the Bengali by Rajat Chaudhuri, রজত চৌধুরী) Calcutta Nights is a true account and memoir of the enigmatic Meghnad Gupta, pen name of famed Bengali fiction writer Hemendrakumar Roy. Translated into English by Rajat Chaudhuri almost a century after the publication of Raater Kolkata (রাতের কলকাতা) in 1923, this book reveals the darkest secrets of an  earlier Calcutta. 

The first two decades of the last century, the backdrop for this book, were politically turbulent times. Those days, Calcutta, the erstwhile capital of British India, was teeming with people from different parts of the country besides Europeans and other foreigners. It was a city of sin, pleasure and suffering. Indians who arrived and settled here mingled with locals, some of them picking up dress, manners and the wanton lifestyles of the Bengali `babu’ while others kept their identities intact. All this created a unique cosmopolitan setting, coloured with shades of debauchery, darkness and crime that this first-hand account brilliantly recounts.

Calcutta Nights is the Hootum Pyanchar Naksha (published in 1862 and penned by Kaliprasanna Sinha) of the early twentieth century a book that will help anyone understand the contrasts and colours of a unique Indian metropolis. 

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ISBN: 978-9389136456 
Published by: Paper Missile (Niyogi Books)




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THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT  
A self-obsessed Calcutta detective who goes by his last name `Kar’, an enigmatic internet cafe hostess in Seoul, and a hotshot geneticist labouring away on a topsecret corporate project. These are just a few pieces in the puzzle that need to be put together to explain a world sucked into the whirlpool of the `butterfly effect’...
In the decaying climate-change ravaged capital city of a near-future Darkland, which covers large swathes of Asia, Captain Old – an off-duty policeman – receives news that might help to unravel the roots of a scourge that has ravaged the continent. As stories coalesce into stories – welding past, present and future together – will a macabre death in a small English town or the disappearance of Indian tourists in Korea, help to blow away the dusts of time?
From utopian communities of Asia to the prison camps of Pyongyang and from the gene labs of Europe to the violent streets of Darkland – riven by civil war, infested by genetically engineered fighters – this time-travelling novel crosses continents, weaving mystery, adventure and romance, gradually fixing its gaze on the sway of the unpredictable over our lives. 
The novel is listed in `Ten Works of Environmental Literature from Around the World' by Book Riot, USA.
ISBN: 978-93-86906-52-6




Get the book from Amazon Amazon (India) | Waterstones

THE BEST ASIAN SPECULATIVE FICTION 

Between singing asteroid stations with a secret, and chilling visions of dystopia, between mad sorcerers with an agenda and time-travelling phantoms perplexed by the rules of afterlife, this volume of stories offers a unique sampling of flavours from the infinite breadth of the Asian imagination. If science fiction, horror, and fantasy are the genres you swear by, but miss Asian voices and settings, then this anthology is your oyster. Call these stories speculative, sff, or by any other name, they are really tales well told, and they always take off at a tangent from the big, blustering real. Here the imaginative spirit is aflame, casting a rich lovely light. Tales from sixteen countries of Asia plus the diasporas. Freshly minted, told by seasoned writers and new talent—a smörgåsbord of Asia's finest speculative imagination. The Best Asian Speculative Fiction includes stories by Shweta Taneja, Bae Suah, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Xu Xi, Eliza Victoria, Eldar Sattarov,  Tunku Halim, Kiran Manral, Soramimi Hanarejima, Lopa Ghosh, Mithran Somasundrum, Lijia Zhang, Chris Mooney-Singh, Tan Kaiyi, Timothy Yam, Samim Ahmed, Rochellle Potkar, Joseph Nacino, Carlo Flordeliza among others. (Selected, edited and with an Introduction by Rajat Chaudhuri) 
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ISBN: 978-981-11-8528-1




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SURVIVE THE CENTURY (Book, Fiction contributor)


Originally a video game now a branching narrative climate fiction book

Survive the Century is a branching story about the political, environmental and social choices humans will face between 2021 and 2100 as we adapt to the ravages of climate change.


Created by Sam Beckbessinger, Christopher Trisos and Simon Nicholson.

This is fiction informed by real science. Featuring Lauren Beukes, Rajat Chaudhuri, Maria Turtschaninoff and Sophia Al-Maria. Illustrations by Annika Brandow.   (From the back cover)


Paperback: 296 pages
Published by: Three Kids in a Trenchcoat (UK)
ISBN: 978-0620987486

HOTEL CALCUTTA 
The century-old Hotel Calcutta run by an Englishman, is under threat from land sharks who want to raze the building and build a shopping mall. As the staff stare at uncertain times, a monk turns up at the Calcutta hotel and prophesies that the hotel will still stand if a wall of stories can be built. Peter Dutta – the manager – though a little unsure, is ready to give it a shot and begins looking for a storyteller. A painter, who has just stepped into the bar, volunteers to tell the first story. Next it is Peter’s turn. From day to day, as the storytelling fever catches on, new guests arrive, among them a shifty-eyed producer of porn flicks, an American woman who hears the footsteps of a dead soldier in the corridor and finally an odd pair who pretend to be war historians but may be detectives. Soon it seems they have all arrived there with a purpose. Will their stories protect the hotel or will Hotel Calcutta crumble under the sledgehammers of the land sharks? Between techno-angst, deathless love, surreal adventure and an epidemic of thievery, this is a novel that taps into the power of stories to light up our age of trenchant uncertainties and powerful
illusions. Read more > 

ISBN: 978-9381523735 
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AMBER DUSK 
Sweet shop owners of Calcutta have risen in revolt against a decades-old communist government because of  the administration's efforts to standardise the size of the rosogolla. Sweet-loving Bengalis are watching from the wings. This is the backdrop for the meeting of lost souls, spiritual seekers and soldiers of fortune in a book that spans India and Europe. Amber Dusk smells of Calcutta streets and resonates with the seductive tunes of Parisian nights. Robot oracles, the enigmatic photographer Valence Jourdain, a shadowy Blue Princess, Indian tribesmen and the mystical Lake Malaren of Stockholm, colour this fascinating narrative, creating an edgy reality. The novel weaves together Calcutta and Paris and the lives and passions of the unforgettable characters that walk their streets. This is a story about love, loathing and beatitude and the quest for peace in a time of intolerance. Will the communists survive the assault of the sweetmakers? Read more >
ISBN: 978-8184430080 
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ক্যালকুলাস (CALCULUS)  
Short stories and a novella. First work of fiction, written in Bengali. The `Cal' of Calculus might be Calcutta's nickname. Culus on the other hand is a more obscure element. 
A tantric guru, an autorickshaw driver who speaks in Sanskrit, a crooner called Napoleon singing in a bar in Calcutta's Waterloo street,  book publishers with a sinister agenda, a detective who is losing his mind, an author of bestselling pop-fiction, spooks and salesmen come together in these tales offering a glimpse of strangeness, absurdity and improbabilities that seep unnoticed into everyday existence. The stories while plot driven foreground the spiritual vacuum of the present using satire, wit and sometimes black humour. A critic writing for the Bengali magazine Ekak Matra has written that these stories , `
transport us to a symbolic plane of existence, perched between the possible and the impossible'. Published by Gangchil (2014) Calcutta. Read more >
ক্যালকুলাস, রজত চৌধুরী ISBN: 978-93-84002-03-9  
Get the book from Amazon (India) Indic House | ReadBengaliBooks | Rokomari (Bangladesh)

Reviews of Spellcasters

Chaudhuri's prose is lucid; unexpected twists inform this part psycho-logical thriller and part climate fiction.' The Telegraph


Reviews of Multispecies Cities

Listed in `The Definitive Climate Fiction Reading List’' Grist (US)

`Joyously ambitious solarpunk ... excels when entwining relational nuance with keenly handled futurist ideas ... number of gems for fans of climate fiction' Publishers Weekly

`Filled with a polyphony of voices ... Engaging introduction' Leanne Ogasawara, Books on Asia (Japan)


Reviews of The Great Bengali Poetry Underground

`Excellent translation ... Hard to find flavour of a culture in ferment' Scroll

`Translator seems to have masterfully reproduced in English the sting and beat of the original Bengali versions' Indian Literature journal (Sahitya Akademi)

`What comes across in the translations, from the very beginning, are the poems' distinctive Bengali origin' Daily Star (Bangladesh)

`Social-existential cares are interwoven with allusions to local or national issues ... will subtly shift our perception as to the currents of Bengali underground poetry' New Indian Express


Reviews of Calcutta Nights

`Masterfully translated' The Telegraph

`Important from the point of view of culture studies' Indian Literature journal

`Fascinating as a document of the 20th century city'  Trisha Gupta, India Today

`Flawless translation ... retains racy flavour' Sajni Mukherji, Outlook magazine

`Translator craftily balances archaic words with new ones, never upsetting the tonal authenticity of a period piece.' Scroll

`A unique cosmopolitan setting' Business Standard

`Excellent translation ... a crisp read' Ganesh Saili, New Indian Express

`A tale of beauty and decadence' South China Morning Post

`Interesting ... for readers interested in history and the Asian experience of transition to modernity.' Asian Review of Books, Hong Kong

`A guidebook to the dark dens of eeriness' Press Trust of India (PTI)

`What a punch this little volume packs' India Abroad News Service of India (IANS)


Reviews of The Butterfly Effect

`Propels the accumulated anxieties of a city into a shape-shifting future vortex' Anjana Basu, Outlook magazine 

`Explores a Ballardian near-future' Amy Brady, Words Without Borders

`Genre-bending' Amy Brady, Houston Chronicle, USA

`Projects the tropes of a new politics of imagination ... a new eco-sophy is created'Krishnan Unni. P, Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi 

`Indian novel's story parallels the deadly coronavirus outbreak' Times of India (news)

`Compelling' UNI

`A magic box ... brings Allan Poe to mind' Scroll

`Ten Works of Environmental Literature from Around the World' Book Riot, USA(listing)

`A wild ride, with brilliant and Ballardian descriptions' Eco-fiction

`Vivid storytelling dovetails with a playful structure' Bengaluru Review

`Fifty Must-Read Novels about Eco-Disaster' Book Riot, USA (listing)

`Around the World in 80 Books' Dragonfly Ecofiction (listing)


Reviews of The Best Asian Speculative Fiction

`A necessary and successful conglomerate' The Telegraph

`An important contribution to an ever-expanding and dynamic literary form' Southeast Asian Review of English (SARE), Malaysia

`More than just fantasy' Pune Mirror-Times of India (listing) 

`South Asian Studies Summer Reading List', Prof Mou Banerjee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (listing) 


Reviews of Hotel Calcutta

`Sheer power of storytelling' The Telegraph

`A persuasive artist...Hotel Calcutta invites a hungry, urgent reading' Asian Review of Books

`A very innovative frame story' Journal of Commonwealth Literature

`An astounding work that interrogates the myriad surfaces of reality' Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi

`A dazzling "wall of stories" in Calcutta' The Sunday Guardian

`Very urban and 21st century' Sanjukta Dasgupta

`Chaudhuri tells us something also of the 'art' of the story.' Anu Kumar, The Thumb Print Magazine

`A web both classical and new.' Spark Magazine

`A writer to watch out for' Sushma Joshi, Kitaab

`His themes reveal a deep fascination with human response to the extraordinary’ Helter Skelter

Goodreads


Reviews of Calculus

`Might set a new trend in fiction writing' (in Bengali) Ekak Matra

Reviews of Amber Dusk

`A heady mix of experiences' The Telegraph  

`A memorable novel of East-West encounter' Amitava Roy 

`Another type of writing emerging within Indian English writing' Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi (JSTOR)

`Praised for its evocation of Calcutta and Paris' Journal of Commonwealth Literature 

`Surrealism explored ... A gifted writer of fiction' Deccan Herald  

`A delicately crafted story about love, loathing and the quest for peace in a time of intolerance' The Statesman  





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