Review: Analog Virtual
Publisher : Hachette India
Author : Lavanya Lakshminarayan
Language : English
Genre : Cyberpunk
Welcome to the future where caste, creed and religion are not important but merit is the sole criteria of life because productivity is power and without power you are doomed. The author has finely developed a world built on the ideology of your contribution to the society or to be specifically a capitalistic society owned by Bell Corp, the one which controls everything and everyone.
The food, clothing, social media, art, recreation, leisure and your choice of birth ( delivery procedure) is under the radar of Big Brother, not the Orwellian Oceania but in the Apex City erstwhile Bangalore.
The world of Apex city has been developed through a series of short stories with reappearance of few characters. The beauty of the book lies in the unified sense of diverse short stories interconnected by the fact that all dwell in the dystopian world owned by Bell Corporation.
Lavanya Lakshminarayan creates a successful cyberpunk with the right ingredients like a magnum entity like Bell Corporation and whole lots of characters which are droids, robots, hologram and yes an amalgamation of futuristic tech. Indian science fiction will be grateful to Analog/Virtual for providing a successor to William Gibson’s Neuromancer.
The writer depends on experiences of the characters as well as the incidents in their life to portray the plot of these linked stories. The experimental narrative adds up to the reading experience which might make you excited or fear the upcoming days when humanity will be solely dependent on technology.
Lakshiminarayan’s Apex City is the home to two types, the Virtuals ( with access to everything ) and Analogs ( with access to almost nothing). There are twenty stories which have been narrated from the pov of both analogs & virtuals, here is the brownie point for playing the plots from a neutral angle. Analog/Virtual is a brilliant social satire which highlights the problems of creating a utopian society or an equal society as suggested by one of the most celebrated social theories, Communism. But there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, since everything is under control, read this line
“The Bell Curve tried to repair historic divisions with a system of meritocracy, just as communist philosophy tried to solve the class divide and Woke Wave tried to end social prejudices- “ (page 201, Analog Virtual)
The author provides you with the freedom to explore this dreadfully beautiful landscape of the future loaded with twenty percenters (the elite), the seventy percenters ( almost like a middle class with access to world class technologies & scope to climb with the aid of productivity) and lastly the Analogs or the ten percents. Thus there are some rebels who are brilliant with their plans, strategies, technical aspects and yes the philosophy of life. It is not everytime you buy a book where the author tells stories of a futuristic city with twenty points of views. The reader might miss some insight about all the high end gadgets/ technologies and few more data about the brave new world or the rest of India would have been appreciated.
Do look out for the first one ‘The Ten-Percent Thief’(Nyaka is a rebel to watch out), ‘Monsters under the Bed( the conscious battle with unconsciousness induced by artificial sweetheart, Ophelia), ‘Welcome to the Machine (Analog have been portrayed as the significant other), A Parable from the Heart of the Sea (Beautiful analogy in garb of a compelling storytelling by a rebellious heart), ‘Etudes’( the background of Apex City), ‘Anatomy of a New World( a reality check for Resistance) and ‘ The BE-moji Project’( emoji is our future) and more.
Do not miss this thrilling debut in Indian Science Fiction.Tags: Debraj Moulick, গ্রন্থ পরিচিতি, দেবরাজ মৌলিক, সপ্তম বর্ষ দ্বিতীয় সংখ্যা
One thought on “Review: Analog Virtual”
Very nicely written and an in depth review.