Two thumbs up for The City Inside by Samit Basu. Science fiction.
A very-near-future science fiction novella set in Delhi, in which a Reality Manager (read: celebrity social media producer) and a rich family’s black sheep get pulled into multiple conspiracies. Reading this reminded me of Snow Crash more than any other book: it is dense with invention, utterly plausible in its view of the future, and bleakly hilarious due to that very plausibility. I plowed through it in two febrile sittings and then tried to figure out which of my friends I could get to read it so we could talk about it. Highly, highly recommended, although you may feel bad afterward for laughing at horrible things.
The last decade has been more or less a lab rat experience for her parents: the Years Not to Be Discussed have spun Avik and Romola around and presented them hoop after passcode-pending hoop to jump through, treadmill after additional-document-requiring treadmill to run on, so even in these shiny New Hope years they seem hesitant, afraid. On her fiftieth birthday Romola had told Joey that while the party was great, the cake was unnecessarily passive-aggressive. She simply couldn’t understand how fifty could be the new thirty-five and the new seventy at the same time. Her children, fortunately, have never grown up with this primitive faith in single realities.
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