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SFF Author: Ashok K. Banker

Ashok K Banker fantasy author Ramayana(1964- )
Ashok K. Banker is an author of mixed-race and mixed-cultural parentage based in Mumbai, India. His Epic India Library is a lifetime writing plan that aims to retell ALL the major myths, legends and itihasa of the Indian sub-continent in an interlinked cycle of over 70 volumes. This includes the Ramayana Series, Krishna Coriolis, the Mahabharata Series, the contemporary thriller Blood Red Sari and other works. His books have sold over 1.2 million copies in 12 languages and 56 countries worldwide.

Learn more at Ashok K. Banker’s blog.



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Prince of Ayodhya: Fails to satisfy

Prince of Ayodhya  by Ashok K. Banker

I don’t know exactly why Prince of Ayodhya failed to satisfy me. Ashok K. Banker has achieved a modern retelling of the Hindu mythic cycle, the Ramayana. I’m a sucker for mythology. Banker is a competent writer and some of his descriptions are beautiful. He clearly knows his source material and wants to share it with a wider audience.

The Ramayana follows the adventures of Prince Rama Chandra, his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and Hanuman the Monkey King as they battle against the powerful arch-demon Ravana.


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Upon a Burning Throne: “When elephants do battle, insects are crushed underfoot.”

Upon a Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker

Ashok K. Banker crafts an intricate and wide-ranging world in Upon a Burning Throne (2019) the first volume in the BURNT EMPIRE SAGA. This novel alone covers the span of decades, touching on the lives of dozens of characters, implementing mythology and magic and carefully-plotted battles in equal measure. Gods, warriors, mystics, kings, and even the humblest of charioteers all have their parts to play in this nearly-700-page epic loosely based upon The Mahabharata,


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SHORTS: Castro and Zinos-Amaro, Brennan, Banker, Robson

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about. 

“The Mouth of the Oyster” by Adam-Troy Castro & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Nov. 2017, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 99c Kindle magazine issue)

In the aftermath of a deadly plague that struck their area in ancient China, the narrator and his wife, Li-Fan, are among the survivors. But the plague has left its mark on them: the narrator has lost his sight but is otherwise still a healthy man;


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A People’s Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers

A People’s Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers edited by Victor LaValle & John Joseph Adams

In reaction to the Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States as well as to the rhetoric spewed by his far-right supporters such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, Victor LaValle & John Joseph Adams wrote to a diverse set of speculative fiction authors with this charge: “We are seeking stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice: narratives that release us from the chokehold of the history and mythology of the past… and writing that gives us new futures to believe in.”

The “mythology” they refer to is the history we learned in school which taught us about all the great white men who accomplished all the significant events in American history.


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Next SFF Author: Annmarie Banks
Previous SFF Author: John Kendrick Bangs

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