The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Short Story Highlight: “Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra” by Vandana Singh (Strange Horizons)

Part of what we’re trying to do with the WSNB is highlight individual short stories by international writers as they’re being published. You can click on both the 2010 stories or the short story highlight tags to see previous posts.

The latest story we wanted to turn your attention to is Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra, by Vandana Singh (you can also read our interview with her for the WSNB from a little while back). The story is published this week on Strange Horizons.

I am Somadeva.

I was once a man, a poet, a teller of tales, but I am long dead now. I lived in the eleventh century of the Common Era in northern India. Then we could only dream of that fabulous device, the udan-khatola, the ship that flies between worlds. Then, the sky-dwelling Vidyadharas were myth, occupying a reality different from our own. And the only wings I had with which to make my journeys were those of my imagination. . . .

Who or what am I now, in this age when flying between worlds is commonplace? Who brought me into being, here in this small, cramped space, with its smooth metallic surfaces, and the round window revealing an endless field of stars?

It takes me a moment to recognize Isha. She is lying in her bunk, her hair spread over the pillow, looking at me.

And then I remember the first time I woke up in this room, bewildered. Isha told me she had re-created me. She fell in love with me fifteen centuries after my death, after she read a book I wrote, an eighteen-volume compendium of folktales and legends, called the Kathāsaritsāgara: The Ocean of Streams of Story. – read the rest of the story.

March 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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