The Beast With Nine
Billion Feet is a young-adult SF novel published in
November 2009 by
an imprint of Kali For Women, India's first feminist press. My novel
achieves a series of firsts, but the one I'm most chirpy about is the
fact that I'm Zubaan's first male novelist. Zubaan has published
some fine authors in recent years-- Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Shashi Deshpande,
Mahasweta Devi, Payal Dhar, Shama Futehally, Indira Goswami,
Gita Hariharan Manjula Padmanabhan and Vandana Singh
to mention a few-- and I'm thrilled to join their company.
All right. I can't delay this any more. What is the story
It is 2040 A.D.
The place is Pune, India. The future is here and now. Liquid computers.
Flawless Skin. Emotional cars. Ilusion pods. Synthetic life.
It's a world of great peril. And possibility! But not for thirteen-year-old
Tara and her elder brother Aditya. Tara is stuck waiting. Waiting for her
long-lost father to return, waiting to escape
her aunt's fussing, waiting to leave boring old Pune, waiting to grow up.
Aditya has given up on waiting. He takes what he
wants and keeps what he finds. One day, everything changes when Tara
bumps into a very ugly tree, two cool new friends-- Ria and Francis-- and
their strange mother, Mandira. One day, everything changes when
Aditya keeps something he shouldn't have found. What does Mandira want?
Why are Ria and Francis so startled by the star-filled night sky?
How did Tara's father become a terrorist to some
but a savior to others? And just what exactly is the Beast With
Nine Billion Feet?