The book comprises of many short stories set in the same dystopian world. While they’re not interrelated to form an overall story, you might see characters of one story in another.
Lakshminarayan’s worldbuilding is incredible! Detailed and technology driven, her Bangalore of the future is believable and all the more scary for it. We see a meritocracy, a world which only values productivity and citizens are given access to necessary recourses depending on thier calculated value to society. The world in the book seems not too far from the one we live in and the book is a good wake up call to the evils we’re letting into our culture today, or where the evils we’re letting grow unchecked will lead to.
The detailing of her world is amazing, and the range of stories helps one see every aspect of it without the writing ever having to give long dull explanations or info-dumping. We see how everything from social media to old age care is in the future. The author’s writing is vivid and engaging, even if what you’re reading is scaring you, you will want to know what happens next.
It’s a great book for those who like speculative fiction and technology and a thought provoking book for everyone.
How critics view the book:
‘In the best tradition of dystopian fiction, Analog/Virtual explores issues about class, society, power structures and values. Lavanya Lakshminarayan has skilfully crafted a series of interwoven stories about a frighteningly plausible near future scenario, rooted in the extrapolation of today’s worship of technology and productivity. Spanning multiple points of view, writing styles and character voices, this masterful work of science fiction weaves its individual stories into a complex and engaging whole.’ – S.B. Divya, author of Nebula Award-nominated Runtime
‘Lavanya Lakshminarayan’s debut drops us head first into a future Bangalore where a corporation rules the world and humanity seeks security and fulfilment in a thought-policed virtuality. I loved the razor-sharp writing and vivid detailing of her unfolding of the human situations and dilemmas of the Analog–Virtual divide in society. This is fiction playing for the highest stakes – and winning.’ – Chandrahas Choudhury, author of Clouds and Arzee the Dwarf
‘Productivity is power. The monster under your bed corrects your social opinions. And if you slip too far you might just end up living in the real world… By turns horror, cyberpunk and biting social satire, Analog/Virtual is a high-velocity anthem sung through the shape of things to come.’ – Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Nebula Award finalist and author of The Inhuman Race