An interview with Ashok Banker

- 4 comments

Over at the World SF blog, Lavie Tidhar has posted an awesome (and explosive) interview of Ashok Banker, courtesy of Charles Tan.

Exclusive Interview with Ashok Banker

there’s a huge amount of interest in “India” as an exotic foreign formerly imperial domain by western authors and publishers, and this is being milked for maximum profit, often at the expense of an entire culture, with little or no regard for our sentiments or values, and with utter insensitivity and sheer blockheaded ignorance and arrogance.

Brutally honest, but he does make quite a few points I agree with (notably that one above about exoticism, though it’s a tad forceful–I’m not in favour of exoticism, as it’s all too often a pretext to hide a lack of research and a lack of respect for the culture you’re picking from, but I don’t think every SF writer out there choosing India as a setting does it purely for nefarious motives).

4 comments

  1. sharecropper genre whore
    I don’t read the franchise books myself, but I wouldn’t dream of rubbishing those who do it in preference to sitting in an office 9-5. A number of these writers are either building a career or are established in their own right, outside of the franchise. Everyone has to earn a living, and I’m afraid that by this comment he just comes across as arrogant.

  2. I think he has interesting points to make (and it’s certainly a refreshing interview to read), but I don’t always agree with the delivery (way too forceful for my tastes, sometimes, as you point out, going over the offensive line).

  3. I was a big fan of his interview. Inspiring tbh. Although, maybe writers like Aliette and I can show him American publishing isn’t quite as bleak as he says :D.

    P.S. Congratulations on your novel deal Aliette! You’re an inspiration to us other WotF alumni!

  4. Hi Emery,

    I thought he did have a number of interesting points to make (too forcefully, as I said, but then I’ve never been particularly forceful myself). I’ve never felt the victim of particular racial bias in publishing, but I don’t exactly live close enough for that to happen, and I’m the owner of a very French name despite being mixed-race.

    Thanks! (and congrats on the Gold Award btw, very cool).

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