Gods of War Toke While Riding a Vimana: Hindu Gods in Three Indian Science Fiction Novels

  • Sami Ahmad Khan Jawaharlal Nehru University


This paper studies the overt manifestations of Hindu gods in three Indian science fiction (SF) novels written in English, and the reasons behind such vivid portrayals. It analyses the specific mechanics of these representations, whereby Hindu mythology is hybridized and transposed with the quasi-science of SF to propel the narrative. This paper discusses the appropriation of these mythological narratives, their subsequent reinterpretation in Indian SF, and how this reworking constitutes a direct critique of contemporary material realities. It aims to place the "divine" within the context of the materiality of a text, and to that effect, borrows Darko Suvin's "novum" as a theoretical framework to first locate the tangible heart of a text, and then explains how and why Hindu gods play an important role in the contouring of this kind of "mythological SF".