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Cyberabad Days

Ian McDonald

279 pp • ISBN: 978-1-59102-699-0
Trade Paperback(6" x 9") • $17
February 2009
Cover Illustration: © Stephan Martiniere


Ian McDonald’s River of Gods—called a “masterpiece” by Asimov’s Science Fiction and praised by the Washington Post as “a major achievement from a writer who is becoming one of the best SF novelists of our time”—painted a vivid picture of a near future India, 100 years after independence. It revolutionized SF for a new generation by taking a perspective that was not European or American. Nominated for the Hugo Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and winning the BSFA Award, the rich world of the novel has inspired McDonald to revisit its milieu in a series of short stories, all set in the world of River of Gods.

Cyberabad Days is a triumphant return to the India of 2047, a new, muscular superpower of one and a half billion people in an age of artificial intelligences, climate-change induced drought, water wars, strange new genders, genetically improved children that age at half the rate of baseline humanity, and a population where males outnumber females four to one. India herself has fractured into a dozen states from Kerala to the headwaters of the Ganges in the Himalayas.

Cyberabad Days is a collection of seven stories, one Hugo nominee and one Hugo winner among them, as well as a thirty-one-thousand-word original novella. As with everything Ian McDonald does, it is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.


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"In Cyberabad Days, author Ian McDonald returns to the technologically brilliant, parched and i-Dusty India of 2047, an India first visited in his award-winning novel River of Gods…. McDonald is rightly praised as one of the industry's preeminent SF authors and Cyberabad Days is a showcase of his talent. The world he has created on the bled-dry banks of the Ganges is richly textured and alien, detailing lives that are mundane to the characters but foreign and exotic to the readers. The work that went into researching and developing the culture of this future India—utopian or dystopian depending on your caste and wealth—is obvious. This is a world that manages to be convincingly, sympathetically Indian, but is still created with such light strokes of McDonald's pen that the reader never gets bogged down in the world-building. You can taste the heat of the day on your tongue, feel the press of the crowds in the streets. Cyberabad Days is a brilliant, well-paced short story collection that snatches snapshots of life in this powerful, futuristic India. You don't need to have read River of Gods to enjoy Cyberabad Days, McDonald's world is so immersive it is easy to find your footing in it. The prose is elegant, drawing in lush scenes with a clean economy of language, and the stories riveting. It's an admirable addition to the canon of McDonald's work and one that I'd recommend reading."
—Green Man Review (

"McDonald has found new myths for old places; in doing so, he has cemented his reputation as an amazing storyteller."
—Washington Post Book World Sunday

"He should be reckoned as one of the finest of all our novelists."
—'s "Best Books of the Year So Far: Hidden Gems"

"One of the most interesting and accomplished science fiction writers of this latter-day era, indeed maybe the most interesting and accomplished, and certainly the most culturally and musically sophisticated, the Frank Herbert, William Gibson, or arguably even Thomas Pynchon of the early 21st century."

—Asimov's Science Fiction

Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald is the author of many science fiction novels, including Brasyl, River of Gods, King of Morning, Queen of Day, Out on Blue Six, Chaga, and Kirinya. He has won the Philip K. Dick Award and the BSFA Award, been nominated for a Hugo Award and a Quill Book Award, and has several nominations for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Visit Ian McDonald online at