Tor.com Publishing is proud to announce that it’s acquired World English rights to Saad Z. Hossain’s The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday.
When the djinn king Melek Ahmer wakes up after millennia of imprisoned slumber, he finds a world vastly different from what he remembers. Arrogant and bombastic, he comes down the mountain expecting an easy conquest: the wealthy, spectacular city state of Kathmandu, ruled by the all-knowing, all-seeing tyrant AI Karma. To his surprise, he finds that Katjmandu is a cut-price paradise, where citizens want for nothing and even the dregs of society are distinctly unwilling to revolt.
Everyone seems happy, except for the old Gurkha soldier Baan Gurung. Knife saint, recidivist, and mass murderer, he is an exile from Kathmandu, pursuing a forty-year-old vendetta that leads to the very heart of Karma. Pushed and prodded by Gurung, Melek Ahmer finds himself in ever deeper conflicts, until they finally face off against Karma and her forces. In the upheaval that follows, old crimes will come to light and the city itself will be forced to change.
Said acquiring editor Jonathan Strahan:
Last year I was reading Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin’s wonderful anthology, The Djinn in Love. It had a handful of great stories, some by names I knew, and some by names I didn’t, I fell for the story “Bring Your Own Spoon” by a Bangladeshi writer, Saad Z. Hossain. I’d not heard of him so I ordered his novel, Djinn City, which I also loved. The stories were not only smart, but thrilling and engaging at the same time. I knew I had to work with him if I could, so I asked him if he’d like to work on a novella. He came back with this incredible idea about a cranky old djinn and an astonishingly dangerous Ghurka wreaking havoc in a future Kathmandu governed by Karma. It had to happen. The team at Tor.com Publishing agreed, and then Saad delivered something incredible that exceeded all of my expectations. I can’t wait for everyone to read because I know you’re going to fall in love with Melek Ahmer and Gurung, the best team-up in science fantasy since I can’t remember when.
Said the author:
I wanted to create a story of old powers meeting the new, of an ancient, arrogant djinn waking up to a brand new world and trying to navigate it. It was supposed to be a grand fight: Djinn king versus cutting edge AI. At every turn, however, the human sub-characters kept intruding and hijacking the story until it became something else altogether. I don’t write outlines, or plots, so, in the end, this story surprised me too.
Saad Z Hossain is the author of two novels, Escape from Baghdad! and Djinn City. He lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh.