Dive Into the South Asian Fantastic: Tordotcom Publishing Acquires Three Novels by Vajra Chandrasekera

Announcing The Saint of Bright Doors, the first standalone novel in a three-book deal from debut author Vajra Chandrasekera!

Tordotcom Publishing is excited to announce a three-book deal with debut author Vajra Chandrasekera, the first of which will be The Saint of Bright Doors. The deal was brokered by Michael Curry at Donald Maass and is set to publish in Winter 2023.

Nestled at the head of a supercontinent, framed by sky and sea, lies Luriat, the city of bright doors. The doors are everywhere in the city, squatting in walls where they don’t belong, painted in vivid warning. They watch over a city of art and avarice, of plagues and pogroms, and silently refuse to open. No one knows what lies beyond them, but everyone has their own theory and their own relationship to the doors. Researchers perform tests and take samples, while supplicants offer fruit and flowers and hold prayer circles. Many fear the doors as the source of hauntings from unspeakable realms. To a rare unchosen few, though, the doors are both a calling and a bane. Fetter is one of those few.

When Fetter was born, his mother tore his shadow from him. She raised him as a weapon to kill his sainted father and destroy the religion rising up in his sacred footsteps. Now Fetter is unchosen, lapsed in his devotion to both his parents. He casts no shadow, is untethered by gravity, and sees devils and antigods everywhere he goes. With no path to follow, Fetter would like to be anything but himself. Does his answer wait on the other side of one of Luriat’s bright doors?

Chandrasekera had this to say about the sale:

The Saint of Bright Doors is a book that (it turns out) I’ve been writing for longer than I even knew, in fragments: a nail, a light-footed boy, monstrous inheritances, broken worlds. It’s a story about how destinies and history are made—spun out of manipulation and lies, cemented in violence—and how, in the crumbling and terribly unsafe ruins of other people’s grand projects, you can still sometimes make choices, love unwisely, and go into the dark in your own way. I’m very happy to be working with Carl and the team at Tordotcom to put this book in the world, and I hope you all enjoy it, by which I mean I hope this devil book takes ragged bites out of your souls like it did mine.

Editor Carl Engle-Laird shared his experience reading The Saint of Bright Doors:

The Saint of Bright Doors took me by surprise. In the first chapter, Vajra Chandrasekera begins to unveil the story of a special boy on the brink of changing a strange and miraculous world, readying me to dive into a classic fantasy epic. In the second, he hurtled me forward into unexpected territory and introduced me to a modern man struggling to find his way in a modern city, going to group therapy and trying to decipher his boyfriend’s weird emails. And the surprises didn’t stop there. The Saint of Bright Doors never stops unfolding, revealing new aspects of Chandrasekera’s mastery again and again, lulling me into complacency before dropping me into deeper waters. As I submerged further and further, I realized I never wanted to come up for air.

Vajra Chandrasekera is from Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has published over fifty short stories in magazines and anthologies including Analog, Black Static, and Clarkesworld, among others, and his short fiction has been nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He blogs at vajra.me and is @_vajra on Twitter.

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