Exclusive Interview: “The Inhumans And Other Stories” Editor / Translator Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay


When we think about science fiction, we often think of the future.

But there’s a lot of sci-fi in the past as well. And not all of it as well known as those we think of as the achitects of the form: Asimov, Wells, Verne, Clarke, and so on.

MIT Press’ Radium Age series is now exploring that past by publishing what they call “proto–science fiction stories from the underappreciated era between 1900 and 1935.”

In the newest installment, The Inhumans And Other Stories: A Selection of Bengali Science Fiction (paperback, Kindle), we get to appreciate the era courtesy of Hemendra Kumar Roy’s titular 1935 novella, as well as through three short stories by Jagadananda Ray (from 1895), Nanigopal Majumdar (1931), and Manoranjan Bhattacharya (also 1931).

In the following email interview, The Inhumans And Other Stories editor / translator Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay — an Associate Professor in Global Culture Studies at the University of Oslo, and the producer of Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey, a documentary on Indian science fiction — talks about how this collection came together, as well as the significance of these stories.