Final Frontiers

BookFinal Frontiers

Final Frontiers

Science Fiction and Techno-Science in Non-Aligned India

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 61


January 31st, 2020

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‘Final Frontiers is path breaking not only in being the first book-length study of non-Anglophone Indian science fiction, but also in Mukherjee’s provocative consideration of the form alongside the “combined and uneven” historical axes of Cold War Non-Alignment, Nehruvian techno-scientific policy, and Indian modernization in the twentieth-century world-system. This intelligent, sophisticated, and scrupulous book makes a much-needed contribution to postcolonial studies, science fiction studies, world literature studies, and cultural studies and will no doubt inform scholarly conversation in these fields for some time to come.' 
Eric D. Smith, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Winner of the Science Fiction Research Association Book Award 2021.This is the first book-length study of the relationship between science fiction, the techno-scientific policies of independent India, and the global non-aligned movement that emerged as a response to the Cold War and decolonization. Today, we see the trend of science fiction writers being used by governments as advisors on techno-scientific policies and defence industries. But such relationships between literature, policy and geo-politics have a long and complex history. Glimpses of this history can be seen in the case of the first generation of post-colonial Indian science fiction writers, the policies of scientific and technological development in independent India, and the political strategy of non-alignment advocated by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who proposed that Third World nations should maintain an equal distance between Washington and Moscow. Such a perspective reveals the surprisingly long and relatively unknown life of Indian science fiction, as well as the critical role played by the genre in imagining alternative pathways for scientific and geo-political developments to those that dominate our lives now.


'This is an exciting and vital new work in the field of sf studies. Its focus on an under-represented set of authors is welcome; its analytical frameworks are contemporary and productive, and give new and exciting insights and directions to the fields of sf studies, energy humanities and world-literature.' 
Rhys Williams, University of Glasgow

'Final Frontiers is a meticulously researched and engagingly argued book that foregrounds an sf tradition largely unknown outside of South Asia.'
Suparno Banerjee, Science Fiction Studies

Author Information

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee is Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Introduction: Science, fiction and the non-aligned world13
Back to future13
The three-world problem16
Non-aligned science26
News from the semi-periphery36
1. Laboratory lives49
Bodies of evidence49
Modern temples53
Test subjects60
2. The uses of weapons85
The scientist and the soldier85
War stars95
A third power99
3. Energy matters117
From a crater117
Fossil subjects120
Chaotic order133
Conclusion: Science, fiction and the end of non-alignment157
After Nehru157
Enchantments of science162
Terminal speculations167