What do Gautam Bhatia, S.B. Divya, and Samit Basu have in common? Well, they are all writers; each of them is associated with the publishing giant Harper Collins, and all three are eminently personable panelists in a discussion hosted by Books en Beyond.

A question that has often plagued intellectuals is: Does art imitate life, or life imitates art? The genesis lies in speculative fiction that gives you the ability to create worlds, ideas, themes that have no place in our current reality. Creating internally-consistent fantasy worlds allows writers to experiment with nature in ways not currently possible with science as we know it.

‘Speculative Fiction Writing in India: A Discussion’ was hosted on October 9, 2020, by Ms Shweta Aggarwal, the founder of Books en Beyond. The interactive session gave the audience a chance to explore science fiction from the eyes of the three eminent panelists. Gautam Bhatia, the man behind ‘The Transformative Constitution’ is a lawyer who knows his trade inside and out. The members of Books en Beyond were in for a treat when he spoke at length of his maiden venture, ‘The Wall’. S.B. Divya, writer of ‘Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse’ is as non-binary as her central character. Samit Basu is a novelist, film director, screenwriter, and as anti-dystopian as most of his protagonists. Together, the three panelists were a crackerjack of unleashed wit and the audience was left in awe as well as in love with their theories, right from the mundane to the quirkiest.

For writers in the making, the discerning reader, and the lover of the print media, this session was a resounding success, leaving the gathering clamoring for more. Harper Collins had, as a part of this session, an astounding giveaway of Nine Copies of Gautam Bhatia’s The Wall! Nine lucky winners had something more tangible in their hands apart from the intensely intellectual stimulation. Certainly, Books en Beyond deserved every appreciative word and praise for their novel venture.

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