Short stories by Vandana Singh.
Vandana Singh is an author of speculative fiction, a professor of physics at Framingham State University, and an interdisciplinary researcher on the climate crisis. She is the author of two short story collections, The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Other Stories (2014) and Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories (2018), the second of which was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. In 2014, she traveled to the Alaskan North Shore to create a case study on climate change for undergraduate education as part of a program award from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Her work on a justice-centered, transdisciplinary conceptualization of the climate crisis is part of a forthcoming volume from UNESCO, Charting an SDG 4.7 roadmap for radical, transformative change in the midst of climate breakdown. Her short fiction has been widely published, including the short story “Widdam,” part of the interdisciplinary climate-themed collection A Year Without a Winter (2019). She was born and brought up in New Delhi, India, and now lives near Boston, Massachusetts.
Listing 14 stories.
An eccentric engineering exam in the far future introduces candidates to tales of three impossible machines—one to distort the physical world, one to travel through it, and one to grant telepathy to a community—and asks them to reflect on these technologies' impact on humanity. Through three tales of impossible machines with abilities to manipulate the physical world, travel through time and space, and bestow telepathy onto an entire community, candidates of an engineering exam in the far future are asked to ponder fantastical implications of technology.
In a society of being called Blue People that are only born as a half, a Blue Person loses contact with their other half. They go on a journey to figure out what happened.
An older Indian man recounts his story of "alien" encounters on Mars during Saturday tea.
Guided by the spirit of an ancient queen, a lonely hotel IT manager brings together an unlikely group of individuals to eventually bring about her reincarnation as a mystical kharchal.
A man who goes through life with visions of people from other time periods must answer the question of his purpose with only a cryptic computer printout to guide him.
A genius mathematician in India struggles to define infinity and maintain friendships despite the dangers posed by rising tensions between Muslims and Hindus.
The Eavesdropper, a human-alien hybrid woman, moves through a sentient spaceship full of comatose humans whose memories she absorbs and processes through mind reading.
A South Asian woman harbors a deep fascination with the ocean. When she works with renegade scientists to track a blue whale, the woman and the whale form a deep bond.
While waiting for an unrequited love to return, an elderly woman ruminates on her role in discovering an elegant alien technology. She feels death approaching and regrets not seeing her love again before she passes—only for him to arrive in the nick of time.
Caught between two dimensions of spacetime, a poet shares stories with two women in need of his narrative insight, all the while meditating on the meaning of stories and the intricacies of interpersonal connection.