“Saad Z. Hossain continues to blow through the flimsy walls of genre like a whirlwind with The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, sweeping science-fiction, fantasy, myth, and satire into the wildly imaginative vortex of his ever-expanding fictional universe of alternate djinn-history and futures. Hossain’s wit and wry compassion create a vision of humanity’s hurtling path through time and space as both farcical and epic, leaving a blazing trail of casualties and wonders.”—Indra Das
When the djinn king Melek Ahmar wakes up after millennia of imprisoned slumber, he finds a world vastly different from what he remembers. Arrogant and bombastic, he comes down the mountain expecting an easy conquest: the wealthy, spectacular city state of Kathmandu, ruled by the all-knowing, all-seeing tyrant AI Karma. To his surprise, he finds that Kathmandu is a cut-price paradise, where citizens want for nothing and even the dregs of society are distinctly unwilling to revolt.
Everyone seems happy, except for the old Gurkha soldier Bhan Gurung. Knife saint, recidivist, and mass murderer, he is an exile from Kathmandu, pursuing a forty-year-old vendetta that leads to the very heart of Karma. Pushed and prodded by Gurung, Melek Ahmer finds himself in ever deeper conflicts, until they finally face off against Karma and her forces. In the upheaval that follows, old crimes will come to light and the city itself will be forced to change.
- Queer protagonist of colour (Melek Ahmer)