A bold, bitingly satirical near-future mosaic novel about a city run along 'meritocratic' lines, the injustice it creates, and the revolution that will destroy it.
Nothing has happened. Not yet, anyway. This is how all things begin.
Welcome to Apex City, formerly Bangalore, where everything is decided by the mathematically perfect Bell Curve.
With the right image, values and opinions, you can ascend to the glittering heights of the Twenty Percent – the Virtual elite – and have the world at your feet. Otherwise you risk falling to the precarious Ten Percent, and deportation to the ranks of the Analogs, with no access to electricity, running water or even humanity.
The system has no flaws. Until the elusive “Ten Percent Thief” steals a single jacaranda seed from the Virtual city and plants a revolution in the barren soil of the Analog world.
Previously published in South Asia only as Analog/Virtual, The Ten Percent Thief is a striking debut by a ferocious new talent.
About the Author
Lavanya Lakshminarayan is the author of Analog/Virtual: And Other Simulations of Your Future. She is a Locus Award finalist and is the first science fiction writer to win the Times of India AutHer Award and the Valley of Words Award, both prestigious literary awards in India, and her work has been longlisted for a BSFA Award. She’s occasionally a game designer, and has built worlds for Zynga Inc.’s FarmVille franchise, Mafia Wars, and other games. She lives in India, and is currently working on her next novel.
“In the best tradition of dystopian fiction, Analog/Virtual explores issues about class, society, power structures and values. Lavanya Lakshminarayan has skilfully crafted a series of interwoven stories about a frighteningly plausible near future scenario, rooted in the extrapolation of today’s worship of technology and productivity. Spanning multiple points of view, writing styles and character voices, this masterful work of science fiction weaves its individual stories into a complex and engaging whole.” – S.B. Divya, Nebula Award finalist and author of Runtime
“Lavanya Lakshminarayan’s debut drops us headfirst into a future Bangalore where a corporation rules the world and humanity seeks security and fulfilment in a thought-policed virtuality. I loved the razor-sharp writing and vivid detailing of her unfolding of the human situations and dilemmas of the Analog–Virtual divide in society. This is fiction playing for the highest stakes – and winning.” – Chandrahas Choudhury, author of Clouds
“Productivity is power. The monster under your bed corrects your social opinions. And if you slip too far you might just end up living in the real world… by turns horror, cyberpunk, and biting social satire, Analog/Virtual is a high velocity anthem sung through the shape of things to come.” – Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Nebula Award finalist and author of The Inhuman Race
“Lakshminarayan is a favourite... The Ten Percent Thief is an ambitious novel.” -- The Washington Post
“If you ever wondered how Huxley’s Brave New World would look when social media metrics take charge, Lakshminarayan’s Ten Percent Thief gets all the likes and thumbs up for showing us a world no sane person would want to live in. It’s deeply disturbing, but you can’t look away.” -- Wayne Santos
“An astonishing, kaleidoscopic journey through the fractured landscape of a future India where cyber-power has created a new system of oppression, this beautifully written novel of imaginative literature serves both as a warning and a source of resurgent hope. Grim, unrelenting, polyphonic and exhilarating.” -- Vandana Singh
“The Ten Percent Thief delivers hope, wonder, bleakness, humour and wisdom in equal measure, with unforgettable characters telling a multifaceted story of a future revolution. A complex, dazzling debut.” -- Samit Basu
“Immersive and skillfully wrought; a fascinating kaleidoscope of near-future dystopian fiction” -- Stark Holborn
“Lakshminarayan’s nuanced dystopian future will leave readers questioning their own relationship with technology and social media as they follow the cookie crumb trail of conformity and dissent through multiple character perspectives. The result is as satisfying as it is clever.” -- Publishers Weekly
“A series of taut, Dickian cyberpunk vignettes, always introducing fascinating new protagonists to its intertwining cast of dozens; at its best when lampooning the contemporary worlds of social media, e-sports, app-obsession and the hyper-gamification of everything from art to economic standing. A sparkling debut.” -- Aubrey Wood, author of Bang Bang Bodhisattva
“Playful and crushing in equal measure.” -- FanFiAddict
“A new masterpiece” -- SciFiNow
“Lakshminarayan uses her novel to flawlessly confront constructed binaries built into the very fabric of contemporary society” -- The Fantasy Hive
“The Ten Percent Thief is bold and creative, and Lakshminarayan expertly packages a warning that will only get more relevant with time” -- STARBURST Magazine
“There are wonders and gizmos within Apex City, but these are stories about people’s lives. This is, punk-like, a collection of rebellions against, and reconsiderations of, the status quo. One of my favourite books of recent years.” -- Jared Shurin, Raptor Velocity
“Impressive” -- SFX
“Stunning and thought-provoking” -- The British Fantasy Society
“Smart, vivid, engaging” -- The Guardian
“Lavanya Lakshminarayan breathes new life into dystopia” -- The Washington Post
“Deeply thought-provoking and timely” - Grimdark Magazine