Sami Ahmad Khan

Image of Sami Ahmad Khan
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +47 46504412
Room 441
Visiting address PA Munchs Hus
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 Oslo

Academic interests

Science Fiction, Monster Narratives, War Narratives, Popular Fiction

About Sami Ahmad Khan

Sami Ahmad Khan is a writer, academic, and documentary producer who engages with Indian Science Fiction. He is the recipient of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship (University of Oslo, Norway), a Fulbright FLTA grant (University of Iowa, USA), and a UGC-MANF Senior Research Fellowship (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India). Sami holds a PhD in Science Fiction from JNU and has taught at the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi), Jindal Global University, and GGS Indraprastha University. His creative and critical writings have appeared in leading academic journals (Science Fiction Studies, The Journal of Popular Culture, Fafnir), university presses (MIT Press, University of Wales Press), and trade imprints (Gollancz, Hachette, Bloomsbury, Routledge, Rupa, Juggernaut, Niyogi). His overview of Indian SF has been translated into Czech and his short story has been translated into Marathi. His fiction has been the subject of formal academic research and a part of university syllabi in India and the US. His future-war thriller Red Jihad has won two awards [NBT India’s National Debut Youth Fiction Award (co-winner) and Muse India Young Writer Award (runners-up)]. His second novel – Aliens in Delhi – garnered rave reviews and was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (Indian National Academy of Letters' Young Writer Award). His latest book Star Warriors of the Modern Raj: Materiality, Mythology and Technology of Indian Science Fiction was longlisted for the BSFA Award in the non-fiction category. 

About the Project: neoMONSTERS  

Sami is presently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow at IKOS, University of Oslo, Norway, where he runs the EU-funded project “The neoMONSTERS Within: The Others in India's Science Fiction”. The postdoctoral project delves into how India's popular narratives negotiate epistemes of monstrousness and manifest contesting ideologies. It interrogates the metaphorical reimaginings of the ‘other’ and studies the portrayal(s) of alterity vis-a-vis specific material realities. The project maps alternate presents and fictional futures in contemporary India's popular imagination and hunts for the aforementioned neoMONSTERS: Mutagenic Ontological Narratives in Space-Time Echoing Realistic Situations.


Sami has been the recipient of a Fulbright grant (USA), a UGC-MANF Senior Research Fellowship (India), a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship (Norway), and a University Grants Commission SAP Fellowship (India). 

Please find more about my research here: Publications on ResearchGate



  1. Star Warriors of the Modern Raj: Materiality, Mythology and Technology of Indian Science Fiction. University of Wales Press (2021)
  2. Aliens in Delhi. Juggernaut/Niyogi Books (2017)
  3. Red Jihad: Battle for South Asia. Rupa & Co. (2012)

Research Papers and Book Chapters

  1. “Zombie/India: The neoMONSTERS Epidemiology”. The Journal of Popular Culture. 56(2) (forthcoming, April 2023)
  2. “Altars of Alterity: The Curious Case of Aliens in India's Science Fiction.” Altered Space: Essays on the Global Transformation of Science Fiction. Ed. by Gary Westphal. McFarland (forthcoming, 2023)
  3. Rendezvous with Rama (Rajya): The Golden Past in India’s (Anglophonic) Science Fiction”. The Routledge Handbook to Alternative Futurisms. Ed. By Dillon, Lavender, Chattopadhyay and Taylor. Routledge (forthcoming, 2023)
  4. “Control+Alt+Delete Humanity.” Uneven Futures: Strategies for Community Survival from Speculative Fiction. Ed. By Yoshinaga, Guynes and Canavan. MIT Press (2022)
  5. “The Day After Tomorrow in Bengaluru: Environment, Global Climate Change and Dystopia(s)”. Science Fiction in India: Parallel Worlds and Postcolonial Paradigms. Ed. By Khilnani and Bhattacharjee. Bloomsbury (2022)
  6. “The Recipe for Good Indian Science Fiction: Technology, Politics and Religion.” Worlds of Difference: Arab and Muslim Science Fiction. Ed. By Elzembely and Aysha. McFarland (2022)
  7. “Once Upon a Time in Bollywood Science Fiction: ‘transMITting’ across Gods, Aliens and Time”. Insight Journal. 6(1) 18-28 (2021)
  8. “The neoMONSTERS Thesis: Dystopias, Ideologies and Monsters in Ghoul and Betaal”. DUJES. 29(1) 39-404 (2021)
  9. “Winter is Coming: Climatic Disruptions in ‘The Ice Age Cometh’”. Imagining Worlds, Mapping Possibilities: Select Science Fiction Stories. Ed. By Dogra and Khilnani. Worldview (2021)
  10. “The Alien Invasion of Bollywood: Extraterrestrials in Indian Cinema.” Matti Braun. Ed. By Braun, Chattopadhyay and Citron. Snoeck (2020)
  11. “Dom(e)inating India’s Tomorrow(s)? Global Climate Change in Select Anglophonic Narratives”. Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. 6(2). 25-37 (2019)
  12. “Worlds Apart: Myth, Science and Fiction in Sukanya Datta’s Short Stories”. Indraprasth: An International Journal of Culture and Communication Studies. 8(1).  209-219 (2019)
  13. “The Annihilation of Cloning: Caste and Cloning in Generation 14”. Muse India, issue 79 (May-June 2018)
  14. “The Others in India’s Other Futures”. Science Fiction Studies. 43(3), Indian SF. 479-495 (2016) 
  15. “Goddess Sita Mutates Indian Mythology into SF: How Three (SF) Stories from Breaking the Bow Reinterpret the Ramayana”. Fafnir - Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. 3(2), 17-24 (2016)
  16. Gods of War Toke While Riding a Vimana: Hindu Gods in Three Indian Science Fiction Novels.” (University of Maryland hosted) Museum of Science Fiction’s Journal of Science Fiction. 1(1), 17-31 (2016)
  17. “A Maoist Caliphate near India’s Borders? Science, Fiction and Geopolitics in Baramulla Bomber”. Mithila Review (2016)
  18. “Sharing Air with Gandhi Toxin during Exile in 2099 AD: Manjula Padmanabhan’s Short-Stories”. Studies in South Asian Film and Media. 6(2), 91-104 (2015)
  19. “Red Alert: Surveying Indian Science Fiction”. Muse India, issue 61 (May-June 2015)
  20. “Indicting Government Control, Military Industrial Complex and Rogue AI: A Political Reading of 3 (YA) SF Stories”. Rupkatha Journal for Inter-Disciplinary Study in Humanities.  7(3), 214-222 (2015)
  21. “Escape the Beast with Nine Billion Feet in Zombiestan: How Three Indian SF Novels Interrogate Patriarchy, Capitalism and Terrorism.” Muse India, issue 61 (May-June 2015)
  22. “Bollywood’s Encounters with the Third Kind: A Critical Catalogue of Hindi SF Films.” Bollywood and Its Other(s): Towards New Configurations. Ed. by Kishore, Sarwal and Patra. Palgrave Macmillan. Pp 186-201 (2014)

Short Fiction (latest)

  1. “Biryani Bagh” in The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Vol. II (2021)
  2. “15004” in The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction Vol. I (2019)


Sami hosts a series of podcasts exploring the divergent portrayals of monsters in contemporary India’s Science Fiction.

neoMONSTERS Podcast #1: Zombies in Delhi? A Conversation with Mainak Dhar (2022)

neoMONSTERS Podcast #2: Zombie/Toke? A Talk with Jugal Mody (2022)

neoMONSTERS Podcast #3: Love/Monsters. A Conversation with Rashmi Ruth Devaasan (2022)

neoMONSTERS Podcast #4: Monsters in Bangla Science Fiction. A Talk with Dip Ghosh (2022)

Find them here: The neoMONSTERS Podcast series




Workshops conducted (Sep. 2021-present)

Workshops: IISER, India; Make a Myth, India; UNHCR


Panels (Sep. 2021-present)  

LemiAden, Oslo; Monster Network, Oslo; Gollancz South Asian Science Fiction, India; The Anthropocene Unconscious, Oslo 

For more information, please visit the neoMONSTERS website 


Tags: Science Fiction, India, Anglophone SF, Monsters, Ideology, Popular Culture, neoMONSTERS


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Published Sep. 10, 2021 1:49 PM - Last modified Sep. 29, 2022 8:55 PM