Crossing the Border: The Depiction of India in Ian McDonald's River of Gods and Cyberabad Days
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In this article I argue that Northern Irish author Ian McDonald's works, River of Gods (2004) and Cyberabad Days (2008), set in India deviate from the prevalent Orientalism of mainstream Western science fiction. Drawing on Shameem Black and Peter Heehs's theories of cross-cultural representation, I claim that despite its flaws the empathetic approach McDonald employs is very appropriate for border-crossing literature in this era of globalization. In this context, I posit that while a deep understanding of the culture is necessary for effective representation, overdependence on "native informants" may actually lead to fallacious expectations.