Rise of the Red Hand (The Mechanists #1) (Hardcover)
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This is book number 1 in the The Mechanists series.
A rare, searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia. A streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia.
The South Asian Province is split in two. Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome, dependent on technology and gene therapy to keep them healthy and youthful forever. Outside, the poor and forgotten scrape by with discarded black-market robotics, a society of poverty-stricken cyborgs struggling to survive in slums threatened by rising sea levels, unbreathable air, and deadly superbugs.
Ashiva works for the Red Hand, an underground network of revolutionaries fighting the government, which is run by a merciless computer algorithm that dictates every citizen’s fate. She’s a smuggler with the best robotic arm and cybernetic enhancements the slums can offer, and her cargo includes the most vulnerable of the city’s abandoned children.
When Ashiva crosses paths with the brilliant hacker Riz-Ali, a privileged Uplander who finds himself embroiled in the Red Hand’s dangerous activities, they uncover a horrifying conspiracy that the government will do anything to bury. From armed guardians kidnapping children to massive robots flattening the slums, to a pandemic that threatens to sweep through the city like wildfire, Ashiva and Riz-Ali will have to put aside their differences in order to fight the system and save the communities they love from destruction.
About the Author
Olivia Kaur Chadha began her writing career with a stint in Los Angeles writing comic book scripts for Fathom. She has a Ph.D in creative writing from Binghamton University and a master's in creative writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research centers on exile, folklore and fairy tales, and the environment. She is first-generation American of Punjabi Sikh and Latvian/German descent and lives in Colorado with her family and two very odd dogs.
"Rise of the Red Hand mixes the best of cyberpunk and anime with a tale of family and revolution to create something completely unique--intimate yet action-packed, touching yet thrilling. Olivia Chadha delivers as much action as she does heart, all with a healthy dose of mecha. It kicks ass."
-MIKE CHEN, author of Here & Now and Then
"A captivating sci-fi debut that masterfully weaves in commentary on climate change, technology, and class inequality. Rise of the Red Hand delivers on its promise of an action-packed story of rebellion and resistance, and you'll be rooting for the badass revolutionary hero, Ashiva--a girl with teeth, and a metal fist."
-FARAH NAZ RISHI, author of I Hope You Get This Message
"An exhilarating and relevant story that gives voice to those often unheard and sticks with you long after that last page."
-ALECHIA DOW, author of The Sound of Stars
Innovative, smartly written, and harrowingly relevant."
-JULIA EMBER, author of The Seafarer's Kiss
"It's everything I want in a cyberpunk story: devastating political and existential stakes, a surging pace, and profoundly rad cybernetics."
-HANNAH ABIGAIL CLARKE, author of The Scapegracers
This is speculative fiction as we rarely see it—with the global south speaking up in a powerful and compellingly imagined near future. Rise of the Red Hand explores the most urgent issues of our time, the soullessness of technology and the gap between rich and poor, with non-stop action propelled by a sharp young cast. More brilliant speculative fiction like this, please!" —Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of The Bloodprint
"Fun, exciting, thoughtful, and very hard to put down. If you're looking for a story about resistance and family set against a world that blends the best of cyberpunk and anime, this book is for you." —Mary Kenney
"Olivia Chadha’s heartfelt, adroit, brisk and thoughtful debut novel proves that everything old is new again . . . Rise of the Red Hand proves itself willing to shatter daringly all its initial assumptions and verities, putting its cast through life-altering fires, in order to create new forms of beauty and hope and possible salvation." —Locus Magazine
"Steeped in elements from real-life South Asian cultures, the worldbuilding is original and intriguing, incorporating dystopian and utopian elements along with current hot issues such as societal inequities, digital surveillance, and technology’s impact on humanity.... [A] strong and intricate story." —Kirkus