Wandering aimless through the literary mire of genre, looking for a place to call home, has been unsettling.
What is Padma and the Elephant Sutra?
Is it Science Fiction? After all there is a multi-dimensional alien in an endosymbiotic relationship with its craft, which crosses over membranes separating the multiverse.
Is it Fantasy? – There are dragons. Kind of. There are myths and Legends from Norse, Celtic, Egyptian and Sri Lankan mythology and the Otherworld. There are elephants living among the hares on the moon.
Is it Religious/Spiritual? There are insights, tales and creatures drawn from major religions and spiritual traditions.
Is it Xenofiction? It most definitely includes elephants as conscious beings who have a sophisticated system of communication, you could say they ‘talk’. They also have an ancient and complex civilisation, and a divine purpose expressed through their creation myths.
Is it Magical Realism? Well, there is a real world view with magical elements and allusion to many allegories.
Is it historical fiction? It is set mostly in Ceylon 1830’s and draws on classical Greek, Mesopotamian, Babylonian and ancient British histories.
Is it speculative fiction? It certainly speculates on the nature of, and posits, an alternative reality. I think this is a closer fit.
I have recently stumbled into the genre of Visionary Fiction and think I may have found a home.
A quote from R.J. on Visionary Fiction Alliance Goodreads site states,
“wildly innovative in framing new philosophies, designs or insights for the future of humankind and individuals”.
This is the closest description I have found to date.
Padma and the Elephant Sutra is certainly an unusual novel, in that, as the bringers of rain – abhra matanga, elephant god of the clouds – it places elephants as central to future human survival.