About Blaft

The Team

Rashmi Ruth Devadasan


Rashmi is a writer with over twenty-five years of experience in indie publishing, feature films, and Indian English theatre. With Blaft she has been part of the selection, editing, design and production of the company's fiction in translation, comic book anthologies, original fiction, and zines. She is the author of Kumari Loves a Monster, a picture book created with the artist Shyam. 

She is fan of fungi, moss, lichen, cephalopods, and jellyfish. #MuttonBiryani4Life

Rashmi also draws gentle Sample Collector Bots on a cacti-covered asteroid called Succulentious. These can be found on the 'Gram under the handle @kaimaurundai.

Her TUK (The Ultimate Kanavu, or dream) is to direct a Godzilla film set in Chennai, where Godzilla’s introduction scene has him looming over Napier Bridge.


Rakesh Khanna

Director and Editor-in-Chief

Rakesh grew up in Berkeley, California, of mixed Punjabi and Anglo-American heritage. He is author of Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India and the editor of The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Vol. 1 and 2. Sometimes he edits mathematics textbooks. He is also interested in marine invertebrates, palaeontology, demonology, combinatorics, and banging on things to see what they sound like.


R. Talitha Samuel

Assistant Editor

Samuel is an editor, cultural producer, and journalist based in New Delhi. Since 2021, they have produced a political theory podcast, Clear Blue Skies; the first season featured guest experts exclusively from caste-oppressed communities, as both a pedagogical tool and journalistic principle.

Apart from managing a rapper and producing experimental soundscapes, Samuel also enjoys talking everyone's ears off about 1980s science fiction and fantasy.


V. Vinod

Covert Operations

Vinod is a Chennai native who has run a variety of businesses, including a restaurant, an air-conditioner repair shop, and an educational content development company. He currently runs the Blaft mailroom and warehouse, and was a co-translator for The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Vol. 3.


What We Publish

Pulp Fiction in Translation

Blaft launched in 2008 with the publication of The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction--a collection of crime, detective, adventure, romance, and science fiction stories and novellas selected and translated from Tamil into English by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. This book got some great reviews, and it was appreciated by a variety of readers in India and abroad. 

Following on the success of Tamil Pulp Fiction Volume 1, we brought out two more Tamil anthologies, as well as a standalone novel by Indra Soundar Rajan. We also looked for material we could translate from other Indian languages. We brought out four novels by Ibne Safi, who was the bestselling Urdu detective writer of in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s (these were translated by the eminent author, critic, and translator Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, who passed away in 2020). More recently, we started work with translator Vishwambhari S Parmar on The Blaft Anthology of Gujarati Pulp Fiction, which we plan to release in December 2024.

At the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, the year after our company launched, we met the folks from Lagos-based publisher Kachifo, who took one look at our Tamil Pulp Fiction books and said "someone should do this for Hausa". Hausa is a language spoken mainly in Northern Nigeria; it has a huge popular novel scene, but almost none of these books have been translated. One thing led to another and we ended up publishing Sin Is a Puppy That Follows You Home by Balaraba Ramat Yakubu, in translation by Aliyu Kamal. It's the first novel written by a woman to be translated from Hausa to English (in fact, we think it's the first novel by a woman written in any indigenous African language to be translated to English.) Aside from all those "firsts", it's also a first-class page turner.


Our first venture into this area was Where Are You Going, You Monkeys? -- Folktales from Tamil Nadu, by Ki. Rajanarayanan, translated by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. It's a collection of tales collected from the karisal kaadu, the arid, black-soil country around Kovilpatti in the south of the state.

Later on, we worked with Cherrie Lalnunziri Chhangte to bring out Mizo Myths, a book of legends from a very different corner of India--the state of Mizoram, on the border with Myanmar.

In 2020, we released Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons of India, an encyclopedia of folkloric fiends from all over the country, compiled by Rakesh Khanna and J. Furcifer Bhairav with help from a team of illustrators and translators.

Weird Fiction

We've published several titles by Kuzhail Manickavel, a Bangalore-based writer whose short stories are hard to fit into a genre. "Weird" or "slipstream" probably get closest. We think she is a genius, and that you should read everything she's ever written. Start right now, don't wait!

Graphic Novels

The first graphic novel we published was Appupen's dystopian fantasy Moonward, published in 2009. The next was Yukichi Yamamatsu's Stupid Guy Goes to India, an autobiographical manga about a foreign visitor's struggle to do business in Delhi. In 2021 we brought out a 25th anniversary edition of River of Stories by Orijit Sen, a book which has a pretty strong claim to being India's first graphic novel.

Zines and Wacky Stuff

Some of our titles are uncategorizable. Kumari Loves a Monster is a picture book about young South Indian women who love strange beasts with giant fangs and tentacles. Portalpettai is a short illustrated minibook, a pioneering effort of small-town Tamil isekai. It's My Passion, It's My Style, OK? is a book of collages by Kuzhali Manickavel which is... well, just completely unhinged.  


The Name

The word "BLAFT" occurs in various contexts in the history of the Indian subcontinent. For example, it is the name of a type of magical codex used in ancient Kumarikandam--the vast supercontinent which, according to occult sources, is supposed to have connected South India, Madagascar, and Western Australia at an early stage of mankind's evolution. Bound in the fur of the giant lemur Archeoindris, these books are said to have contained spells for helping with household chores, such as scraping coconuts and making ragi murukku.

The name is also an acronym for "Beguiling Literary Anomalies, Faithfully Transcribed."