The Zyphon Sleeps Tonight

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An alien has crashed into the earth. Its spacecraft damaged beyond repair, the zyphon lies stranded at the bottom of the ocean for years. Affable and curious by nature and with the power to mind-read humans, the zyphon spends his time trying to make sense of his host planet and its inhabitants. Spurred by intense loneliness, the zyphon is emboldened to make a telepathic connection with security officer Cedric and a warm, funny and competitive friendship develops between the two. Conversations flow and the zyphon (possessing an intellectual bend of mind) confides- much to Cedric’s amusement- to being deeply inspired by earthly thinkers like Gandhi, Lenon and Confucius. Even though he never stops aching to return to his home planet, Zerra, the zyphon finds himself getting increasingly (and happily) involved in the lives of humans around him.

There are strange goings-on in the freezing wastelands of Izeria. Likened to the Bermuda triangle of the olden days, a great many aircraft go missing while flying over the area. When Princess Simarra’s aircraft goes missing over Izeria, Cedric is designated the mission of getting her back. But what looked like a straight forward air crash theory is turned on its head when the state psychiatrist, Dr. Bliss (presumed dead) erupts on the screen to announce that the princess is in his captivity (as are a couple of other celebrities) and their brilliant minds are being systematically fed to his creation, an Artificial Intelligence named The Brain, even as he stands addressing the delegates of the global summit. Dr. Bliss finishes his extraordinary speech by announcing that, assisted by his horrendous creation and his own advanced techniques in mass hypnotism, he is in a position to unleash a coup on humanity and take over the entire planet.

Up against a monster Intelligence, a diabolical doctor and an unfriendly terrain, Cedric has no option but to enlist the help of the zyphon and Princess Simarra’s zoologist colleague, Jille Honx, who assists in getting the zyphon out of the ocean and into Cedric’s spacecraft. What follows is a madcap adventure across Izeria involving a philosophical zyphon who dreams of being king, a tempestuous princess who dreams of being a commoner and a young police officer who would prefer to be left alone with his space experiments and have nothing to do with either of the two.

Besides tackling the Brain, the Doctor and the ruthless gozis- human victims whose minds have been emptied by the doctor- the four of them (Cedric, Simarra, Honx and the zyphon) must decipher the tangle of emotions (romantic and platonic) that the situation has thrown them into.

About the Author: Kankana Basu is a Mumbai based novelist, journalist and book reviewer. Her published works of fiction include two collections of short stories, Vinegar Sunday, and Lamplight: Paranormal Stories from the Hinterlands. Her debut novel, Cappuccino Dusk, was Long Listed for the 2007 Man Asian Prize; a stand-alone story features in The Pleasure Principle: The Amaryllis Book of Erotic Stories. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various places including The Punch Magazine, The Tata Lit Live! magazine and The Bombay Magazine. She reviews books and writes human interest stories for the newspapers.


  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: White Falcon Publishing; 1 edition (2021)
  • Author: Kankana Basu
  • ISBN-13: 9781636402086
  • Product Dimensions:  5 x 1 x 8 Inches

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