As for question title, I am looking for a story about a Singaporean company that is contracted to modernize an Indian city.

The story should be quite short, probably under the average under novel length, maybe a short story or novella. I think it may have been published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine or another similar print.

In the story the company is trying to "modernize" the city by taking over the local government function.

I remember a vignette where the on-the-ground company city leader is speaking with a matron in a Singaporean office physically. The matron had experience with many modernisations.

Also there is something about "women are best to promote as they think of the family first and are more likely to pay back loans".

So it's not just local government, it's also got a bit of micro-loan in the story as well like kiva.

  • 5
    This question is very terse and could be improved by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 8:33
  • 2
    Especially what sci-fi elements were there in the story. Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:31
  • There's a full-length novel called The Space Merchants that has a hint of this. But I don't think it's what you're looking for, and you're going to have to provide more information about what you remember in order to narrow it down.
    – Spencer
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:55
  • Better now? Any updates? Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 20:33
  • 1
    Do you recall approximately when you read it? Past couple of years? 5? 20?
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


It's not a great fit, but Bruce Sterling's Green Days in Brunei might be it. This is a novella, published in Asimov's in 1985, and is described here.

The hero is Chinese-Canadian (with a grandfather from Hong Kong) working for a Japanese (not Singaporean) company to modernize facilities in Brunei (not India), but I'm allowing for some misremembering over several decades.

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