bonnee wrote:kind of surprised that novels appear to be thin on the ground though.
Maybe that's a reflection of what most of us do with our leisure, not of what's around.
I've been saying for years that I like Terry Pratchett's Discworld books - satirical SF with a keen moral sense, if you don't know them. Start with 'Feet of Clay' or 'Small Gods', for preference.
Then, explicitly Buddhist and Hindu in its mythos, Zelazny's classic 'Lord of Light'.
More classic SF exploring moral and/or religious themes but not specifically Buddhist: Ursula Le Guin's 'Left Hand of Darkness' (and a lot of her other books) and Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land.'
If you're prepared to consider real-life stories, try 'Bones of the Master' by (IIRC) George Crane, or 'Namma' (can't remember the author at all - Kate someone?). Both of them are encounters of Westerners with Asian Buddhism.
Will that help keep you occupied?