Tor are enlisted to hunt and kill the Neorats But the hunting and the killing turn out to be difficult than expected the rats intelligence makes them difficult to trap and some of the students begin to uestion the morality of the cause Among other things this story explores how our ideas and perceptions can be manipulated whether by rats love interests or hidden political powers The Fish of Lijiang by Chen iufan A workaholic office worker stressed and burned out is placed on a mandatory two week leave and sent to the beautiful historic city of Lijiang now a center for rehabilitation He meets a girl there and they begin spending time together seeing the sights playing drinking games listening to strange Naxi music watching the red fish hover in the waterways struggling against the current to maintain their positions The girl opens the narrator s eyes to some high tech tricks that are being foisted on unsuspecting workers The class themes in The Fish of Lijiang are echoed in the later story Folding Beijing which I felt handled that theme creatively but the repeated symbol of the fish was thought provoking The Flower of Shazui by Chen iufan An engineer on the run from a failed criminal scheme at his prior ob has made a new life in Shazui Village selling black market augmented reality software and body films a thin film applied to people s bodies that displays words or pictures When Snow Lotus a lovely high class prostitute needs his services one day for a malfunction in her body film he finds out about the troubles in her life and decides to use his high tech skills to assist her This story set in an alternate reality version of the Shenzhen Bay area uxtaposes hard science fiction and high tech with the underside of society and its desperate and very human problems A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight by Xia Jia Ning was left on the steps of a temple as a baby and was picked up and adopted by the ghosts who dwell on Ghost Street a long narrow street inhabited only by the ghosts and Ning who loves them Ghost Street is a defunct tourist attraction no tourists come any and the buildings are falling to pieces Gradually it becomes apparent that Ghost Street is a type of Westworld amusement park the souls of real people have been fused into mechanical bodies that mimic some of the characteristics of actual ghosts they cannot stand direct sunlight which burns them irreparably they can remove their heads and put them back on againBefore she became a ghost Xiao ian tells me she lived a very full life And then her children got sick one after another In order to raise the money to pay the doctors Xiao ian sold herself off in pieces teeth eyes breasts heart liver lungs bone marrow and finally her soul Her soul was sold to Ghost Street where it was sealed inside a female ghost s body Her children died anywayNing thinks he is the only living being on Ghost Street but it may be that there is something artificial about Ning as well A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight is a lovely bittersweet tale enhanced by Xia Jia s wonderful imagery This is a story that confused me at first I initially missed the shift from fantasy to science fiction but once I understood the premise I reread it with tremendous pleasure It s a magical but sad world left behind in society s unceasing search for newer sensational amusements Tongtong s Summer by Xia Jia Tongtong s Grandpa who can no longer live on his own moves in with her family Grandpa grumpily resists getting a caretaker so Tongtong s father decides to try out a prototype robot caregiver which they call Ah Fu One day Tongtong begins conversing with Ah Fu and finds out that the robot is remotely controlled by Wang a university student working in RD at the robot manufacturer s facilities Grandpa s temper continues to worsen until Wang comes up with a creative solutionThis is a fairly straightforward tale that sensitively explores the needs and concerns of the elderly in a near future science fictional setting I was especially moved by the author s note at the end dedicating this story to all the grandmas and grandpas who each morning can be seen in parks practicing tai chi twirling swords singing opera dancing You made me understand that living with an awareness of the closeness of death is nothing to be afraid of Night Journey of the Dragon Horse by Xia Jia A huge ancient and rusted dragon horse awakens from a long sleep to find a desolate world from which humans have disappeared Where cars once filled the street like a river of steel lush trees now dance in the wind The dragon horse begins a ourney to explore this changed world He befriends a chatty bat and they exchange stories as they travel It s a leisurely tale a melancholy tale a poetic meditation on the effects of passage of time As a bonus Xia Jia provides links for some YouTube videos to an actual robotic dragon horse built by France and gifted to China to commemorate the friendship between their nations which inspired this story The City of Silence by Ma Boyong In the year 2046 the State tightly controls the lives of its inhabitants in a polluted stagnant world People s lives are solitary and rather empty with the Web as the main vehicle for human interaction They are only allowed to use healthy words in their communications in person or online Originally a list of forbidden words deemed unhealthy for example tired love movement and all sexual and curse words now it is a list of the words that people are permitted to say or write And the List of Healthy Words gets shorter every day People s speech is constantly monitored and policed by the stateArvardan applies to use the BBS forums but they don t contain any interesting speech or ideas than he normally sees However he notices that the documents given him by a woman working in the Department of Web Security contain a hidden message and a dangerous invitationEvidently inspired by George Orwell s 1984 which is discussed in one of the meetings of the Talking Club that Arvardan oins The City of Silence takes the concept of thought police and applies it to a technological age As one of the characters comments technology is neutral But the progress of technology will cause a free world to become freer and a totalitarian world to become ever repressive Arvardan and his friends know and can still think the words that the State now deems unhealthy but one wonders what will become of the next generation in Ma Boyong s nightmarish societyFolding Beijing by Hao Jingfang Lao Dao a humble man who works in a waste processing plant in Third Space Beijing sorting recyclable trash finds a bottle with a message offering what for Lao Dao is a fortune to take a message from a man in Second Space to a woman he loves who lives in First Space Travel between the three areas is dangerous and illegal but Lao Dao desperate to earn enough money to pay for his young daughter s education at a decent school is determined to make the tripAs the story unfolds it becomes apparent that Beijing literally folds and unfolds as well the city has been completely rebuilt with huge sections of ground that turn upside down every 24 hours The inhabitants of each space are put into a drugged sleep while their part of the city folds up and disappears underground This increases Beijing s ability to support a large population and disturbingly also increases the physical and emotional separation between the haves have nots and have somes First Space has by far the lowest population and most of the wealth it also gets the largest amount of time above ground 24 hours in every 48 while Second Space filled with white collar workers gets 16 hours and the underclass in Third Space only gets 8 hoursThe setting is the real ewel of this science fiction novelette a clear symbol of the economic and social differences between the classes and the lack of fairness in the way economic benefits and even life itself have been parceled out With such a dramatic setting the story itself is far understated than one might expect even the exciting scenes have a uietness to them and every time the tension ramps up it soon ramps right back down again Rather than pursue a dramatic story Hao Jingfan chose to focus on the domestic details of life As she mentions in her interview with Uncanny Magazine The characters themselves care about things that touch their daily lives family love power and wealth but a reader can see the fundamental ineuity of their world It s a thought provoking story that melds well with the uniue setting and illustrates human nature in action as well as some larger truths A highly recommended readLiu Cixin s two stories The Circle and Taking Care of God were among those in this anthology that impressed me the most The Circle is set in ancient China where Jing Ke an intellectual and would be assassin of the king of a neighboring dynasty is co opted by King Zheng as an advisor instead King Zheng is entranced by Jing Ke s studies hoping it might open the door to eternal life When Jing Ke explains pi "To The King And "the king and difficulties of calculating its digits the king pushes him to do whatever he can to calculate pi much further The answer that Jing Ke comes up with a primitive man powered computer is absolutely fascinating Anyone with an interest in computer programming should read this story Taking Care of God uses a science fictional setting to explore the interrelationship between the youthful and the aging both on an individual level and on a macro level as we see here how an entire civilization echoes the aging process There is frustration and some understandable self interest on both ends of the spectrum As bad as the elder abuse gets in some situations it hits hard when one of the Gods explains that they have been treated even worse in the past Their urgent advice to humanity in the end was an interesting and unexpected turn in the narrativeThe rest of the stories in this collection were reviewed by Jana and Kat two of my co reviewers at Fantasy Literature you can read their insightful reviews right here and I highly recommend doing that I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher and NetGalley Thanks Thanks to Netgalley for the ARCThere were uite a few interesting #stories in this volume It isn t considered a Best Of collection by a long shot but #in this volume It isn t considered a Best Of collection by a long shot but does happen to give us westerners a taste of modern Chinese SF in the form it has now become I won t say that a few were breaking any molds or anything but there are a few things to considerSuch as Well SF as a whole is generally less respected in China than it is over here with one exception Liu Cixin is followed by the Chinese internet like a wildfire sparking conversations and discussions across the board much to the amazement of the author Even the engineers that had been the butt of his comments have taken up the book to rave about it I personally loved If you re into stuff like this you can read the full reviewDystopian Roads to Utopia Invisible Planets Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Ken LiuOk Star Trek has world peace one world government and a religious monetary and hunger free world to boot woo hoo But and it s a bit of a big but it doesn t happen without a third world war massive depopulation some very handy gadgets and a lot of help from some friendly Vulcans who are due to pop in to oversee the transformation of human society in 2063 S Well science fiction for me means space future mind blowing technology new ideas interstellar travel you get the picture And in this co. De los propios autores sobre la ciencia ficción china y la introducción de Ken LiuIncluye Entre los pliegues de Pekín de Hao Jingfang premio Hugo 2016 y tres relatos del premio Hugo 2015 de Liu Cix.
Ken Liu Ô 3 free readI am a big Ken Liu fans so this collection of collated science fiction that he translated fascinated me I enjoyed the 13 stories and their various perspectives There is a running debate in the intro and the three concluding essays on what Chinese sci fi is or isn t which was eually fascinatingFino s Cixin Liu and other Chinese SciFi and Fantasy ReviewsThe Three Body ProblemThe Dark ForestDeath s EndThe Wandering EarthSupernova EraBall LightningThe Redemption of Time Fan Fiction approved by Cixin LiuInvisible Planets Short Story AnthologyThe Paper Menagerie and Other StoriesThe Grace of KingsThe Wall of Storms Introduction Chinese Science Fiction in Translation Ken Liu Chen iufan The Year of the RatIn an economically depressed near future college graduates are recruited to military platoons in order to fight genetically modified rats Intended as pets for export the creatures are invasive but show disturbing signs of intelligence Although rat catching is less than glamorous the military trappings of the outfit go to the heads of some members of the platoon and fellow humans may end up being the real danger Nicely done Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH goes MilSF Chen iufan The Fish of LijiangMelancholy and dystopic New labor laws reuire that an overworked and exhausted employee take a mandatory rehabilitation break in the famous historic city of Lijiang At first a bit of RR doesn t seem like a bad thing especially when he meets an attractiv I was really looking forward to reading Invisible Planets Ken Liu s first curated Chinese SF anthology and was not at all disappointed Liu opens the collection with the disclaimer that Chinese SF should not be thought of as speaking to only Chinese culture but that it is an important piece of modern SF as a whole It s hard to argue with the man when novels like Cixin Liu s Remembrance of Earth s Past Trilogy have blown up in the SF world Structured around seven Chinese SF writers Invisible Planets orbits many touchstones of classic and modern SF while simultaneously introducing exciting and novel voices I loved the introduction to Chen iufan s writing through three near future short stories that serve as a pleasant nudge in the direction of Liu s recent translation of his novel Waste Tide Ma Boyong s City of Silence works as a tribute to 1984 but is also an unsettling window into a dystopian future of censorship I found myself pondering Boyong s story as both an allegory for state sponsored censorship as well as social censorship we impose on one another on the webHad Jingfang s Folding Beijing was my personal favourite of the collection Jingfang s story marries a high concept with an emotionally resonant character arc and pulls it all together with a reflection on class hierarchy The only stories that bugged me were Cheng Jingbo s Grave of Fireflies and Cixin Liu s The Circle The former because it was painfully obtuse from the get go and failed to Come Hell or High Water: Feminism and the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Central America justify its opacity The later because it is an adaptation of a passage from The Three Body Problem than it is a new Cixin Liu story The collection closes with three essays by authors who contributed to the collection Though two provide some basic overviews of Chinese SF throughout history Xia Jia s What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese turns the lens on the artistic choices made by Western SF comparing them to Chinese SF s evolving aims I enjoyed reading what the authors made of division lines between Western and Eastern SF but it is also cool to hear that there s a lot of cross pollination across the oceanThis is a very solid SF short story collection For me it scratched a bit of that nagging itch that s been leftover since I finished off Remembrance of Earth s Past while also pointing me towards some other novels and collections that might piue my interest Well worth any SF fan s time 315There I did it I must say that this was a somewhat hardourney as there are many cultural differences But I am curious now in regard to Chinese sci fi and I ll be reading some in the future 1 The Year of the Rat by Chen uifan In the Year of the Rat you re going to fight rats Now that s funny This was Well I m not sure what this was It felt like some kind of dystopia where you either have a ob or you end up fighting rats It felt like a horror story where you wait for the monster to appear It felt like something political where you doubt anything and everything It was extremely confusing and I m left feeling uneasy Uneasy because the government can trick you at any point and because science left unchecked can bring nightmares to life 2 The Fish of Lijang by Chen uifan This is the only truly free choice I have left This is the second story that hints at lack of freedom Say hello to a workaholic man who is sent by his company to a rehabilitation center He is not allowed a phone or anything else that might tell him the time And this center is completely artificial There he meets a woman and the two hit it But their meeting is not by chance It s actually pretty sad if you ask me Are all the stories in this anthology sad I hope not 3 The Flower of Shazui by Chen uifan I have a bit of a problem with all the names They sound so alien to me that sometimes it s hard for me to followThis story is about a man who committed a crime and had to run away He becomes infatuated with a prostitute who is in a relationship with her pimp Trying to help her things get out of handAgain a sad story 4 A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight by Xia Jia And then her children got sick one after another In order to raise the money to pay the doctors Xiao ian sold herself off in pieces #teeth eyes breasts heart liver lungs bone marrow and finally her soul Her soul was sold to Ghost #eyes breasts heart liver lungs bone marrow and finally her soul Her soul was sold to Ghost where it was sealed inside a female ghost s body Her children died anyway This is by far my favorite story It s that of a boy living on a street full of ghosts robots that are shells for human souls These ghosts were toys for humans but newer toys were invented so Ghost Street was abandonedAgain a sad story but a very interesting one Saying
"about it would "it would spoiling it 5 Tongtong s Summer by Xia Jia This is an emotional story about a little girl Tongtong and the summer her grandpa moved in with her family The SF element comes in the form of technology People have invented robots operated by other humans as caretakersWe get to see things from Tongtong s POV Even if she s an innocent child she s uite perceptive and you cannot help getting attached to the characters 6 Night Journey of the Dragon horse by Xia Jia 35 starsThese short stories are becoming uite hard to review They are beautifully written And they can be pretty boring at the same time Maybe it s the cultural difference but it s getting harder to finish this anthology with every storyThis one is part SF part post apocalyptic part urban fantasy In a world where humans don t exist any a dragon horse robot and a bat set upon a ourney As they reminiscent about the past we get to see glimpses of a world before humans disappeared With details and action this would have been an amazing novelSo far Xia Jia is my favorite Chinese writer 7 The City of Silence by Ma Boyong This is very 1984ish In #fact Orwell s book is much talked about in this short story But instead of Big #Orwell s book is much talked about in this short story But instead of Big watching you you have the appropriate authorities listening to your every word The web has become a control tool and people rarely leave their houses Some said that outside the borders of the State there are other Web sites but those were only urban legends As a huge fan of 1984 I loved The City of Silence 8 Invisible Planets by Hao Jingfang Yes what you say sounds like the Truth But the world is full of Truths So what if you have a Truth This short story feels like a discussion between an adult and a child The adult tells stories about different planets and their inhabitants I especially liked the story of planet Amiyachi This planet has two intelligent races one ruling during the winter and one during the summer They don t know about each other and have no clue how if one perished so would the other 9 Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang The title says it all as the city of Beijing is actually folding think Inception or Doctor Strange There are three spaces inhabited by three social classes that get to take turns to be above ground Needless to say First Space gets to enjoy the fresh air the most as they are the privileged class Second Space consists of white collars while Third Space literally takes care of the trashThe main character comes from the Third Space and the story is pretty uncomfortable It s sad and frustrating to see such discrimination and it s even sadder when you think it s all around us too 10 Call Girl by Tang Fei I did not understand this one Yes it s about a call girl but as you re led to believe she offers sex for money you discover that s not the truth She offers something else and I cannot understand if she uses some kind of paranormal power or some gadget 11 Grave of the Fireflies by Cheng Jingbo 245 starsThis is fantasy with a drop of sci fi The stars are dying so mankind is leaving their home planet During this ourney Rosamund is born the daughter of the last ueen of men The planet they colonize is ruled by a magician and in time Rosamund meets him while finding out about her mother s pastThis felt rushed As a full novel it would have been amazing Like this it barely begins when it ends 12 The Circle by Liu Cixin At first I found this a little hard to understand I kept thinking about all those people with their flags and what was all about but it all eluded me Then came the twist at the end and I was left speechless That was a great twistPS Read this as my neighbors had their music on maximum volume Common sense is highly overrated 13 Taking Care of God by Liu Cixin You know God In Cixin s vision God is an ancient civilization that made humans only in order to have someone take care of them once they re old and decrepit That s like parents having children only so that someone takes care of them in their old age To say that I didn t like this story is an understatement Respect is earned not assumed And you cannot make somebody take care of youPS My neighbors are still annoying the crap out of me with their music I thank Macmillan TorForge and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review Expertly curated anthology of short speculative fiction by Chinese writersI ve really enjoyed reading short science fiction lately and Invisible Planets is a fantastic addition to my collection It features thirteen short stories from seven Chinese writers collected and translated by writer Ken Liu Liu is upfront about the book s limitations and he cautions the reader to not draw any broad conclusions from the selections He selected works that were most accessible to a wide audience Liu urges Western readers to abandon their preconceived notions of China and remember these writers are saying something about the globe about all of humanity not ust China I assume a greater knowledge of Chinese history culture and anxieties would add an extra layer of nuance to many of the stories but the themes are resoundingly universal One thing I love about science fiction is that it takes modern day anxieties and pushes them to the next level Sometimes it s easier to see clearly when you re looking at another worldWe are only pawns stones worthless counters in the Great Game All we can see is Unbeatable Mind (3rd Edition): Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level (English Edition) eBook: Mark Divine: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. just the few grids of the board before us All we can do isust follow the gridlines in accordan. Trece visiones del futuro Trece historias poderosas ue dan una idea de la variedad de voces temas y técnicas de los autores chinos de ciencia ficción las hay inuietantes irónicas distópicas emotiv. Ce with the rules of the game Cannon on eighth file to fifth file Horse on second file to third file As for the meaning behind these moves and when the great hand that hangs over us will plunge down to pluck one of us off nobody knows But when the two players in the game the two sides have concluded their business all sacrifices become ustified The Year of the RatThe short stories featured are diverse ranging from surreal fantasies to hard sci fi One is even written like a fairy tale Grave of the Fireflies In a collection with such a variety of styles it s going to be difficult for each story to appeal to every reader I didn t enjoy the surreal stories A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight or Call Girl as much as the traditional selections but I could still appreciate the skill of the writer While the stories are all very different a few themes popped up than once government manipulations corporate exploitation of workers social class divisions aging populations and the impact of storytelling Most of the stories take place Earth The last section includes three essays about Chinese science fiction that serve as historical context and a starting point for analysisMy favorites The Year of the Rat by Chen uifan Programmed rats have become an important export but everything goes horribly awry when the rats escape their farms College students who can t find obs are enlisted in a war against these genetically modified creatures Some begin to uestion their duties when they see that the rats have developed signs of intelligence Not everything is as it seems The truth is ever elusive If you like this one you might also enjoy The Green and Unaccounted by Lauren Beukes or the Men Against Fire episode of Black Mirror Tongtong s Summer by Xia Jia This was the most emotionally affecting one for me Tongtong s grandfather moves in with her family after an injury but he is not the grandfather Tongtong remembers He s depressed about losing his independence and lonely from isolation Tongtong s family buys a robot caretaker and eventually the technology is harnessed so that those that are homebound can actively participate in society My favorite part of this story was Tongtongs s sweet relationship with her grandfather and her evolving understanding of the aging process Xia Jia dedicates this short story to her own grandfather in a touching author s note If you like this story about the positive aspects of technology you might also enjoy the short story Saying Goodbye to Wang by Alexander Weinstein The City Of Silence by Ma Boyong This one takes Orwell s 1984 to a modern level The author of 1984 predicted the progress of totalitarianism but could not predict the progress of technology In this oppressive society the citizens are constantly pushing the boundaries of language and the government s surveillance technology is always improving The constant battle between the opposing groups is causing the list of healthy words to shrink to the point where communication is becoming impossible Arvardan is exhausted with his monotonous life He reuests access to the BBS forums in hopes of freer communication but the online situation is even worse He begins searching for clues of other s discontent and the Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript journey leads him in unexpected directionsThe real key isn t about whether what I say is true but whether you believe it From start to end the direction of narrative is not guided by the tongue but by the ear Invisible Planets Invisible Planets by Hao Jingfang The narrator I haven t read all that much Chinese speculative fiction so when I saw Invisible Planets on Netgalley Iumped at the chance to read it I m always incredulous by any statements attempting to summarize the imaginations of an entire country so I was relieved when Ken Liu explicitly stated in the forward that he had no illusions that the collection is somehow a full representation of all of Chinese scifi As he says this is a collection of stories from seven contemporary authors and while the stories speak to the mood of the societies they write about Science fiction is the literature of dreams and texts concerning dreams always say something about the dreamer the dream interpreter and the audience Chen iufan the first author of the collection is also probably my favourite His stories are an effortless mixture of humor and horror absurdity and realism The Year of the Rat which involves a dystopian society overrun by genetically engineered Neorats is full of vivid characters and dramatic twists The Fish of Lijiang is packed with dramatic metaphor a cynical tale about time ambition and lost opportunities My favourite uote I have a car a house everything a man should have including erectile dysfunction and insomnia If happiness and time are the two axes of a graph then I m afraid the curve of my life has already passed the apex and is on its inexorable way down to the bottom The Flower of Shazui is eually forceful and gorgeous and even lyrical My favourite uote Sin is like wine The it is hidden from sunlight the it ferments growing potent Incisive and brilliant I also loved his "Characterization Of The Literary "of the literary of scifi In my view what if is at the heart of science fiction Starting with reality itself the writer applies plausible and logically consistent conditions to play out a thought experiment pushing the characters and plot toward an imagined hyperreality that evokes a sense of wonder and estrangementAs a contrast to Chen iufan s cynical elouence Xia Jia s stories feel mythopoeic to me rather in the style of Charles de Lint or Emma Bull A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight felt particularly imbued with myth and folklore to the point where I was uite sure I was missing most of the references Tongtong s Summer was something of a contrast #to the dreamlike Ghosts a sweet optimistic to the point of impracticality story of home robots and the way technology could #the dreamlike Ghosts a sweet optimistic to the point of impracticality story of home robots and the way technology could the lives of the elderly and infirm Night Journey of the Dragon Horse was probably my favourite story by Xia Jia a gorgeous and haunting vision of a post human worldOnly one story from Ma Boyong is included in the collection but it s also one of the most uniue I found The City of Silence to be a pretty straightforward satire about oppression but it s also eminently uotable Some of my favouritesOnly the bookmarks menu which could not be edited contained the addresses for a few Web sites The reason for this was simple all these Web sites were healthy and positive If other Web sites had the same contents as these then logically having access to these Web sites alone was sufficient On the other hand if other sites had different content then logically those other sites must be unhealthy and vulgar and should not be accessed Shielded was a technical term A shielded word was forbidden in writing or in speech Ironically shielded itself was a shielded word Better and worse were variables but his life was a constant the value of which was repressionAll in all The City of Silence is a worthy successor to 1984 with all the infuriatingly circular black comedy of Catch 22After The City of Silence the tone of the collection drifted from incisive satire to lyrical metaphor and creative flights of fancy Hao Jingfang s stories are wildly imaginative from Invisible Planets vivid vignettes of life on a series of bizarre planets to Folding Beijing s portrait of a city that can fold and reform like origami Hao Jingfang uses these gorgeously imaginative backdrops to explore themes such as prejudice time and identity and truth He didn t know what was the point of knowing the truth If he could see some things clearly but was still powerless to change them what good did that do Tang Fei s Call Girl is a short tale but memorable for its gorgeously poetic language for example Sunlight
"slices across her "across her like a knife blade Unfortunately I think I was missing the cultural background to truly understand Cheng Jingbo s Grave of the Fireflies The story is packed with symbolism and allusion melding together imagery of magical castles frontier pioneers magical castles deep space red giants and extinguished stars The collection ends with two stories by the renowned Liu Cixin but I found his stories a bit wanting Almost the entire plot of The Circle including the primary conceit of a CPU made out of humans also appears in The Three Body Problem I uite enjoyed the conceit of Taking Care of God where humans finally meet their makers not as divine beings but as elderly beings who need assistance His nonfiction essay certainly contains no false modesty as he pretty much claims that his book was singlehandedly responsible for the renaissance of Chinese scifi The collection finishes up with several of the authors nonfiction essays While I appreciate how Ken Liu refuses to try to characterize all of Chinese science fiction there are some common themes woven throughout As many of the essays note the attitudes of science fiction can characterize overarching feelings about technology and society s futureOne such theme expressed by many of the authors in the nonfiction essays about scifi included at the end is that of the Chinese Dream which Xia Jia defines as the revival of the Chinese nation in the modern era Chen iufan expresses its influence on society as follows Between the feeling of individual failure and the conspicuous display of national prosperity lies an unbridgeable chasm The result is a division of the population into two extremes one side rebels against the government reflexively sometimes without knowing what its cause is and trusts nothing it says the other side retreats into nationalism to give itself the sense of mastering its own fate Overall Invisible Cities is a gorgeous collection well worth reading for anyone curious about Chinese scifi or ust looking for some great new contemporary authors I received this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher Tor Books in exchange for my honest review uotes are taken from an advanced reader copy and while they may not reflect the final phrasing I believe they speak to the spirit of the collection as a whole Cross posted on BookLikes 45 stars for this collection of Chinese SF short stories Final review first posted on Fantasy Literature Invisible Planets is an interesting and varied anthology of thirteen speculative short fiction stories and three essays by seven contemporary Chinese authors translated into English by Ken Liu As Liu mentions in the Introduction several of these stories have won US awards most notably the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette given to Hao Jingfang s Folding Beijing and have been included in Year s Best anthologies Chinese fantasy and science fiction is richly diverse and this collection amply proves that While there is political commentary in some of these stories it would be as Liu comments doing these works a disservice to assume that they can be reduced to metaphors about Chinese politics These stories offer insights not ust into Chinese thought and culture but about life and humanity generally which is what the best science fiction and fantasy does The Year of the Rat by Chen iufan Genetically engineered rats rodents of unusual size and intelligence and programmed with certain behaviors like walking upright are exported from China as luxury pets When a mass escape of rats from their farms occurs whether by accident or as a political ploy and the rats genetic limitations on reproduction begin to break down they create a threat to the country Unemployed college students like the narra. As Algunas han recibido premios y elogios de la crítica otras han aparecido seleccionadas en distintas antologías y otras son simplemente favoritas de Ken Liu Completan la colección varios ensayos.