Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

Tor. Nov. 2016. 384p. ed. by . tr. from Chinese by Ken Liu. ISBN 9780765384195. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765384188. SF
Before Liu Cixin won the Hugo Award in 2015 for The Three-Body Problem, most Americans would probably have had trouble naming a Chinese sf author. Hoping to change this lack of awareness, editor and translator Liu (The Wall of Storms) begins this collection with a useful introduction to the big names in the genre. Chen Qiufan's three stories all feature melancholic protagonists; in "The Flower of Shazui," the hero helps a prostitute to atone for his past crime. Xia Jia's stories are dreamier, with "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight" featuring a young boy raised on a street of ghosts, and "Tongtong's Summer," which explores the possibility of remote-controlled androids through the POV of a little girl. There are also two contributions from Cixin.
VERDICT The 13 tales here demonstrate a wide range of styles. Most have won awards in China, but some are just Liu's favorites. Additional essays provides context for readers new to Chinese sf.
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