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100 Words Review

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

A series of short sci-fi stories translated into English from Chinese. Ken Liu presents….

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Originally published: 19th Feb 2019
Authors: Ken Liu
Page count: 480
Publisher: Tor Books
Subjects: Science-Fiction
Language: English, Translated from Chinese
ISBN-10: 1250297664
ISBN-13: 978-1250297662
Product DimensionsKindle eBook / Audiobook
100 Word Summary

A series of short sci-fi stories translated into English from Chinese. Ken Liu presents (and translates) an anthology of sixteen short stories by fourteen Chinese science fiction writers, as well as three essays on the history and rise of Chinese science fiction. Personally, I find the stories to be concise and complete. It brings about the emotions as readers empathize the characters, the twist and turn in the stories. It is the unexpected twists as well as out of the norm developments that make these stories enjoyable, a short ride out of the world experience.

(95 words)

Stories include:
“Goodnight, Melancholy” by Xia Jia
“The Snow of Jinyang” by Zhang Ran
“Broken Stars” by Tang Fei
“Submarines” by Han Song
“Salinger and the Koreans” by Han Song
“Under a Dangling Sky” by Cheng Jingbo
“What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear” by Baoshu
“The New Year Train” by Hao Jingfang
“The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales” by Fei Dao
“Moonlight” by Liu Cixin
“The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge” by Anna Wu
“The First Emperor’s Games” by Ma Boyong
“Reflection” by Gu Shi
“The Brain Box” by Regina Kanyu Wang
“Coming of the Light” by Chen Qiufan
“A History of Future Illnesses” by Chen Qiufan

Essays:
“A Brief Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction and Fandom,” by Regina Kanyu Wang,
“A New Continent for China Scholars: Chinese Science Fiction Studies” by Mingwei Song
“Science Fiction: Embarrassing No More” by Fei Dao

Who should read:

If you are interested in Chinese culture, Chinese habits and perspectives, these short stories help to see things in a different light. Though it is different from Western perspectives and preference, it is refreshing to read and get to know the other major culture on the other side of the world.

Who should NOT read:

On the contrary, if you are unfamiliar with any of the Chinese culture, this book will be extremely puzzling and confusing for you. A lot of hidden context and meanings that are not explained explicitly in the book. And if you were to google separately on the meanings and significance, you will lose the ‘reading momentum’ and may not enjoy this title as much.

Takeaway points:

Not many Chinese of sci-fi genres, then again, it could be of personal reading preference. It is promising and refreshing to read something that is not English.

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