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Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

por Ken Liu (Editor)

Outros autores: Bao Shu (Contribuidor), Qiufan Chen (Contribuidor), Jingbo Cheng (Contribuidor), Fei Dao (Contribuidor), Gu Shi (Contribuidor)10 mais, Jingfang Hao (Contribuidor), Cixin Liu (Contribuidor), Boyong Ma (Contribuidor), Han Song (Contribuidor), Mingwei Song (Contribuidor), Tang Fei (Contribuidor), Regina Kanyu Wang (Contribuidor), Anna Wu (Contribuidor), Xia Jia (Contribuidor), Zhang Ran (Contribuidor)

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2491082,984 (3.91)Nenhum(a)
"The stories span the range from short-shorts to novellas, and evoke every hue on the emotional spectrum. Besides stories firmly entrenched in subgenres familiar to Western SFF readers such as hard SF, cyberpunk, science fantasy, and space opera, the anthology also includes stories that showcase deeper ties to Chinese culture: alternate Chinese history, chuanyue time travel, satire with historical and contemporary allusions that are likely unknown to the average Western reader. While the anthology makes no claim or attempt to be "representative" or "comprehensive," it demonstrates the vibrancy and diversity of science fiction being written in China at this moment. " --Amazon.com.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 10 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
My first dip into Chinese Science Fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology. “What shall pass in kinder appear” was so I touched by this story it pulled all my heart string. There are stories that makes you think a lot about our current situations especially of our dependency on technology. I will definitely be on the look for more Chinese Science Fiction. ( )
  Islandmum84 | Jul 28, 2021 |
This is the second anthology with Chinese science fiction that Ken Liu has assembled and translated (alone or with a fellow translator). The first one, Invisible Planets, was very much to my liking. It offered a general introduction/view - certainly not a Best Of - on some of China's authors in the field. Three essays concluded the whole by offering a view on SF in China.

'Broken Stars' is more of that, but from a more personal (Ken Liu's) perspective. As he wrote in the introduction:

"...the most important criterion I used was simply this: I enjoyed the story and thought it memorable. (...) Whether you'll like the stories in here will thus have a lot to do with how your taste overlaps with mine. I don't believe in picking "perfect" stories; in fact, I think that stories that do one thing really well are much better than stories that do nothing really "wrong." I claim no authority or objectivity, but I am arrogant enough to be confident in my taste."

This second bundle contains more stories than before, sixteen in total, again joined by three essays. More stories also mean a new selection of authors, though some make a reappearance.

About the essays: I found them a little less interesting compared to those in the previous anthology, though they too offer another glimpse of how science fiction in China is older than we think, how it was also influenced by western SF (yes, indeed), how it has not always fared very well - at some point in the 20th century, it was abolished for political reasons - and how since several years, it's been accumulating success again, not in the least because of Cixin Liu's stories.

Be it a general selection of Chinese SF or based on Ken Liu's own "arrogance", on both occasions the result is very much worth reading. Of course, for some stories it helps to have a basic understanding of China's history, but even without it, the stories are perfectly readable. I do the historical and humourous aspects of certain stories. Others show a clear influence of western SF or even a Buddhist approach, a touch of philosophy, some psychology, some anthropology, ...

Anthologies like this one prove it's important to read various kinds of stories, of anywhere in the world, as no one holds the only truth in his hands, as one song by Kamelot (Farewell (Epica, 2003)) goes.

Like before, there are various authors on this list of whom I'd like to read more. I'll never be able to finish my TBR-pile, I'm afraid. :(

----------

Table of contents:
Xia Jia
* Goodnight, Melancholy

Liu Cixin
* Moonlight

Tang Fei
* Broken Stars

Han Song
* Submarines
* Salinger and the Koreans

Cheng Jongbo
* Under a Dangling Sky

Baoshu
* What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear

Hao Jingfang
* The New Year Train

Fei Dao
* The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales

Zhang Ran
* The Snow of Jinyang

Anna Wu
* The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge

Ma Boyong
* The First Emperor's Games

Gu Shi
* Reflection

Regina Kanyu Wang
* The Brain Box

Chen Qiufan
* Coming of the Light
* A History of Illnesses

Essays
* A Brief Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction and Fandom - Regina Kanyu Wang
* A New Continent for Chinese Scholars: Chinese Science Fiction Studies - Mingwei Song
* Science Fiction: Embarrassing No More - Fei Dao ( )
  TechThing | Mar 24, 2021 |
Splendidly engaging modern SciFi from China that stretches and rearranges time, mashes up past and future, matches clever, creative story telling with human thought and feeling. Great collection.
  MusicalGlass | Oct 25, 2020 |
Dystopian fiction is always a bit frustrating, possibly because, as a depressive, it mirrors the way I catastrophise stupid little problems. I know that that impulse is irrational, so it's weird for an author to essentially explain why it isn't. Too often, dystopian fiction is anti-technology, relying on very conservative, slippery-slope logic. We invent x thing, and years later, society is a trainwreck and we're supposed to blame the invention, rather than the litany of terrible decisions that would have to have been made since its invention. I'm glad that this trend seems to be dying out in fiction, tbh, and that how we actually get to a bad place is seen as worth exploring, rather than just taking as read. Of course, the problem in fiction is that, from a narrative perspective, a utopia doesn't seem particularly interesting. Stories rely on conflict, and utopian societies seek to reduce the need for or the impact of such conflicts. So a writer sitting down to write a story probably prefers an environment and a society that can throw up obstacles, rather than one that tries not to.

Still, it can work. Star Trek's Federation, and Iain M Banks' Culture, have managed to stay honest-to-goodness utopias over the course of multiple stories, without having to crumble just for the sake of creating conflict. Most of their conflict comes from outside the utopia - and there is always an outside to any utopia, of course. But mainly they are not technophobic. They are utopias because they rely upon and trust in technology, rather than demonising it because of how someone might use it.

I think it's telling that the blame for dystopia is so often laid on technology, because if history tells us anything, it's that fascistic and totalitarian societies have been able to force people into submission with nothing more advanced or high-tech than manpower and bits of paper. Star Trek even nods to this - the Cardassians are noted for their filing, something that seems weirdly quaint in a universe of supercomputers. The technology is not the problem - it's the people and their drives.

In the same way that dystopias don't speak to "us", neither do utopias. The pronoun "we" can only ever include some of us - hopefully even "many people", as some of the writers in this Chinese anthology say. What it really all comes down to is "caring about strangers", whether that means other living people who are different from us or people who haven't been born yet, but too few of those with the power to change things - also part of the "we" - are encouraging us to do any such thing. Hence all the dystopias.

Of course, every generation gets the utopia or dystopia it deserves, be it coming from China or coming from any other Western country. ( )
  antao | Aug 20, 2020 |
This is a fascinating anthology, with a wide-ranging selection of beautifully written stories. Well recommended.

It doesn't get five stars, because, despite having finished it in the last few days, I can tell you nothing about the stories. The essays about the state of SF in China would need a few more readings before I hope to remember even half the detail, but they are a much appreciated detail. ( )
  fred_mouse | May 13, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Liu, KenEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bao ShuContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Chen, QiufanContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cheng, JingboContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fei DaoContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gu ShiContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hao, JingfangContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Liu, CixinContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ma, BoyongContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Song, HanContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Song, MingweiContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Tang FeiContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wang, Regina KanyuContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wu, AnnaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Xia JiaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Zhang RanContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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"The stories span the range from short-shorts to novellas, and evoke every hue on the emotional spectrum. Besides stories firmly entrenched in subgenres familiar to Western SFF readers such as hard SF, cyberpunk, science fantasy, and space opera, the anthology also includes stories that showcase deeper ties to Chinese culture: alternate Chinese history, chuanyue time travel, satire with historical and contemporary allusions that are likely unknown to the average Western reader. While the anthology makes no claim or attempt to be "representative" or "comprehensive," it demonstrates the vibrancy and diversity of science fiction being written in China at this moment. " --Amazon.com.

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