Invisible Planets, edited by multi award-winning writer Ken Liu--translator of the bestselling and Hugo Award-winning novel The Three Body Problem by acclaimed Chinese author Cixin Liu--is his second thought-provoking anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction. Invisible Planets is a groundbreaking anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction.
The thirteen stories in this collection, including two by Cixin Liu and the Hugo and Sturgeon award-nominated “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, add up to a strong and diverse representation of Chinese SF. Some have won awards, some have garnered serioius critical acclaim, some have been selected for Year’s Best anthologies, and some are simply Ken Liu’s personal favorites.
To round out the collection, there are several essays from Chinese scholars and authors, plus an illuminating introduction by Ken Liu. Anyone with an interest in international science fiction will find Invisible Planets an indispensable addition to their collection.
For more Chinese SF in translation, check out Broken Stars.
“The Year of the Rat” by Chen Qiufan
“The Fist of Lijian” by Chen Qiufan
“The Flower of Shazui” by Chen Qiufan
“A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” by Xia Jia
“Tongtong’s Summer” by Xia Jia
“Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse” by Xia jia
“The City of Silence” by Ma Boyong
“Invisible Planets” by Hao Jingfang
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang
“Call Girl” by Tang Fei
“Grave of the Fireflies” by Cheng Jingbo
“The Circle” by Liu Cixin
“Taking Care of God” by Liu Cixin
“The Worst of All Possible Universes and the Best of All Possible Earths: Three-Body and Chinese Science Fiction” by Liu Cixin and Ken Liu
“The Torn Generation” Chinese Science Fiction in a Culture in Transition” by Chen Qiufan and Ken Liu
“What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese?” by Xia Jia and Ken Liu
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This stellar anthology of 13 stories selected and translated by Liu (the Dandelion Dynasty series) brings the best of Chinese science fiction to anglophones. Liu Cixin's "Taking Care of God" relates the social problems that arise when the ancient interstellar travelers who created human civilization return to Earth and ask to be taken in by their creations. Ma Boyong's "The City of Silence" is set in an Orwellian future where Internet access and all forms of communications are rigidly controlled by a totalitarian government, and Xia Jia's "Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse" takes place in a Bradburyesque postapocalyptic world where machines have outlived the humans who engineered them. The title tale by Hao Jingfang is a sprightly tour of a series of imaginary planets; on each one, the culture of the inhabitants is shaped by the peculiarities of their environment. Although greatly varied in theme and approach, all of these stories impress with their visionary sweep and scope. The inclusion of three essays on the significance of science fiction to China and its writers underscores the thoughtfulness that Liu put into curating this superb compilation.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Taste of Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction
Author and translator Ken Liu brings us this anthology which provides a survey of contemporary Chinese Science Fiction. It includes award winning authors like Liu Cixin, author of "The Three Body Problem." It also includes other favorite stories selected by Ken Liu to illustrate the current range of science fiction in China. In some cases, two stories are presented from each author. I find this is an interesting method of showing an author's range. Like many anthologies that undertake to survey a type of fiction, some stories will be more to the reader's taste than others. However, overall, I found this to be an interesting and enjoyable collection.
There are forwards which introduce each author and their work, which is very useful to western readers. In addition there are three essays in the back of the book which provide perspectives on the development of science fiction in China.