From New York Times bestselling author Cixin Liu comes a short story collection of captivating visions of the future and incredible re-imaginings of the past.
In To Hold Up the Sky, Cixin Liu takes us across time and space, from a rural mountain community where elementary students must use physicas to prevent an alien invasion; to coal mines in northern China where new technology will either save lives of unleash a fire that will burn for centuries; to a time very much like our own, when superstring computers predict our every move; to 10,000 years in the future, when humanity is finally able to begin anew; to the very collapse of the universe itself.
Written between 1999 and 2017 and never before published in English, these stories came into being during decades of major change in China and will take you across time and space through the eyes of one of science fiction's most visionary writers.
Experience the limitless and pure joy of Cixin Liu's writing and imagination in this stunning collection.
Stories included are:
Full Spectrum Barrage Jamming
The Village Teacher
Fire in the Earth
Ode to joy
Cloud of Poems
Sea of Dreams
Cloud of Poems
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These 11 stories, taken from the beginning of Liu's career in the early 2000s when, per his introduction, "sci-fi was still a very marginal pursuit in China," offer an innovative and compassionate look at how knowledge shapes and changes humanity. Liu (The Three Body Problem) grounds his tales in contemporary Chinese life and society, using the sci-fi genre to tackle questions about humanity's place in the universe. "The Village Teacher" (trans. by Adam Lanphier) starts off the collection on a strong humanistic note, as one teacher's dying lesson to his students saves the galaxy. Other standouts include "Ode to Joy" (trans. by Joel Martinsen), in which a space mirror uses the sun as an instrument to play a symphonic history of the universe; "Contraction" (trans. by John Chu), which brilliantly plays with form to create the effect of time flowing backward; and "The Thinker" (also translated by Chu), which convincingly links neuroscience and astrophysics. Though the science will be too technical for some casual readers, Liu's gift for juxtaposing long passages of exposition with emotional moments and beautiful imagery makes this a must have for readers of hard science fiction.