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The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction

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A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments--ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China's A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments--ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China's rise to deconstructions of the myth of national development. This anthology showcases the best of contemporary science fiction from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. In fifteen short stories and novel excerpts, The Reincarnated Giant opens a doorway into imaginary realms alongside our own world and the history of the future. Authors such as Lo Yi-chin, Dung Kai-cheung, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, and the Hugo winner Liu Cixin--some alive during the Cultural Revolution, others born in the 1980s--blur the boundaries between realism and surrealism, between politics and technology. They tell tales of intergalactic war; decoding the last message sent from an extinct human race; the use of dreams as tools to differentiate cyborgs and humans; poets' strange afterlife inside a supercomputer; cannibalism aboard an airplane; and unchecked development that leads to uncontrollable catastrophe. At a time when the Chinese government promotes the "Chinese dream," the dark side of the new wave shows a nightmarish unconscious. The Reincarnated Giant is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of the genre.--Veronica Hollinger, professor emerita, Trent University, and editor, Science Fiction Studies "Times Literary Supplement"


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A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments--ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China's A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments--ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China's rise to deconstructions of the myth of national development. This anthology showcases the best of contemporary science fiction from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. In fifteen short stories and novel excerpts, The Reincarnated Giant opens a doorway into imaginary realms alongside our own world and the history of the future. Authors such as Lo Yi-chin, Dung Kai-cheung, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, and the Hugo winner Liu Cixin--some alive during the Cultural Revolution, others born in the 1980s--blur the boundaries between realism and surrealism, between politics and technology. They tell tales of intergalactic war; decoding the last message sent from an extinct human race; the use of dreams as tools to differentiate cyborgs and humans; poets' strange afterlife inside a supercomputer; cannibalism aboard an airplane; and unchecked development that leads to uncontrollable catastrophe. At a time when the Chinese government promotes the "Chinese dream," the dark side of the new wave shows a nightmarish unconscious. The Reincarnated Giant is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of the genre.--Veronica Hollinger, professor emerita, Trent University, and editor, Science Fiction Studies "Times Literary Supplement"

30 review for The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Kent

    Like most short story collections, the selections ranged from dull to mind blowing. But in this case, the selections are skewed more towards mind-blowing. I'm finding the Chinese have a refreshingly unique point of view in their sci-fi, and I'm loving it. I think the final tale, "Songs of Ancient Earth", is probably my favorite of the bunch. Definitely a great introduction to what's coming out of the Middle Kingdom in genre fiction. Like most short story collections, the selections ranged from dull to mind blowing. But in this case, the selections are skewed more towards mind-blowing. I'm finding the Chinese have a refreshingly unique point of view in their sci-fi, and I'm loving it. I think the final tale, "Songs of Ancient Earth", is probably my favorite of the bunch. Definitely a great introduction to what's coming out of the Middle Kingdom in genre fiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maria Haskins

    An excellent anthology of Chinese sci-fi with a wide range of stories. I was unfamiliar with most of the writers here, except Liu Cixin, but I found many authors I wanted to read more by. Highly recommended for any and all science fiction fans.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Celia Burn

    I was initially discouraged to read this collection after seeing all the abysmal and mediocre reviews for it, but I’m glad I ultimately didn’t trust the mainstream opinion. The translators of all of these stories were actually quite good and thoughtful in their choice of words; the stories flowed eloquently, with technical speech peppered throughout, which made the ideas not overly pretentious and still imparted some of the technical aspects for the nerds. For newcomers to Chinese sci-fi, many of I was initially discouraged to read this collection after seeing all the abysmal and mediocre reviews for it, but I’m glad I ultimately didn’t trust the mainstream opinion. The translators of all of these stories were actually quite good and thoughtful in their choice of words; the stories flowed eloquently, with technical speech peppered throughout, which made the ideas not overly pretentious and still imparted some of the technical aspects for the nerds. For newcomers to Chinese sci-fi, many of these famous authors started writing after years of professional engineering (Liu Cixin being the most famous in the states) and as postgrads/lecturers of physics, art history, literature, computer programming, political media, etc. and it really shows through each author’s fantastical imagination writing across their dedicated field of study. There are some cultural references throughout and translator notes included for those interested, which I personally appreciated the wordplays and homages to historical events, but the stories would still be enjoyable without reading them if you just don’t care. Also, for more recommended reading in this same vein, quite a few of these authors have other stories which have been translated to English in the Chinese sci-fi collections Broken Stars and Invisible Planets (edited by Ken Liu) or full books to look out for from the contributors Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia, Han Song, Fei Dao, Bao Shu and Liu Cixin, who just released his own short story collection To Hold Up the Sky a few months ago.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Anthologies are plagued with a common issue - stories are either hit or miss. while many of the concepts were interesting or innovative, I did not think the writers pulled it off well. Personally, I did not enjoy some of the writing styles for a few authors. I wonder if this is an issue with the writer themselves, or if the meaning was lost in translation. Overall, the book is worth a shot for anyone curious about Chinese sci-fi.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Tang

    Great collection of stories. Most stories read a little long for my taste - and a few stories do not deliver for their length - but quite a few have particularly strong deliveries. "Passengers on a Flight" is especially disturbing and subversive, Liu Cixin's "Village Schoolteacher" is an excellent story by a formidable, prolific writer, and the titular "Reincarnated Giant" is a standout satire/allegory. Great collection of stories. Most stories read a little long for my taste - and a few stories do not deliver for their length - but quite a few have particularly strong deliveries. "Passengers on a Flight" is especially disturbing and subversive, Liu Cixin's "Village Schoolteacher" is an excellent story by a formidable, prolific writer, and the titular "Reincarnated Giant" is a standout satire/allegory.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dimitar Dakovski

    "The Demon-Enslaving Flask" by Xia Jia ★★ "The Passengers and the Creator" by Han Song ★★ "Songs of Ancient Earth" by Bao Shu ★★★ "The Demon-Enslaving Flask" by Xia Jia ★★ "The Passengers and the Creator" by Han Song ★★ "Songs of Ancient Earth" by Bao Shu ★★★

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jamie McNeely

  8. 5 out of 5

    tachyon

  9. 5 out of 5

    Todd

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Brofka

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Platek

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kanta

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Brewster

  14. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mila

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diophantos

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pau

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olle

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tchi Ridley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Shapiro

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Candyce

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Yu Branscum

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gemma Field

  26. 5 out of 5

    Weez

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brit

  28. 4 out of 5

    Turner

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Taylor

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Platek

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