Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation

Broken Stars, 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. Following Invisible Planets, Liu has now assembled the most comprehensive collection yet available in the English language, sure to thrill and gratify readers developing a taste and excitement for Chinese SF.

Some of the included authors are already familiar to readers in the West (Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang, both Hugo winners); some are publishing in English for the first time. Because of the growing interest in newer SFF from China, virtually every story here was first published in Chinese in the 2010s.

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.

In addition, three essays at the end of the book explore the history of Chinese science fiction publishing, the state of contemporary Chinese fandom, and how the growing interest in science fiction in China has impacted writers who had long labored in obscurity.

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

"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

For more Chinese SF in translation, check out Invisible Planets.

Title:Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation
Edition Language:English

    Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Ken Liu openly states in his introduction that these stories are selected based on his tastes. There is a variety of some known Chinese science fiction writers, and some new voices. Most of them were ...

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)

    Favorite stories:"Goodnight, Melancholy" by Xia Jia (a reread for me, I enjoyed it even more the second time)"What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear" by Baoshu (it's a love story where historica...

  • Kate

    Thanks so Cixin Liu and Ken Liu, I've become a big fan of Chinese science fiction over the years, both long novels and short stories. In this anthology, Ken Liu presents (and translates) an anthology ...

  • Rachel

    Ken Liu mentions in his introduction for Broken Stars that he curated it by selecting stories that he enjoyed and thought were memorable. I like to think our tastes overlap quite a fair bit since ther...

  • Hannah

    Considering “Invisible Planets...” was the best SF short story anthology I’ve ever read, I NEED this book. I can’t wait for this release!...

  • Jason Furman

    Broken Stars reads like an also ran to the excellent Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation. Both are collections of Chinese science fiction edited and mostly translate...

  • Hagai Palevsky

    However, after many years of worldly experience, I think tall tales give pleasure simply from the imagination’s leap into the infinite. It’s no different from humanity’s desire to fly. The pleas...

  • Ekmef

    I’m so happy to have discovered the joy of the short story! These are really cool insights in various dilemmas, described in widely varying styles. Ehh and it’s definitely not as boring as I make ...

  • Julia

    Thought-provoking, just the way I like my sci-fi to be! I have to say that aside from Cixin Liu's Three-Body Problem, I don't know much about Chinese science fiction. I enjoyed this collection quite a...

  • Amie Whittemore

    I enjoyed every story in this collection! They were varied, haunting, funny, smart. If you're a speculative fic fan, I suggest you pick this up and meet some (likely) new-to-you excellent Chinese auth...