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“The Wandering Earth” is a collection of short stories by Liu Cixin, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Liu Cixin's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic. “[most] literature has always left me with the impression of indulging an intense anthropocentric narcissism. […] In the “The Wandering Earth” is a collection of short stories by Liu Cixin, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Liu Cixin's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic. “[most] literature has always left me with the impression of indulging an intense anthropocentric narcissism. […] In the world of literature, the Sun exists for no other reason than to illuminate the pure, unadulterated countryside, the Moon has no other reason to shine than to cast the shadows of the seaside lovers, [but] if the universe is the Sahara, then all that makes the Earth a grain of gold within it, is that a particular bacteria called humanity clinging to its surface.” Liu Cixin uses the unique perspective of science-fiction to take us on a journey into this majestic, desolate cosmos. He gives us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamental truth that in the face of a vast universe we are no more than a speck of dust; That the Earth is just another celestial body – And an extremely vulnerable one at that. The flash of a gamma-ray burst or the blast of a nearby supernova could, at any moment, reduce our cherished home to nothing but ashes. It can be terrifying to contemplate the end of our world and stories that describe such destruction can be disturbing. At the same time however, they can leave us feeling not only entertained, but exhilarated and inspired. Maybe, they can even give us a chance to renew our love of life. Most stories found in the “The Wandering Earth” collection take us to a sci-fi vision of Earth's end. But here, there are no Hollywood aliens, descending from the depths of space to blow up our cities. In these futures, the dangers humanity faces are much stranger and whimsical than that. The unexpected calamities that befall his richly detailed worlds are only eclipsed by humanity's epic, but always plausible, attempts to escape destruction. In all this peril and doom, Liu Cixin always feels for humanity. His stories are full of a deep love for all of Earth's peoples. But even this love does not escape reflection and even ridicule when viewed through his unrelenting cosmic lens. No matter how dearly one loves the Earth, humanity and all its cultures, there is no avoiding the cold, hard truth that they mean absolutely nothing when viewed against the vastness of the universe. But even an infinite universe could not change the simple fact that we are worthy of love, that we need love. It is this twist that lies at the very heart of the stories in this collection. Table of Contents 1 The Wandering Earth 2 Mountain 3 Of Ants and Dinosaurs 4 Sun of China 5 The Wages of Humanity 6 Curse 5.0 7 The Micro-Age 8 Devourer 9 Taking Care of Gods 10 With Her Eyes 11 The Longest Fall


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“The Wandering Earth” is a collection of short stories by Liu Cixin, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Liu Cixin's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic. “[most] literature has always left me with the impression of indulging an intense anthropocentric narcissism. […] In the “The Wandering Earth” is a collection of short stories by Liu Cixin, China's most acclaimed contemporary science-fiction author. Unabashedly classic in the great tradition of Asimov and Clarke, Liu Cixin's science-fiction is firmly rooted in the cosmic. “[most] literature has always left me with the impression of indulging an intense anthropocentric narcissism. […] In the world of literature, the Sun exists for no other reason than to illuminate the pure, unadulterated countryside, the Moon has no other reason to shine than to cast the shadows of the seaside lovers, [but] if the universe is the Sahara, then all that makes the Earth a grain of gold within it, is that a particular bacteria called humanity clinging to its surface.” Liu Cixin uses the unique perspective of science-fiction to take us on a journey into this majestic, desolate cosmos. He gives us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the fundamental truth that in the face of a vast universe we are no more than a speck of dust; That the Earth is just another celestial body – And an extremely vulnerable one at that. The flash of a gamma-ray burst or the blast of a nearby supernova could, at any moment, reduce our cherished home to nothing but ashes. It can be terrifying to contemplate the end of our world and stories that describe such destruction can be disturbing. At the same time however, they can leave us feeling not only entertained, but exhilarated and inspired. Maybe, they can even give us a chance to renew our love of life. Most stories found in the “The Wandering Earth” collection take us to a sci-fi vision of Earth's end. But here, there are no Hollywood aliens, descending from the depths of space to blow up our cities. In these futures, the dangers humanity faces are much stranger and whimsical than that. The unexpected calamities that befall his richly detailed worlds are only eclipsed by humanity's epic, but always plausible, attempts to escape destruction. In all this peril and doom, Liu Cixin always feels for humanity. His stories are full of a deep love for all of Earth's peoples. But even this love does not escape reflection and even ridicule when viewed through his unrelenting cosmic lens. No matter how dearly one loves the Earth, humanity and all its cultures, there is no avoiding the cold, hard truth that they mean absolutely nothing when viewed against the vastness of the universe. But even an infinite universe could not change the simple fact that we are worthy of love, that we need love. It is this twist that lies at the very heart of the stories in this collection. Table of Contents 1 The Wandering Earth 2 Mountain 3 Of Ants and Dinosaurs 4 Sun of China 5 The Wages of Humanity 6 Curse 5.0 7 The Micro-Age 8 Devourer 9 Taking Care of Gods 10 With Her Eyes 11 The Longest Fall

30 review for The Wandering Earth: Classic Science Fiction Collection

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Another excellent bit of beautiful and intriguing scifi from the Chinese master Cixin Liu. If you have read his trilogy, you will love this short story collection. I just watched the 2019 release of The Wandering Earth based on the eponymous novella in this book thanks to a comment on my review of another Cixin Liu book. The short story was really short and did not leave a lasting impression on me. However, the movie stretches the story to a 2h05 length propagandistic scifi movie. Maybe that is a Another excellent bit of beautiful and intriguing scifi from the Chinese master Cixin Liu. If you have read his trilogy, you will love this short story collection. I just watched the 2019 release of The Wandering Earth based on the eponymous novella in this book thanks to a comment on my review of another Cixin Liu book. The short story was really short and did not leave a lasting impression on me. However, the movie stretches the story to a 2h05 length propagandistic scifi movie. Maybe that is a harsh judgement, but just imagine a really bad American scifi blockbuster, say Independence Day or 2012 but where the good guys are Chinese and the values are all around service, sacrifice, father-son relationships and even the improbably but unavoidable protagonist who is dead in one scene but is alive in the closing credits driving into the sunset. In terms of tech and special effects, Chinese scifi has definitely its own specific look and atmosphere (a bit more of a sharper image on screen, no huge musical theme coming back again and again, and tons and tons of pathos) and yet the budget was only $50M which means they have some really efficient and inexpensive animators with talent! There are also explicit callouts to other classic scifi, in particular to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I just felt it was very, very predicable and they laid it on too think with the dramatic self-sacrificing speeches. Like in big films of the 80s and 90s, it was racially homogeneous in the extreme - only beautiful Chinese actors and actresses for the entire cast. It seems they took some of the worst excesses of Hollywood as object lessons. But, regardless, it is entertaining. I guess the thing I am trying to say is that I hope that if they ever finally nail down a director and a budget for The Three-Body Problem, that they do not make a tear-jerker, flag-waving film like this one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tudor Vlad

    I can’t help but compare this short story collection with Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, which prior to reading this was my favorite science fiction short story collection. It still has my favorite short story (Story of Your Life) but while Ted Chiang had an amazing story coupled with some good and average ones, Liu Cixin had just great stories. The Wandering Earth has 11 stories and I can honestly say that the quality was consistent from start to end and all the stories were memo I can’t help but compare this short story collection with Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, which prior to reading this was my favorite science fiction short story collection. It still has my favorite short story (Story of Your Life) but while Ted Chiang had an amazing story coupled with some good and average ones, Liu Cixin had just great stories. The Wandering Earth has 11 stories and I can honestly say that the quality was consistent from start to end and all the stories were memorable, which is something I thought was impossible in such a big collection. The short stories, in my vision, felt like a display of death and destruction, an excuse to show the beauty of Earth and of the human kind, beauty that we oh so often take for granted.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    The most wonderful collection of stories ever read. It is an ode to Earth, to its beauties and history. Some are related but they can be read on their own. Very powerful, with the focus on social and environmental issues, highly actual nowadays. The Wandering Earth - to escape from Sun explosion, Earth was put on an accelerated course to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. As I got used by now, the author emphasize the impact and consequences of this enormous change on the survivors through the e The most wonderful collection of stories ever read. It is an ode to Earth, to its beauties and history. Some are related but they can be read on their own. Very powerful, with the focus on social and environmental issues, highly actual nowadays. The Wandering Earth - to escape from Sun explosion, Earth was put on an accelerated course to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. As I got used by now, the author emphasize the impact and consequences of this enormous change on the survivors through the eyes of one of the wanderers, on this first part of the journey. Mountain - the SF version of Baricco's Novecento. A geological engineer (passionate mountaineer), working on a sailing ship is tormented by the guilt of letting his companions die in the mountains and therefore chooses a life on sea to be away as far as possible from his life time passion. But destiny brings the ultimate challenge down his path - a sea water mountain... A story about how hard it is to make some decisions, no matter how different we all are. Of Ants and Dinosaurs - an alternate reality in which Cretaceous is the Informational Era and Earth is ruled by ants and dinosaurs. It looks like the big is not always the strongest and that the arrogance can lead to total annihilation. Again, LC touches some hotspots like birth control, territory expansion and war. Sun of China - the story of an almost illiterate country boy who became the first long range explorer of space or what is the outcome when chance and determination meet. Heart-touching. The Wages of Humanity - what starts as a gangsters story, turns out to be a strong attack on cultural and social differences between rich and poor. Tax on breathable air is no longer a mocking issue... Curse 5.0 - very funny at the beginning, with the author himself a character in his own story. But as with the others, the course is drastically changed on the way: what begins as a childish revenge, ends up as a global destruction, because of accumulated frustrations, anger and hate. The Micro-Age - a new micro-generation is genetically modified in order to ensure humans continuity on Earth. Nothing can destroy this new human race but the previous macro-fellows... Devourer - a fable about the insignificance of human race yet at the same time about the enormous importance of sacrifice of even just a few of us. Taking Care of Gods - the ancient humans who created the current civilization(s) are returning to Earth to rest. It is the most heartbreaking story of all: how elders are perceived through the eyes of most young, once they become feeble. With Her Eyes - reminded me of movie "The Core" but, of course, this is just the set up. We are so overwhelmed by every day struggles, work and worries that we cannot longer see the beauties of the Earth around us. The Longest Fall - whenever something does not work right, an entire generation is to blame, even more when those people are thinking outside the box. Conclusion: don't take the Earth for granted and go get this book :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marchpane

    The eleven hard sci-fi stories in this collection are smart, thought provoking and intellectually chewy, with a healthy dose of absurdity. The characters are just the merest of sketches, and the prose strictly functional. As a result the stories are presented almost as technological parables, with the main focus on the concepts and ideas. Stories include: - Earth is converted to a bio-spaceship with which to transport humanity to a new star - Aliens arrive from a bubble world, totally different f The eleven hard sci-fi stories in this collection are smart, thought provoking and intellectually chewy, with a healthy dose of absurdity. The characters are just the merest of sketches, and the prose strictly functional. As a result the stories are presented almost as technological parables, with the main focus on the concepts and ideas. Stories include: - Earth is converted to a bio-spaceship with which to transport humanity to a new star - Aliens arrive from a bubble world, totally different from our own (or is it?) - Civilisations of super intelligent ants and dinosaurs at war with one another (these crop up more than once) - The gods who created us (aliens of course) return to earth to be looked after by humans in their dotage As a collected work, the book is unusual in that the length of each tale is somewhere between short story and novella, around 40-50 pages, with no real variation in length. I found that these snack-sized stories were best enjoyed by breaking them up and spacing out between reading other things. I've probably made the book sound a lot sillier than it is, there's actually a great deal of socially observant wit in there as well. If you like a bit of inter-galactic travel with your talking dinosaurs while you mull over society's problems, you'll enjoy this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    Insanely clever and imaginative stories—and a lot of them are good fun too! Not the title story, of course, which is bleak as hell and absolutely bonkers. Because you think, like, "Hard science fiction", snore-fest, right? But no! Quite the opposite. Goodreads reply guy, answering to this point in like four years: "You think hard sci fi is BORING, young man? Was it boring to Alexei Rachmaninov when he imagined the interaction of black holes that has now entered the scientific canon of how we under Insanely clever and imaginative stories—and a lot of them are good fun too! Not the title story, of course, which is bleak as hell and absolutely bonkers. Because you think, like, "Hard science fiction", snore-fest, right? But no! Quite the opposite. Goodreads reply guy, answering to this point in like four years: "You think hard sci fi is BORING, young man? Was it boring to Alexei Rachmaninov when he imagined the interaction of black holes that has now entered the scientific canon of how we understand gravitational waves? How about Asimov when he forged our contemporary understanding of robotics? Was it boring to Newton, who first imagined the apple? Also, weirdly, let me send you a friend request, as you have compelled me to keep patronising you!" (I made the Rachmaninov guy up obvs.) But yes, this is a must-read for any sci-fi fans. The film is a must-avoid because it's gash and it made me mad that I now associate it with this book, plus eroded my husband's confidence even further that I can pick something worth watching.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Bakker

    Can anyone else write epics in short form like Cixin does in The Wandering Earth? After reading the magnificent Remembrance Of Earth's Past trilogy and equally impressive Ball Lightning, I was already convinced that Cixin would be one of my favorite writers. Cixin earns that title solely based on creativity and storytelling. Throughout his catalog, the characters are barely developed and his writing style isn't anything special. His ideas, however, are second to none. In The Wandering Earth Cixin Can anyone else write epics in short form like Cixin does in The Wandering Earth? After reading the magnificent Remembrance Of Earth's Past trilogy and equally impressive Ball Lightning, I was already convinced that Cixin would be one of my favorite writers. Cixin earns that title solely based on creativity and storytelling. Throughout his catalog, the characters are barely developed and his writing style isn't anything special. His ideas, however, are second to none. In The Wandering Earth Cixin has managed to put his grandiose ideas into a much shorter form factor without losing much of the awe-inspiring scale. The stories differ from rivaling human-like civilizations and ageing because of visiting Gods to future dinosaurs and using the Earth as public transportation. My favorite story in this bundle is definitely Sun Of China, which has a satisfying full story arc and in my opinion the best characters. More importantly, there was not a single bad or boring story by any means, which is something I've never encountered in a collection like this before.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ghaid

    Book rating : 3/5 —————————————— The Wandering Earth : 3.5/5 Mountain: 3/5 Sun of China : 4/5 For the Benefit of Mankind: 2/5 Curse 5.0 : 2.5/5 The Micro-Era : 1.5/5 Devourer : 0.5/5 Taking Care of God : 0.5/5 With Her Eyes : 5/5 Cannonball : 5/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A breathtaking collection of wondrous science fiction stories. Full of so many jawdropping moments as ideas so brilliantly imaginative are laid before us.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Calzean

    As good as sci-fi gets for me. 11 short stories blast off with "The Wandering Earth" a wild ride as Earth is blasted out of the solar system to escape the Sun's implosion. There are questions are about man's reason for being, man's bias towards conflict, the impact on the environment, reliance on technology, religion, etc. This is a book full of questions, imagery, emotions and imagination.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ashley c

    My thoughts of some of the stories: Mountain - loved this one - just like Liu to think of something so creative. I won't say much here - it's best going in blind! Sun of China - this hit close to home. Up til now most of Singapore's infrastructure is built by immigrants from China and other parts of Asia. The hard work and long hours they put in, together with their constant refrain of making enough money for their family is admirable and touching. I wish the nation would do more for them. The Wage My thoughts of some of the stories: Mountain - loved this one - just like Liu to think of something so creative. I won't say much here - it's best going in blind! Sun of China - this hit close to home. Up til now most of Singapore's infrastructure is built by immigrants from China and other parts of Asia. The hard work and long hours they put in, together with their constant refrain of making enough money for their family is admirable and touching. I wish the nation would do more for them. The Wages of Humanity - Very Black Mirror-esque and an enjoyable story about capitalism gone too far. Taking Care of Gods - nicely-tied together story about the origin of life on Earth. The Longest Fall & With Her Eyes - I love the continuity of these two stories. A touching story about science and humanity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nusrat Farzana

    This has been a wonderful journey. Thank you, Cixin.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Hands down this is the best science-fiction collection I have ever read. At least in the past ten years or so. The very accessible style (at least the English translation that I had the pleasure of reading), combined with cool original ideas is the perfect recipe. Granted, the stories hover in the same general "genre", a future Earth, with either some kind of alien invasion or a technological breakthrough threatening the planet. A personal touch that I was surprised to find and enjoyed are the " Hands down this is the best science-fiction collection I have ever read. At least in the past ten years or so. The very accessible style (at least the English translation that I had the pleasure of reading), combined with cool original ideas is the perfect recipe. Granted, the stories hover in the same general "genre", a future Earth, with either some kind of alien invasion or a technological breakthrough threatening the planet. A personal touch that I was surprised to find and enjoyed are the "soft" links between a few of the stories. Breakdown: • The Wandering Earth (novelette): 5* Sun is going to "explode" and scientists decide that our planet should "clear the neighbourhood". The concept may not be totally new (see Larry Niven's puppeteer worlds back in the 70's), but the execution is fabulous! We follow Earth's journey to the stars from its normal orbit all the way to Jupiter and beyond through the eyes of a boy growing up terrified of the sun's destructive abilities. This story is now made into a multi-million Chinese blockbuster. • Mountain (novelette): 5* Stories about strange life forms are my absolute favorites. The ones in this story originated in a planet's solid core. The description of their evolution, from the discovery of gravity and fluids to their cosmological theories and journey to Earth are what makes great sci-fi to me. • Of Ants and Dinosaurs (novella): 5* This is the best alternate history story I have ever read. In the Cretaceous, the dinosaurs develop a symbiotic relationship with the ants and their civilizations evolve on Earth together. War however follows and their extinction is NOT because of an asteroid, but because of reasons we humans might be more than familiar with. • Sun of China (novelette): 3* A large mirror is constructed in space to turn China's night into day. A poor Chinese window cleaner becomes a "space mirror cleaner" and ultimately flies off to another solar system with the mirror. • The Wages of Humanity (novelette): 3* The most bizarre (and probably weakest) story in this collection follows a ruthless assassin tasked with taking out a bunch of paupers. Otherwise Earth is invaded by aliens. Wait, what? A lot of slashing at the capitalism form of statehood is also going on. • Curse 5.0 (novelette): 3* A computer virus evolves through the years, and, as in all good virus stories, ends up destroying the Earth. Not the most terribly original idea, but well-written like everything else here. • Micro-Era (novelette): 3* A human who had left on a starship some millennia ago returns to Earth to discover that the remaining inhabitants have shrunk down to microscopic size in order to avoid the latest ecological catastrophe. The science here felt a little 'stretched'. • Devourer (novelette): 5* Aliens approach the Earth, hell-bent on devouring it with their massive ship. Humankind scrambles to put up a fight. Cool ideas again. Superb twist at the end. Sequel of sorts to "Of Ants and Dinosaurs". • Taking Care of God (novelette): 3* "Aliens" again approach the Earth, but they turn out to actually be humans who have seeded life on Earth a long time ago and now are fleeing their home world and are looking to live among us. • With Her Eyes (short story): 3* Ships are sent into the Earth's core. One breaks down and is lost. Nothing special here. • The Longest Fall (novella): 4* A large tunnel is dug through the Earth, connecting China and Antarctica. By using the 'hypersleep' trick, we see its evolution and the effect it has on humans through the eyes of a man traveling forward through time. Sequel to "With Her Eyes". Averages out to 4, but I have discretionary powers in my review, so I'll make it a five!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Malu

    Most of these stories just felt like a collection of random, underdeveloped ideas that the author was testing out. A lot of exposition, with characters simply explaining story concepts to each other rather than letting them develop over the course of the story. The writing was clunky. Also, very insistently sexist. All of the female characters were described as pretty, delicate, beautiful, with soft hair and fair voices, etc. Also there was this odd element that also existed in Death's End where Most of these stories just felt like a collection of random, underdeveloped ideas that the author was testing out. A lot of exposition, with characters simply explaining story concepts to each other rather than letting them develop over the course of the story. The writing was clunky. Also, very insistently sexist. All of the female characters were described as pretty, delicate, beautiful, with soft hair and fair voices, etc. Also there was this odd element that also existed in Death's End where female characters weren't allowed to age. Liu either kills them off or has them hibernate / space travel so that they can remain young and beautiful while the male characters become grizzled old men but they still love each other. Finally, this passage, from the story Curse 5.0: "Using the same epic framework, Cixin would write a version that embodied the hardest of hard science fiction. This edition would be aimed at the male demographic. Haitan, on the other hand, would get to work on a version that was the softest of soft fantasy literature. It would be aimed at the female demographic."

  14. 5 out of 5

    James F

    Wandering Earth is a collection of eleven science fiction stories by Liu Cixin, the author of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy. I would say that all the stories in this collection are well worth reading; they offer a representative sample of his science fiction ranging from "hard" technology-based stories to more humorous and allegorical writing. Two of the stories, the first, title story "The Wandering Earth" and the seventh, "The Micro-Age", deal with humanity's attempts to survive a co Wandering Earth is a collection of eleven science fiction stories by Liu Cixin, the author of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy. I would say that all the stories in this collection are well worth reading; they offer a representative sample of his science fiction ranging from "hard" technology-based stories to more humorous and allegorical writing. Two of the stories, the first, title story "The Wandering Earth" and the seventh, "The Micro-Age", deal with humanity's attempts to survive a cosmic disaster, the explosion of the sun. The first is hard science fiction, though with a human angle, while the second is less realistic. The second story, "Mountain", was perhaps my favorite; it starts from the simple idea of a "hollow earth", not as the cranks who think the Earth is hollow with people living on the inner surface conceive it but (as we all proved in first year physics) with no gravity in the interior, and proceeds to ask how physics would have developed in such a world. This is combined with a frame story set on Earth. The third story, "Of Ants and Dinosaurs", is an obvious allegory of "Mutual Assured Destruction" and at first seemed somewhat too blatently didactic, until I realized that it was also an homage to Isaac Asimov who wrote a similar story about dinosaurs back in the "golden age". The eighth story, "Devourer" is a sort of sequel to this; the basic premise was reminiscent of a certain Doctor Who episode but that may be coincidence. It also fits in with the "dark forest" hypothesis of the trilogy but with a difference. The fourth story, "Sun of China", has a technological device in common with one episode in the trilogy, and is also somewhat outdated, having an appearance by a hundred-year-old Stephen Hawking; one slight problem with Liu Cixin's science fiction in general is that many of his stories, and the first book of the trilogy, take place or at least begin in the present or recent past with events which have obviously not occurred and technology which doesn't yet exist. I liked the way he points out that space exploration will not be real until the working class goes into space. Number five, "The Wages of Humanity" (apparently in a different edition this is titled "For the Benefit of Mankind"), is a social satire, which reminded me of a story by Stanislaw Lem (of course) but this might also be coincidence. These two stories seemed the most specifically "Chinese". Number six, "Curse 5.0" is obviously related to an incident in the second book of his trilogy, the virus which targets specific individuals (and perhaps the danger of viruses taking control of internet-linked appliances should be given more thought in the real world), but is also a sort of self-parody of his fascination with disasters, with Liu Cixin himself as one of the characters. Number nine, "Taking Care of Gods" was included in the anthology edited by Ken Liu that I read a couple months back. The last two stories, "With Her Eyes", and "The Longest Fall" are also related to one another, with the first story referred to in the second, although I'm not sure they are entirely compatible. They also go back to the ideas of first year physics.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Alexander

    A delightful collection of imaginative science fiction. Each story in The Wandering Earth is a cascade of ideas. Liu Cixin starts each one with a concept, which then leads to another, and then a third, and on. He's not shy about yanking a narrative sideways into another world, then circling back to the start to ring changes. Most of the stories feature embedded stories. The stories have a large emotional range, from joy to tragedy, civilizational disaster to triumph. Generically all are recogniza A delightful collection of imaginative science fiction. Each story in The Wandering Earth is a cascade of ideas. Liu Cixin starts each one with a concept, which then leads to another, and then a third, and on. He's not shy about yanking a narrative sideways into another world, then circling back to the start to ring changes. Most of the stories feature embedded stories. The stories have a large emotional range, from joy to tragedy, civilizational disaster to triumph. Generically all are recognizable as science fiction, but touch on other genres and tones, including crime and satire. (For the latter, Cixin mocks himself as a character in one story.) These are very political stories - not in the sense of urging a point of view upon the reader, but as studies of how humans act together, especially in the face of huge challenges and scientific developments. Well, I take that back. One story openly celebrates workers and ordinary people becoming heroes in space in terms of anti-elitism. Several topes run through the stories deeply, even to the point of being shared world tales. Cixin focuses on disaster coming from the skies, either through alien incursions or solar catastrophe. Balancing this is a focus on heading underground, even to (and through) the Earth's center. Several stories involve dinosaurs. And size is an issue, with arguments about the importance of smallness and the fragility yet awesomeness of gigantism. I wish I could read Chinese, and also be more sensitive to details of current Chinese culture and politics, so that I could suss out some of the references and resonances. For example, in one story the Earth becomes a gigantic spacecraft, dotted with enormous rockets. At one point only the "eastern" and "Asian" rockets succeed. Should I read this as a nationalist statement? The aforementioned tale about ordinary workers becoming space heroes: does this fit squarely with the Communist Party line today, or is it satirical? One character is noted for his "proverbial Asian cool"; is that prideful or mocking? I can't tell the meaning of Chinese language names... and neither can I assess the translation's quality. Each story is quite readable. One interesting note for the future of education: in "The Wages of Humanity" we learn of a planet that invents a way to teach people through direct brain stimulation. Interestingly, the process is so expensive that it remains the province of the elite. Recommended for anyone interested in science fiction or contemporary China.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anny

    Some of the stories were really good, others felt more like outlandish ideas not developed properly. This is where I felt he fell short of Ted Chiang. Whereas I felt each and every Ted Chiang's stories has been deeply researched, properly thought of and carefully developed, Liu's works appear more slapdash in comparison. The titular Wandering Earth itself was not that good, I wonder why it got chosen instead of some others (maybe because it's the longest?). My favorites are: Mountain (5 stars) Eve Some of the stories were really good, others felt more like outlandish ideas not developed properly. This is where I felt he fell short of Ted Chiang. Whereas I felt each and every Ted Chiang's stories has been deeply researched, properly thought of and carefully developed, Liu's works appear more slapdash in comparison. The titular Wandering Earth itself was not that good, I wonder why it got chosen instead of some others (maybe because it's the longest?). My favorites are: Mountain (5 stars) Everything that I love about SF. New ideas, new kind of reality and the unexplored possibilities in our vast universe. How I wish this short story was a full length novel instead. (view spoiler)[What kind of lifeform will evolve in a world of vacuum with only solid and no liquid or gas? What is life like in a world without gravity? (hide spoiler)] I was terribly fascinated. Sun of China (4 stars) A rural farm boy sets out wishing only to earn a bit more money and to be able to drink sweeter water. It was refreshing to read a story with such a simple MC, no inner struggles, no complicated relationships, no romance. Only simple facts of how life can sometimes offer unexpected opportunities Curse 5.0 (5 stars) Outrageously funny and tragic. In an era where everything is increasingly connected, this is one of the more likely future that we might ended up in. Done in by '*', lol.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Siona St Mark

    This wasn’t what I thought it would be like. The first part of the book was the best to me, everything after that was just OK. I did think it was weird how emotions were handled between characters because sometimes they were meaningless and then other times people had extreme emotions. The book sets up that humans have “evolved” Beyond the need for love because everything is about saving the earth, which I don’t necessarily think it’s realistic but if that’s how the author wants to tell the stor This wasn’t what I thought it would be like. The first part of the book was the best to me, everything after that was just OK. I did think it was weird how emotions were handled between characters because sometimes they were meaningless and then other times people had extreme emotions. The book sets up that humans have “evolved” Beyond the need for love because everything is about saving the earth, which I don’t necessarily think it’s realistic but if that’s how the author wants to tell the story that’s fine, but then later on one of the main characters is overjoyed and getting married and overwhelmed at the idea of bringing a child into the world. It’s very contradictory and it’s not necessarily something that made me not enjoy the story but it just took me out of it for a minute. I think a lot of it is due to translation which I understand is not an easy process, but it just makes the book seem weird at points. Overall an interesting concept, but not necessarily done and what I feel is the best way, but then again could be due to being translated in somethings getting lost in the translation.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I had a difficult time trying to think of ways to explain how Cixin Liu's collection of science fiction short stories, The Wandering Earth, affected me. But in the end, I have to say it was sheer awe at his writing ability that was the overwhelming factor in my decision to go buy more of his books. (And I have!) This was indeed the first work I'd read by him, being personally more enamored of 'softer' sci-fi. I prefer more rollicking space adventures usually, so this book of novellas was a depar I had a difficult time trying to think of ways to explain how Cixin Liu's collection of science fiction short stories, The Wandering Earth, affected me. But in the end, I have to say it was sheer awe at his writing ability that was the overwhelming factor in my decision to go buy more of his books. (And I have!) This was indeed the first work I'd read by him, being personally more enamored of 'softer' sci-fi. I prefer more rollicking space adventures usually, so this book of novellas was a departure for me. I worried that the "hard" sci-fi within would lose me, or that the science would be so esoteric as to leave me feeling cold. I am happy to say that this was not the case! The characters in the stories captured my attention first, then my heart as I came to care for each one, even those who were not as immediately likable as human beings, such as the narrator of the story "Mountain". When first faced by aliens, this man asks not "Why are you destroying our planet", nor does he scream "Stop killing us!". Instead, he begins a long discourse with them on explorations and thereby finally finds a common link between humans and aliens. Now that did shock me out of my usual mindset a bit. I expected more an immediate alarmist response like the yelling and screaming at the aliens who were killing us all by sheer accident of their arrival. However, that isn't really what the story was about, and as soon as that was obvious (really quickly so) then I settled in for a more philosophically enlightening read. The narrator might have felt initially cold, but this was a man so profoundly affected by his personal history of mountain climbing and the tragedy he suffered during it, that he decided to basically punish himself forever. Many of the people and beings found within Liu's stories are traumatized in some way. Their tragedies propel actions and carry us along for the ride. One of the most moving tales in the book was "With Her Eyes", a tale of a man exploring a world using the 'eyes' of a woman trapped within said world, yet unable to see it anymore. I dare not explain further as it would spoil the story too much. Not all is tragic, however. There is plenty of humor to be found amidst the debris and destruction in these stories. "Curse 5.0" had me chuckling and shaking my head at the quickly spiraling events caused by one little computer virus. There were moments of humor amongst the pathos of the story entitled "Of Ants and Dinosaurs", a tale which originally felt as though the moral would conk me over the head a little too hard but became one of my favorites as it irresistibly drew me into an alternate Earth and it's vastly changed history. Overall, the language of Liu's writing captured my mind and heart most of all, more so than his possible worlds or characters. His writing is absolutely lyrical at times, and intelligent throughout. One of my favorite sections of the book is in the first, title, story: "I’ve never seen the night, nor seen a star; I’ve seen neither spring, nor fall, nor winter. I was born at the end of the Reining Age, just as the Earth’s rotation was coming to a final halt. The Sun is about to unleash a helium flash, threatening to swallow all terrestrial planets in the solar system. On Earth, the Unity Government has erected Earth Engines. With them it plans to propel our planet out of the solar system, setting it on a journey into outer space in search of a new sun. The Earth begins its centuries-long, wandering travels through outer space. Just as we began our journey, my grandfather passed away, his burnt body ravaged by infection. In his final moments, he repeated over and over, “Oh, Earth, my wandering Earth...”" Just like *that* I was sucked into the story and carried along on an epic journey of hopes and fears. I highly recommend "The Wandering Earth" for anyone who appreciates the 'what if's and 'maybes' that are presented in science fiction. The sci-fi within these pages may be considered 'hard' by some but was easily understandable by this layperson with only a passing interest in the depths of physics and genetics (to name two) dealt with here. The science may have driven a lot of the action, but it was never the entire centerpiece of any story, which makes this writing readable, relatable, and wonderful. This review is an unbiased and faithful personal view of a book in return for a free copy from NetGalley. It also refers to a newly released English language edition of a collection previously released in China and once before years ago. The latest publisher, Head of Zeus, is releasing much of the author's work to the delight of us new fans in beautiful new editions with excellent translation.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Every time I think I’ve read the best of Cixin Liu, he manages to impress me further? He’s the source of some of the best science fiction being written today, and this collection of short stories is an amazing introduction for a new fan, or a great way to revisit his style for an old one (like me!). (Also- nothing but respect for a man who can mock himself to the point where he includes a parody of his own life wherein he accidentally ends up causing a digital apocalypse. I was so blindsided by Every time I think I’ve read the best of Cixin Liu, he manages to impress me further? He’s the source of some of the best science fiction being written today, and this collection of short stories is an amazing introduction for a new fan, or a great way to revisit his style for an old one (like me!). (Also- nothing but respect for a man who can mock himself to the point where he includes a parody of his own life wherein he accidentally ends up causing a digital apocalypse. I was so blindsided by the meta humour, it was amazing). Read it! You’ll laugh and cry and end up questioning the endless possibilities humanity could die in fiery annihilation, but also the myriad ways we could use our wits and some nuclear physics to fight our way out of said annihilation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    This collection of short stories is fantastic in every sense of the word. Liu writes stories based on big ideas and fascinating premises. The murderous evolution of a computer virus, the explorations of an alien civilization trapped in the hollow core of a planet, the return of the “gods” who seeded life on earth: these stories are packed with weird and wild science fiction goodness. They are thought provoking, inspiring, and occasionally funny.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Umang Upadhayay

    4.5/5 Awesome collection of short stories.. Some of the ideas are really appreciable and awe inspiring... Cixin Liu maintained the out of the world imagination from the three body problem in this one..

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    A generously fat collection of Cixin Liu's novellas. Combines astonishing and amazing physics and cosmology ideas with seriously cardboard characterisations and dialogue. Like Golden Age SF written with access to 21st century theories. Frustrating and mind-boggling in equal measures.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Ideas are cheap; execution is hard. This collection of short stories epitomises that concept beautifully. Every story had some creative concepts, but almost every single one was an utter train smash in terms of storytelling. None of the stories had any sort of narrative flow. Every single character was a bizarre mashup of tropes and stereotypes to the point where I was left wondering if the author had ever interacted with real people. One thing I'm more certain of was that the author had never h Ideas are cheap; execution is hard. This collection of short stories epitomises that concept beautifully. Every story had some creative concepts, but almost every single one was an utter train smash in terms of storytelling. None of the stories had any sort of narrative flow. Every single character was a bizarre mashup of tropes and stereotypes to the point where I was left wondering if the author had ever interacted with real people. One thing I'm more certain of was that the author had never heard of the concept of character development. And look, I understand you'll inevitably lose the nuance and impact after translating a text, but this was just embarrassing to read. The dialogue was constantly awful. The 'stories' were more a collection of loosely coupled ideas that often completely ignored basic logic, simple scientific concepts, and, more often than not, an understanding of humanity as a whole. The few stories that even attempted to have a theme were pitifully executed and woefully inadequate in exploring the usually cliche subject matter. I was never engaged with any of the stories, partly because we were constantly told everything like if we were small children. Almost every story failed at showing us what the characters were going through, what the world was really like, or why anyone actually did what they did besides to move the story to a usually pathetic ending. I really can't think of a single positive other than the few interesting ideas some of the stories brought up. If you have a decent understanding of physics, you'll hate how poorly some of the ideas were executed (air resistance is a thing!). If you enjoy character-driven stories, I'll be impressed if you get through even the shortest of these stories. If you like interesting ideas, don't mind hollow characters, can do without any sort of realistic world-building, don't care about plot, think logical progression is overrated, and scientific concepts are a type of soft magic system, then only can I recommend this series of stories. Otherwise, I'd strongly advise you to steer clear of this dumpster fire. Individual reviews on each book: The Wandering Earth 1/5 Mountain 1/5 Of Ants and Dinosaurs 1/5 Sun of China 2/5 The Wages of Humanity 1/5 Curse 5.0 1/5 The Micro-Age 1/5 Devourer 1/5 Taking Care of Gods 1/5 With Her Eyes 1/5 The Longest Fall 1/5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    I’ve been curious about Liu Cixin for a while and have heard many good things about the author’s work, which left me more than happy to dive into this collection. Although I’m not the biggest lover of short stories, when done right they can be gripping, and I’ve heard lots of great things about the author’s ability to write gripping short stories. The first story in the collection, The Wandering Earth, was a three-star rating. There were some four-star moments with this one, but it wasn’t quite e I’ve been curious about Liu Cixin for a while and have heard many good things about the author’s work, which left me more than happy to dive into this collection. Although I’m not the biggest lover of short stories, when done right they can be gripping, and I’ve heard lots of great things about the author’s ability to write gripping short stories. The first story in the collection, The Wandering Earth, was a three-star rating. There were some four-star moments with this one, but it wasn’t quite enough for me to round my rating up. It was interesting, I was invested in how it would come together, but I feel it was all over a bit too fast. The second story in the collection, Mountain, was a three-star rating. This one started slowly, and it took a while for me to be won over by it. In fact, there was quite a bit of time where I feared I would be giving it a two-star rating. It was unique and came together well, though, and did win me over. The third story in the collection, Sun of China, was a four-star rating. This one gripped me instantly, and I was hugely invested in the way it would play out. There was great development throughout, and I was eager to see how the pieces came together. The fourth story in the collection, For the Benefit of Mankind, was a four-star rating. This was a rounded-up rating, but I enjoyed it enough to be happy to do so. It was a slow started, but it had me intrigued throughout, and it certainly makes the reader think. The fourth story in the collection, Curse 5.0, was a two-star rating. Although this had an intriguing premise, I felt no connection to the story at all. There was the chance for there to be some interesting elements, but it felt rather flat to me. I’m sure it’ll work for some, but it didn’t work for me. The sixth story in the collection, The Micro-Era, was a four-star rating. This was a rounded-up rating, solely because of the ending. It was an easy read, one that gripped throughout, but it wasn’t until the ending surprised me that I fell completely in love with it. It’s a story that comes together well and is worth sticking with. The seventh story in the collection, Devourer, was a three-star rating. This was a rounded-up rating, one that wasn’t quite everything I had expected it to be. It was certainly intriguing, and I was curious for more, but there were a lot of elements I would have liked to have received more of and explored deeper. The eighth story in the collection, Taking Care of God, was a three-star rating. This was another rounded-up rating, one that I never felt much connection to. I was curious, but nothing major happened with this one and it failed to have an impression on me. The ninth story in the collection, With Her Eyes, was a four-star rating. This one was short and simple, but it was a powerful story. It’s one that hit harder than expected, going in an unexpected direction. This is one that managed to do a lot in a very short story. The tenth story in the collection, Cannonball, was a three-star rating. This was another intriguing story, and it was one I would have enjoyed more if I’d felt a stronger connection to it. As it was, the story was interesting, but it didn’t quite do everything it could have. All in all, this was a great introduction to the author’s work. There was a decent amount of variety here, and I enjoyed bouncing between the stories. I also enjoyed the way some of them linked together, making this more than just a collection of short stories that stand alone. Without a doubt, I’ll be diving into more of the author’s work in the future.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    While Liu's grand hit, the Remembrance of Earth's Past, is on my wish-list, I've been reluctant to read it, as it appears to be heavy on the hard science. So, I went for this collection of short-stories, which is always an easier way to get to know an author's work. What also helped, was the fact that the Waterstones shop was selling it at half-price. And one must not have read the aforementioned trilogy to enjoy or understand the stories in 'The Wandering Earth', which is of course good news. Al While Liu's grand hit, the Remembrance of Earth's Past, is on my wish-list, I've been reluctant to read it, as it appears to be heavy on the hard science. So, I went for this collection of short-stories, which is always an easier way to get to know an author's work. What also helped, was the fact that the Waterstones shop was selling it at half-price. And one must not have read the aforementioned trilogy to enjoy or understand the stories in 'The Wandering Earth', which is of course good news. All of the stories are quite accessible, although I don't know if that's because of Liu's writing-style or the translators' way of working. These ten stories were translated by various translators, not just the famous Ken Liu. This too, aside from the themes (trans-humanism, religion, sociology, politics, re-inventing life on Earth, influence/impact of technology on daily life, ...), gives this collection a varied offering. While there were really no bad stories, not all could convince me. However, the majority certainly was fine and more than fine, much recommended, even. Even if you are reluctant to read Liu's novels, you can't go wrong with a short-story collection like this one here, which shows why Liu has won the China Galaxy Science Fiction Award so many times. Now that's I've read these stories, my interest in the aforementioned trilogy has increased. However, my TBR-pile is still huge enough, choices have to be made continuously. Contents: * The Wandering Earth * Mountain * Sun of China * For the Benefit of Mankind * Curse 5.0 * The Micro-Era * Devourer * Taking Care of God * With Her Eyes * Cannonball

  26. 4 out of 5

    Harris

    The Wandering Earth is an enjoyable compilation of Liu Cixin's science fiction short stories. Having deeply enjoyed his 'Three-Body Problem' trilogy in late 2019, I was definitely keen for more. I particularly enjoyed the one about the Bubble Civilisation, Cixin is at his best when he plays around with and almost totally inverts the status quo in the physics of our own world. I appreciate how he does this through explaining actual scientific concepts applied in his hypotheticals, where the chara The Wandering Earth is an enjoyable compilation of Liu Cixin's science fiction short stories. Having deeply enjoyed his 'Three-Body Problem' trilogy in late 2019, I was definitely keen for more. I particularly enjoyed the one about the Bubble Civilisation, Cixin is at his best when he plays around with and almost totally inverts the status quo in the physics of our own world. I appreciate how he does this through explaining actual scientific concepts applied in his hypotheticals, where the characters in certain dialogues can sometimes just essentially be mouthpieces for them. A similar thing is done with overarching progression of the plot. I don't mind this at all however. I think it brings more focus on the concepts at play. Though it'd be nicer to have characters also fleshed out, I'm happy I've found an author that creatively develops some fascinating fictional hypotheticals from a range of different scientific and technological concepts showcased in suspense driven action. But then again, I haven't read much (hard?) Sci-fi in general, so this may be my ignorance. Cixin being from China (the books are translated excellently) also makes for intriguing insights of his homeland. He definitely takes a global view within his stories but I suppose I like hearing a bit of 'Chinese perspective' upon science fiction. Somewhere in the foreword, he notes that a few decades ago interest in science fiction was relatively scant in his native China but has dramatically picked up recently. Overall, well recommended but I'd suggest the 'Three-body Problem' book first.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tim Hicks

    (Not the Kindle edition in my case, but a trade-format paperback) So, take some Big SF Ideas, add a dash of unlikely, shake well, and examine the consequences. Extinction of humanity? Cool - where's the human story, let's see, aha! There it is. Extinction of earth? Same. Ants vs. dinosaurs. OK, skip the "human" part, where's the POV story of one character? ... and so on. Maybe not really a five-star, but it got there on bonuses -- for fresh ideas, for attitude that suggests Jack Vance without rea (Not the Kindle edition in my case, but a trade-format paperback) So, take some Big SF Ideas, add a dash of unlikely, shake well, and examine the consequences. Extinction of humanity? Cool - where's the human story, let's see, aha! There it is. Extinction of earth? Same. Ants vs. dinosaurs. OK, skip the "human" part, where's the POV story of one character? ... and so on. Maybe not really a five-star, but it got there on bonuses -- for fresh ideas, for attitude that suggests Jack Vance without really being anything like him, maybe for the overall feeling of "Isn't this fun to think about?" And maybe even a bonus for presenting these as stories, so that the character development expected in a novel isn't there. I think that's appropriate in this case. And the last story has as much human pathos as one could want. In this publication, I felt that it was produced by people who speak English very well but not natively. There are typos, word swaps, unusual use of hyphens, and other small distractions. I forgive it all when the translators have managed to maintain a distinct authorial attitude or character while also giving us the stories. These stories won awards from 1999-2004, so the oldest is probably 20 years old. Worth remembering if you are comparing to his more recent work. And if you don't like Big Idea hard SF, maybe look elsewhere. This ain't space opera, or Hammer's Slammers; no 20-km-long spaceships, no rogue AIs, no ansibles, no teleportation, no telepathy. Just some interesting What If?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Wandro

    Very cool to see the beginnings of ideas that ended up in the "Three Body Problem" trilogy. Liu Cixin amazes me with his ability to take the most outlandish scenarios involving the future (and past) of Earth and its technology, and turn them into totally believable situations with scientific backing. For example: the Sun is going to explode, so of course humanity would build giant rockets to move the Earth to a new star. He seems to have a weird fascination with ants and dinosaurs. I would absol Very cool to see the beginnings of ideas that ended up in the "Three Body Problem" trilogy. Liu Cixin amazes me with his ability to take the most outlandish scenarios involving the future (and past) of Earth and its technology, and turn them into totally believable situations with scientific backing. For example: the Sun is going to explode, so of course humanity would build giant rockets to move the Earth to a new star. He seems to have a weird fascination with ants and dinosaurs. I would absolutely recommend reading the "Three Body Problem" trilogy first, and then reading these short stories later when you are desperate to recapture the magic because nothing else you've read has even come close. My favorite stories were 1. Mountain 2. Devourer 3. of Ants and Dinosaurs. Thoughts on each story "The Wandering Earth": Cool idea, nice story. End was a bit silly. "Mountain": Favorite story. The history of the alien civilization was brilliant. "Of Ants and Dinosaurs": Neat story. Feels weird at first but ends up being pretty great. "Sun of China": Nice story. Not super exciting but very uplifting. "The Wages of Humanity":the overall story was weak but the backstory of the main character was very cool. "Curse 5.0": the weakest story. Idea is kinda decent but execution not great. "The Micro-Age": Interesting story. Average. "Devourer": Coolest and most exciting story. "Taking Care of Gods": Interesting idea. Good story. Fun take on religion. "With Her Eyes": A short, emotional punch in the kidneys. "The Longest Fall": Neat idea. Decent story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Loved so much. The Wandering Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories, and every one was a big hit for me. Most of the stories are around fifty pages, but I was quickly sucked into each one and reading this collection was an absolute delight. Readers familiar with Liu’s work will not be surprised by the style of these stories - the characters are often barely developed, and the plots are dominated by long conversations which serve as a vehicle to explore the scientific concepts at h Loved so much. The Wandering Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories, and every one was a big hit for me. Most of the stories are around fifty pages, but I was quickly sucked into each one and reading this collection was an absolute delight. Readers familiar with Liu’s work will not be surprised by the style of these stories - the characters are often barely developed, and the plots are dominated by long conversations which serve as a vehicle to explore the scientific concepts at hand. These conversations, whether between two humans or a human and alien character, allow Liu to detail his richly imagined alien civilizations and possible futures for humanity. I can see why some people don’t resonate with this style of writing, but it is EXACTLY my literary jam and I cannot overstate how much I loved reading this book. If you didn’t like The Three-Body Problem, you’re probably not going to like this collection either, but if it left you hungering for more, I highly recommend this thoughtful and imaginative collection. ⁣

  30. 4 out of 5

    isabelle ☻

    ok so i jumped on this book right after seeing its movie trailer in china and otherwise it might've stayed on my shelf for a whileee more. i freak out about this author to my cousins every time i get the chance and seeing "liu cixin" on a screen was sufficient enough for me to make wheezing noises in the theatre. this collection was fun to read and explored earth's future in many different ways, with alien civilizations, new technology and new and fascinating ideas about the universe. there were ok so i jumped on this book right after seeing its movie trailer in china and otherwise it might've stayed on my shelf for a whileee more. i freak out about this author to my cousins every time i get the chance and seeing "liu cixin" on a screen was sufficient enough for me to make wheezing noises in the theatre. this collection was fun to read and explored earth's future in many different ways, with alien civilizations, new technology and new and fascinating ideas about the universe. there were a lot of connections & common ideas to the remembrance of earth's past series, but the short stories were able to be wilder with the imagination. my favorite stories were "the wages of humanity" and "mountain." also i adored liu cixin's self insert and would definitely spend all my money on his fictional 10 book science fiction series.

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