March 7, 2020
"A person from one civilisation looks at their surroundings as distinct objects and events and considers them separately. But when a person from another civilisation looks in as an outsider, they prefer to view everything through the lens of political power and try to explain everything based on that perspective."
In the twenty sixth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Hao Jingfang's Vagabonds (流浪玛厄斯 / Liúlàng Mǎèsī)
It would be tempting to say that Vagabonds is a Chinese science fiction rewrite of Ursula K le Guin’s The Dispossessed. My guest Ken Liu would be the first to stress that while there’s some truth to this, readers would be much better off treating the book as thing unto itself. He’s right- this is a book with no shortage of ideas or interpretations. Storywise, here’s what you need to know: it’s a red socialist planet ‘versus’ a green and blue corpocracy. Sit down, get comfy, and pick a side. Or don’t. Not picking a side may be the point.
Publishers: EN - Simon & Schuster - Head of Zeus // CN - New Star Press
Hao Jingfang on Paper Republic
Ken Liu on Paper Republic
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