When talking about this book you have to list the awards it's won--the Hugo, the Tiptree, the Lambda, the Locus,
a Nebula nomination--after that you can skip the effusive praise from the New York Times
and get to the heart of things: This is a book about a future many don't agree with. It's set in a 22nd century dominated by Communist China and the protagonist is a gay man. These aren't the usual tropes of science fiction, and they aren't written in the usual way. But, wow, it's one heck of a story.
"A first novel this good gives every reader a chance to share in the pleasure of discovery; to my mind, Ms. McHugh's achievement recalls the best work of Delany and Robinson without being in the least derivative."--The New York Times
"It's a rare writer who produces a novel this good....I can't think of a book that offers a more lived-in future. The people are impulsive, changeable, and very real. Lovers of fine fiction, SF, and otherwise, will treasure this deeply humane book. Five stars."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune