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Sun of China [Kindle Edition]

Cixin Liu , Kim Fout , Verbena C.W. , Malice Bathory , Holger Nahm
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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  • Length: 48 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

No one could know how far the China Sun would fly and what strange and wonderful worlds Ah Quan and his crew would behold. Perhaps one day they would send a message to Earth, calling them to new worlds. Even if they did, any response would take thousands of years to arrive. But no matter what would happen, Ah Quan would always hold to his parents living in a country called China. He would hold to that small village in the dry West of that country. And he would hold to the small road of that village, the road on which his journey began.

This is a sentimental work by Liu Cixin. The story's narrative unfolds against the accurate and fully realized background of a modern China —A country where bustling cities, the super rich and a cutting edge aerospace industry can be found next to remote villages, an impoverished peasantry and the most basic forms of labor. Through a long line of dramatic and colorful lucky breaks our protagonist crosses this chasm, climbing the rungs from an absolute nobody, a peasant boy whose greatest dream is a full stomach, to become a lone hero, dedicated to the cause of space exploration. Though many regard his destiny a tragedy, he himself welcomes the glorious deadly mission. Realized in natural language and vivid imagery, the “Sun of China” full of heroism and bitter-sweet melancholy. Which is to say nothing of the guest appearance by a well-known luminary that is sure to leave you astonished.

China Galaxy Science Fiction Award of 2002.

Liu Cixin's writing will remind SF fans of the genre's golden age, with its positive focus on scientific development, combined with a consistently constructive vision of China's future role as a global superpower. It's characteristic of an SF genre which has been embraced by Chinese culture because it is seen as representing the values of technological innovation and creativity so highly prized in a country developing more quickly than any other in the world today.
– Damien Walter, The Guardian

Liu Cixin has put his exuberant energy to good use, erecting a gallery that must be measured on a scale of light-years. Inside this gallery of his, he has stored away marvels beyond imagination produced by the science and technology of cosmic civilizations. The moment you step into Liu Cixin's world, the rush of his enthusiasm buffets you like a particle storm – a storm of enthusiasm for science and for technology; And it is this enthusiasm that bears the heart of his world's magnificent galaxy. We can find it reflected not only in the grand vistas he creates, but also in the fateful decisions of his characters. The stark contrast of his grand worlds against the choices of these lonely and feeble beings can be truly shocking!
– Yao Haijun, editor in chief of “Science Fiction World”

First and foremost, as a reader, I very much enjoy and find great satisfaction in Liu Cixin's stories. The stories he tells are incredibly lucid, their language is conversant, their rhythm is tightly woven and their plots exceedingly compelling; Their imagery is unique, they have a boundless quality about them and they are brimming with powerful language; In these ways he echoes the great Taoist philosopher Chuang-tzu. What is more, I truly adore technology and industrial culture and consider them to be very exquisite, serious and atmospheric; almost holy. Liu Cixin's stories reflect this sentiment of mine. Therefore, I at times think that he echoes Newton. Finally, there is the military side of things. One does not have to look far to see his innate passion for all things to do with weaponry. In Liu Cixin we can see a stubbornness, a heroic ideal of centuries past.
– Han Song, deputy editor of “Oriental Outlook”

Product Details

  • File Size: 209 KB
  • Print Length: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Beijing Guomi Digital Technology Co., Ltd. (March 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007PEYJF6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,571 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at China March 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easily my favourite of Liu Cixin's stories that seem to be popping up around here! The "Sun of China" is a very contemporary story, apparently as much about Chinese society as it is science fiction. In a series of interesting encounters we get a glimpse at a rapidly developing country and its people. A genuine optimism about the future shines through all of it, providing an interesting contrast to the current Western mantra of crisis and decline.
Overall it is a very smooth read that covers quite a bit of ground (both figuratively and literally). The science in the story, while certainly not the focus, sounds very plausible to me [even though the speeds at the end seem somewhat exaggerated, but that does nothing at all to damage the narrative or message].
The one part I do not really know what to make of the teased "guest appearance" toward the end of the story. It is not to say that it is bad or even problematic, I just would never have expected it!
"Sun of China" offers a unique (to Western readers) Chinese perspective well worth the read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely April 6, 2012
By eyduck
Format:Kindle Edition
Just a sweet little story with such a simple, hopeful message. I thought the author's voice was gorgeous and rich. Very well done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a double exile December 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As a Chinese reader of Liu's most works,it's more than happy to see Liu's works finally find their way to the English rendition. Though it is a pity that his masterpiece "The Three-Body" has not been translated, I believe the publisher must already have a plan on going as the book will definitely be worh more time and care put into it.

That being said, reding this novella of Liu's in English is a refreshing experience. Probably out of a de-familiarizing effect of the English language, the Chinese context or backdrop of the story gains a crisper contour to deepen the contrast not only of east and west or scientists and farmers, but more of country and city, land and space, pragmatism and idealism, and a temporal magnitude almost beyond imagination and time on earth.

On the other hand, the science part of the story seems to find no better place than in its English equivalent as it exerts quite a de-familiarizing effect in its Chinese original. Always embedded deeply in the Chinese condition past or present, Liu's works often show this magic of double de-famliarization whose force probably cannot fully displayed until they are read in two languages, a language of science and a language of storytelling and lyricism.

This situatuion, though felicitous to some extent, spells out the fact that writing science fiction as a literry genre in Chinese is likely a far more demanding and challenging task than writing general literature as the latter is in no lack of a solid tradition in Chinese history. Enjoyble to read, Liu's works in a way exemplify the fate of Chinese science fiction being always in a double exile, from both Chinese and western linguistico-generic constitutions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Different March 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is short, but if you stick with it (and by that I mean it's a little difficult at first) you'll be rewarded with a powerful experience. I'm very glad I didn't give in after the first few pages but instead decided to "stay with" the story. It takes off into powerfully different areas of meaning and I highly recommend reading SUN OF CHINA; it is definitely worth the effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect and beautiful story December 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sun of China is a beautifully told, simple story about a simple man, learning to dream and through humility and an open soul, to fulfill his dreams and bring about the fulfillment of the dreams of an entire people, and finally, of his entire race. Cixin Liu has had several stories available on Amazon recently and I am becoming a fan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well done SciFi February 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my second book to read from this author, and I am impressed! There is a very humanist element in the storytelling, coupled with very plausible science that just sucks you in. All that, and it's a translation from the Chinese original! Hen hao! I am certainly going to read more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for 'Sun of China'. September 5, 2013
By Colibri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'Sun of China' is the first book I have read by Liu Cixin.
I read it in one sitting and I advise anyone who starts this story, to do likewise so as not to lose the thread.
The story of Ah Quan takes him from his simple, parent's home, through various humble jobs as he seeks to better his earnings.
Along the way he meets Lui Hai, who reveals his invention of a special material, which he uses as a boiler by using the sun's heat.
Ah Quan and Lui Hai part when they reach Beijin only to meet again by chance when Quan is working as a 'spider-man', cleaning windows on skyscraper buildings.
Lui has a fabulous office in the building. He invites Quan to visit him and shows him the project for The China Sun, to be built with an eleven-thousand five-hundred-square-mile-mirror. Quan is offered a well-paid job as a 'Mirror Farmer', along with a number of simple, unread youths like himself, to keep the sun free from misting caused by space particles.
From here on, the book deals with physics and cosmology, and the fantastic use of the China sun to better the climate.
Ah Quan is reluctant to leave the China Sun once the mission is completed, and where he spent twenty years of his youth.
Read the story to discover what is his ultimate decision.
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More About the Author

Liu Cixin, born in June 1963, is a representative of the new generation of Chinese science fiction authors and recognized as a leading voice in Chinese science fiction. His works have received wide acclaim on account of their powerful atmosphere and brilliant imagination. Liu Cixin's stories successfully combine the exceedingly ephemeral with hard reality, all the while focussing on revealing the essence and aesthetics of science. He has endeavoured to create a distinctly Chinese style of science fiction. Liu Cixin is a member of the China Science Writers' Association and the Shanxi Writers' Association. He was awarded the China Galaxy Science Fiction Award for eight consecutive years, from 1999 to 2006 and again in 2010. He received the Nebula (Xingyun) Award in both 2010 and 2011.

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