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Will Liu Cixin become the next popular SF author in the English speaking world?

2012-06-01 10:10 | Category: news and reports | Tags: ,

It was not by chance for us to be the first publisher of translating Liu Cixin’s works into English, but a continus pursue of the company to bring the best Chinese fictions. I guess most of the members in this forum already read his novels in Chinese. Discussions about if the author can be as popular as in China around the English speaking world were many among the team, when we considered who is the right person to be translated. And the process from getting to know this writer to finally publishing his novellas on amazon was like a Marathon race.

As a new publisher and junior science fiction fan, I have little qualification to take a guess about this, especially in such a professional SF discussion forum. I am only a newbie and follower in this field. But the whole team of Guomi has great emthusiasm on Liu’s works, from the translator to editor, and cover designer, etc. So allow me to ask this question for them. And we do hope we can receive some suggestions from you experts, if Daliu’s works are good enough to be popular in the English speaking world? If yes, what’s main reason that the western audience would accept his works? If not, how about the core issues that may be influencing the final result? Damien Walter, a column writer of The Guardian in England commented that Liu’s works aroused his memories of the golden classic SF period. This is the highest praise we got until now. If you are interested, find the complete article here:

Is Science Fiction Literature’s First International Language?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/apr/27/science-fiction-literature-international

All published 6 novellas by us of

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Liu Cixin (another four to be added) are here:

The Wandering Earth

Devourer

The Micro-Age

Sun of China

Mountain

Of Ants and Dinosaurs

And we chose some other reviews from ordinary readers for your reference:

4.0 out of 5 stars Moving the Earth, one story at a time March 20, 2012 By Angelika

I for the most part don”t read much science fiction, but this story caught my eye and I am very happy that it did. What I enjoyed most about the story was the world which the author creates, and moves! The sheer scale of the technology and imagination really made it a fun read for me.
The language is vivid and flows nicely. It does a great job at capturing the many world-shaking events that are the heart of this story.

While the story is universal enough parts of it do seem to have a unique Chinese colouring to them, especially in the characters interactions with the government and regulations of the world.
My only point of concern was the characters, for my taste there was just a bit too little space devoted to their development and interactions.
Overall I really enjoyed this story and heartily recommend it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 29, 2012 By Victoria

i was quite impressed by this book. The storyline is intriguing to say the least-main character grows up in the future where our Sun is about to enter a red giant phase and the prospect of human race surviving looks grim. The goverments comes up with a solution to save the Earth by moving it away to a nearest star system. The whole, fairly short novel, speaks from a young boy point of view who grows up in subterranian Earth to witness horrible earthquakes, tidal waves and rogue asteroids that eventually make an Earth a barren landscape. Writer”s descriptions of people are lacking while he does absolutely superb job of describing future technology and landscapes. All in all, I read this book in one afternoon, it was that good. If you like Sci-fi, you need to read this.

3.0 out of 5 stars

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Very creative, a bit rushed, March 25, 2012 By Wulfrunner

This novella allows you to take a ride with the author”s imagination

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as it crosses the stars in a monumental and original arc. It is an extremely creative and mostly realistic story. Some sections are very well woven, with elegant and moving descriptions; unfortunately, most of it is rushed and poorly developed. The science suffers the same fate, with some concepts well grounded and others both fantastic and confusing. It feels as though the author had a bunch of great ideas and got them out as fast as possible, quickly moving from one scenario to another without taking the time to polish and intertwine each one. There are literally dozens of fascinating and complex stories summarized in single paragraphs. I am disappointed that the author, who seems imaginative and talented, did not take the time to fully develop this story. There are elements of poetry, romance, action, and drama sprinkled throughout the book; however, while the writing is technically good, editing for consistency and completeness could have improved it immensely.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hard SF April 23, 2012 By Elias Fernandez-Combarro Alvarez

Over the weekend I had the chance of finishing reading Mountain and I can only say that my mind was blown away. This is one of the best novellas I”ve read in a long time.

As in “Taking Care of God” the plot revolves around the first contact of humankind with an alien race. However, in Mountain the focus is on the mystery surrounding the aliens and the history of their civilization. In less than 50 pages, the author manages to develop a complete (and amazing) cosmology and introduces more ideas than other authors in 500 pages novels.

Cixin”s Mountain is somehow similar in theme and tone to “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (one of my favorite short stories ever) with the best parts of Incadescence by Greg Egan added in for good measure. Some scenes even reminded me of Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon. Not a bad combination, is it?

Though Mountain is quite a different kind of story, closer to modern hard SF, there are some similarities with “Taking Care of God”, especially in the underlying philosophy: both are recounts of the struggles that intelligent species have to face to survive in the Universe and both give a message of hope in spite of these difficulties.

Cixin”s prose is fairly simple and functional and he relies maybe a bit too heavily on dialog and infodumps. However, it doesn”t detract from the reading experience or from the overall enjoyment of the story.

All considered, Mountain is an excellent novella which reminds me why I love science fiction of ideas so much. If you like short fiction by authors such as Chiang and Egan I strongly recommend that you give Mountain a try. You won”t regret it.

We would like to provide free books for any comment on Daliu’s English version. Please leave a message here or throw me an email to hotinchina@126.com

Thanks for reading this post! And comments are cheerly welcome!

Verbena C.W.

 

Guomi Digital Technology is a publishing house based in Beijing China. The company was founded in 2010 to bring the best of contemporary Chinese literature to international readers across the English-speaking world. Together, the founders have over 10 year experience in the publishing industry. Current titles from Guomi Digital Technology are available for purchase through Kindle and iPad E-readers. The mission of the company is to bring the best Chinese books to global audience, and at the same time, good foreign books to Chinese readers. Another idea is to connect together as many authors as possible to communicate on writing skills, marketing perspectives, and copyright protection. We have a social network for writers in China, which appeals to both published authors and rookies, to discuss professional questions and have fun together. Verbena C.W. Editor-in-Chief Dark Prospects by Xu Lei The Wandering Earth, Devourer, The Micro-Age, Mountain, Of Ants and Dinosaurs, Sun of China by Liu Cixin

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