Broken Stars (Book Review)

Broken Stars is an anthology of short stories by different Chinese writers. They are collected by Ken Liu (an awesome writer in his own right). I can’t say that I enjoyed every story as much, but there are some really innovative ones in there.

I don’t have the best mental map of Chinese history (but do know some things), so a lot of the subtle hints when using historic rulers/periods do get lost on me.

And I think I like sci-fi that plays with concepts (e.g. time) more than those that incorporate too much historic or today’s concepts.

The stories are:

  • Goodnight, Melancholy (Turing is featured heavily, makes me think of Machines Like Me)
  • Moonlight
  • Broken Stars
  • Submarines
  • Salinger and the Koreans
  • Under a Dangling Sky
  • What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear (heavy, good)
  • The New Year Train (good moral/end-note)*
  • The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales (interesting, very good sci-fi and medieval mix)
  • The Snow of Jingyang
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge
  • The First Emperor’s Games
  • Reflection (good idea about seeing time flow backward)
  • The Brain Box
  • Coming of the Light
  • A History of Future Illnesses

*”I’ts simple when you put it like that right? What doesn’t make sense to me is this: lots of times, when the starting point and the destination are fixed – say, birth and death – why do most people rush towards the end?

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