9780812508925 / 0812508920

China Mountain Zhang


Publisher:Tor Books


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About the book:

This debut SF novel won several awards, because it's finely written, warmly characterised and refreshingly different. 22nd-century Earth is run by China (still officially Marxist), and our hero Zhang is one of many people who need to exploit the cracks in the system. Good news: he looks Chinese, now a plus point for getting construction work in New York. Bad news: being half Spanish, he daren't risk racist gene testing, and being gay, he's embarrassed by his Chinese foreman's hope of marrying off an ugly daughter. In further episodes he survives the long winter night at a frozen Baffin Island research station, plays illicit virtual-reality games, studies organic architecture in Beijing, teaches an unconventional college class, and more. Meanwhile there are sidebar chapters about the fascinating people whose lives touch Zhang's. One is a flyer, neurally linked to her silk kite--a descendant of today's hang-glider--and competing in death-defying races above Greenwich Village. Two more are struggling colonists on Mars, and the foreman's daughter is likewise a deeply human being with her own story. No one overthrows the government; no one saves the world. With charm, wit, and carefully layered plausibility, Zhang and his friends get along somehow, and find more elbow-room in the system than they expected. Richly intelligent SF. --David Langford

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