Hold Up the Sky
Cixin Liu, Various
A Financial Times Book of the Year From the author of The Three-Body Problem, a collection of award-winning short stories – a breath-taking selection of diamond-hard science fiction.
In Hold Up the Sky, Cixin Liu takes us across time and space, from a rural mountain community where elementary students must use physics to prevent an alien invasion; to coal mines in northern China where new technology will either save lives of unleash a fire that will burn for centuries; to a time very much like our own, when superstring computers predict our every move; to 10,000 years in the future, when humanity is finally able to begin anew; to the very collapse of the universe itself.
Written between 1999 and 2017 and never before published in English, these stories came into being during decades of major change in China and will take you across time and space through the eyes of one of science fiction’s most visionary writers.
Experience the limitless and pure joy of Cixin Liu’s writing and imagination in this stunning collection.
Praise for Cixin Liu: ‘Cixin’s trilogy is SF in the grand style, a galaxy-spanning, ideas-rich narrative of invasion and war’ GUARDIAN
‘Wildly imaginative, really interesting … The scope of it was immense’ BARACK OBAMA, 44th President of the United States
‘A unique blend of scientific and philosophical speculation, politics and history, conspiracy theory and cosmology’ GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
‘China’s answer to Arthur C. Clarke’ NEW YORKER
'Mixes deep questions of physics and philosophy with realistic characters and touching relationships. Quirky bits of humour glimmer here and there and an overall sense of optimism prevails. It's another fine collection that I'm grateful to be able to now read in English' * SF Crowsnest * 'A perfect example of a theme that continues throughout the collection and Liu's writing as a whole: the relationship between the smallest moments of everyday life and the unimaginably vast and cosmic ... [Liu's] work perfectly marries the magic and the mundanity of existence' * SFX * 'Cixin Liu's first story collection in English continues to provide the same pleasures found in his award-winning novels: the simultaneous honoring and detournement of classic SF tropes, as filtered through a distinctly non-Western worldview and a quirky set of personal sensibilities. He is at once a radical and a conservative, an optimist and a pessimist, a member of the Old Guard and of the New Wave simultaneously. It's a bracing melange' * Locus Magazine * 'Liu clings determinedly to the idea that the genre can say something useful about the present day. So there is much refreshment to be had in these tales that place ordinary, unaccommodated people up against the genre's favourite concepts: galactic empires! Faustian physics! Timescales long enough to warp the heavens! Most daunting of all the possibility of personal immortality!' * The Times * 'The science may be high-flown and sometimes hard to grasp, but with the cosmic grounded in the commonplace these tales never fail to engage' * Financial Times * 'It affirms Liu as the nerdish, physic-, cosmology- and engineering- obsessed writer who has won many fans among those fond of the 'hard SF' genre' * ArtReview * 'The esteemed Chinese author's second short-story collection grounds high-flying SF speculation in mundane settings and warmly parochial characters. The ideas are big (time travel, first contact with aliens, the end of the universe) but the focus is always on the human element' * Financial Times *
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