Niche recommendation - Chinese sci-fi short story about war?
December 15, 2016 4:01 PM   Subscribe

For a discussion group, I'd like to propose reading some sci-fi outside the US/European tradition. I have some background in Chinese politics, but not Chinese literature and definitely not the newly-emerging sci-fi genre there. I'm aware of sci-fi anthologies like Ken Liu's Invisible Planets and Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy, but I'm hoping someone can recommend a sci-fi short story or novella that's specifically about some aspect of war. War technology, battle strategy, experience on the battlefield, social responses to apocalypse, etc - I'm open to just about anything in that silo.
posted by brozek to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Left field answer - I'd recommend emailing Ken Liu and asking him this question. I went to a talk by him and he was incredibly friendly and receptive to questions, and his website encourages people to contact him:

To contact me about reprints, adaptations, translations, questions, requests (to give talks, judge contests, hold workshops, etc.) or just to chat, please email me at ken [AT]
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:50 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Liu Cixin has also written a collection of short stories called The Wandering Earth, where almost all the stories fit under at least one of your categories.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 4:52 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Year of the Rat 鼠年 by Chen Qiufan 陈楸帆, which has unemployable college graduates drafted in a war against genetically engineered rats, is the closest I can think of in English. It's from 2009, and was translated by Ken Liu for the July/August 2013 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It's in his Invisible Planets.

An earlier Liu Cixin novel, Ball Lightning 球状闪电, will be out in English in August and hits pretty much all of your categories: weapons research, an escalating conflict between China and the US, decision making throughout the military and political hierarchy, and a sort of lingering trauma from the border war with Vietnam in the 80s.
posted by zhwj at 9:24 PM on December 15, 2016

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