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Vagabonds
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
A century after the Martian war of independence, a group of kids are sent to Earth as delegates from Mars, but when they return home, they are caught between the two worlds, unable to reconcile the beauty and culture of Mars with their experiences on Earth in this spellbinding novel from Hugo Awardwinning author Hao Jingfang. This genre-bending novel is set on Earth in the wake of a second civil warnot between two factions in one nation, but two factions in one solar system: Mars and Earth. In an attempt to repair increasing tensions, the colonies of Mars send a group of young people to live on Earth to help reconcile humanity. But the group finds itself with no real home, no friends, and fractured allegiances as they struggle to find a sense of community and identity, trapped between two worlds. Fans of Kazuo Ishiguros Never Let Me Go and Naomi Aldermans The Power will fall in love with this novel about lost innocence, an uncertain future, and never feeling at home, no matter where you are in the universe. Translated by Ken Liu, bestselling author of The Paper Menagerie and translator of Cixin Lius The Three-Body Problem, Vagabonds is the first novel from Hao Jingfang, the first Chinese woman to ever win the esteemed Hugo Award.
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ChaoticMissAdventures
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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Librariana Oh my gosh!! Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is also on my list! 😁😊 And I have no idea how I could've spaced it and forgotten about 3mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @Librariana trying to get through my backlog of BOTM books! 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
Librariana @ChaoticMissAdventures - smart strategy! 😊 And you inspired me to go tweak my list a little! Removed some titles, added The Cartographers, La Hacienda, and Olga Dies Dreaming in their place 😁 3mo
20 likes4 comments
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Mogoeg
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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Pickpick

A pick, but will not be for everyone. A sprawling & intricate exploration of structure vs agency & communalism vs individualism. It meanders, but is also quite compelling. At heart, however, this book is a reflection & meditation on contemporary China - the bewildering future facing younger generations & the inevitability of history repeating itself. Without that specific national context as a lens for the reader, the book would lose all focus.

Mogoeg The end - I have to say - is pretty tense and compelling. It sure takes a roundabout route to get there however! (edited) 2y
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Mogoeg
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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Still enjoying Vagabonds! As I was reading I was reminded of Le Guin's 'The Dispossessed' in terms of the structure & themes of the book. That led me down an internet rabbit hole, where I stumbled on this fascinating article (link in comments).

I teach a Youth & Pop Culture in Asia class & use some of Liu's short story & essay translations - I'm really grateful that he has been so active in bringing Chinese Sci Fi to English-speaking readers.

Christine What a great course to teach! In what discipline/department is it located? 2y
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Jaimelire I‘ve never read Chinese sci-fi. Anything you recommend to start with? 2y
Mogoeg @Christine - thanks! I really love it, it is my favorite class I have developed. The students seem to enjoy it as well as a lot of the discussion/content is driven by their interests. It is in the International Studies Dept. for Portland State University 2y
Mogoeg Hi @Jaimelire ! Do you read a lot of SciFi? Even if you do I would probably recommend starting with the short fiction anthology of recent work - translated by Ken Liu called 'Broken Stars' - I think he has a new anthology coming out too. (edited) 2y
Jaimelire @Mogoeg I do read a bit of sci-fi. My teenage son got me interested. I will try your suggestion. Thanks🙂 2y
Christine Very cool, thanks for sharing! I teach sociology, and I know many of my students would love a course like this. 🙂 2y
Mogoeg @Chistine that‘s so cool! I know that Litsy doesn‘t have DMs but let me know if you want an email address- I‘d be happy to exchange syllabi‘s!! (edited) 2y
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Mogoeg
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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I‘ve wanted to read this for a long time & I‘m so glad it has been translated! Like the other contemporary Chinese science fiction I have read recently, it is very much idea-driven & self-consciously intellectual in tone & style. The above passage is representative of what the reader can expect. So far, I find this tendency intriguing rather than off-putting & I‘m eager to see where the author takes her characters.

Mogoeg I also recommend this interesting (short) interview with the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyhHafbqM6U 2y
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Smrloomis
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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These are my Tailored Book Recommendations from Bookriot and they all look good. I hope to get to at least one of them soon 😍😍😍

Ruthiella I really liked Britt Bennett‘s debut The Mothers and am excited to try her follow up.😀 3y
Smrloomis @Ruthiella a lot of people liked The Mothers and I still haven‘t gotten around to it. Maybe I‘ll read this one first 🤞🏽 3y
60 likes2 comments
review
QuintusMarcus
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
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Pickpick

Vagabonds is an extended allegory about the current state of Chinese social development, and Chinese-American relations. Very thoughtful but slow-moving book that is crammed with ideas. The book was interesting, and I‘m glad I read it, but I wouldn‘t rush to recommend it outside of fans of Chinese science fiction, or fans of the amazing translator Ken Liu (effectively the same people).

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lurkykitty
Vagabonds | Hao Jingfang
Pickpick

Vagabonds is set in 2201 when Mars has been colonized and there recently has been a war between Earth and Mars. A group of Martian young people were sent to live on Earth for five years and are now returning to Mars. If you are looking for sci-fi with space ship battles and non-stop action, this is not for you. Vagabonds is for those who love politics and philosophy. It is a beautifully written, introspective and thought provoking book.