martes, 8 de mayo de 2012

Review of The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)   

Review Sountrack: I suggest that you read this review while listening to "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan (Spotify link, Youtube link).
Liu Cixin is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. After reading "Taking Care of God" and Mountain I have now read The Wandering Earth and, again, I am completely amazed. Cixin's imagination is astonishing. The images in his works are absolutely striking. His ability to provoke powerful emotions in the reader, without equal.

In The Wandering Earth, our planet is in extreme danger. The Sun has become unstable and it's been predicted that, in a few years, a helium flash will completely burn all the planets of the solar system. Under the Unity Government, all the nations of Earth have been working for centuries with an only goal: transforming the planet into a giant spaceship and setting it on a thousands-years-long journey in search of a new sun.

At the beginning of this novella, we witness the first phase of this transformation. The Earth Engines, gigantic devices higher than the Everest, have stopped the planet and will soon set it in motion on its interstellar voyage. Throughout The Wandering Earth we experiment these momentous events as seen by a child who has known nothing else: 
I’ve never seen the night, nor seen a star; I’ve seen neither spring, nor fall, nor winter. I was born at the end of the Reining Age, just as the Earth’s rotation was coming to a final halt.
In four chapters and only 50 pages, Liu Cixin manages to tell a wonderful story of struggle and endurance. We see wonders and destruction, marvels and despair. Because these are times of hardness and dire necessity, but also of hope.
In the Pre-Solar Age nobility meant money, power or talent, but now one must only hold to hope. Hope is the gold and the jewels of this age.
I can't recommend The Wandering Earth highly enough. This is science fiction at its best. A tale full of sense of wonder, but also of deep human emotions: melancholy, grief and utter faith in the capability of humanity to overcome even the biggest obstacles.

I confess that, after finishing reading this novella, I had to restrain myself from beginning another Liu Cixin's story. Because there is just one flaw in The Wandering Earth: it is far too short! But I have only three stories by Liu Cixin left (Devourer, The Micro-Age and Sun of China) and I dread the moment when I run out of them. Here's hoping that more of his work gets translated into English. And soon, please!

(You can also read this review in Spanish/También puedes leer esta reseña en español)

2 comentarios:

  1. Wonderful review. Thanks for highlighting & showcasing this author, as well as others on your site. And, your English is absolutely fine. Better than some of the native-speakers around me!

  2. Thanks so much! You'll make me blush... :)