Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coming of the Light, by Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu)

Clarkesworld Magazine, March 2015; 8,399 words
Rating: 4, Recommended  Recommended By:  Locus SFRevu:4

Zhou is an ad man for a Chinese marketing firm, and he has to find a way to get people to buy a new photo technology that has unusual capabilities.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: We liked the idea that the universe is a video game and most of us are NPCs. The irony that the "neo luddite" wife manages to destroy the universe by getting Zhou to neglect his "duty" as an NPC is cute. Little details are nice as well: the eight chapters (numbered in binary), corresponding to 8 as a lucky number.

Much of the humor in the story survives translation. (E.g. the third-generation Christian hiding in a Buddhist temple, or Lao Xu thinking that Mr. Wan is short on cash because he invites others to contribute to his animal-release gesture.)

Regina Kanyu Wang read the translation and the Chinese original for her review in Amazing Stories.

Con: Ending the story with the end of the world is a bit over-the-top. 

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)