Hot Best Seller

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators

Availability: Ready to download

From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom. Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. Time travel to a winter's day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.


Compare

From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom. Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy. Time travel to a winter's day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.

30 review for The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    The Way Spring Arrives is a fascinating collection of Chinese SFF in translation that also includes several essays from the translators. Everyone who worked on this project is female or non-binary and from the essays we come to understand the major significance of centering female and NB voices in Chinese literature where traditionally they had little to no representation. As with any anthology, some of the stories were stronger than others, though every one of the non-fiction essays was excelle The Way Spring Arrives is a fascinating collection of Chinese SFF in translation that also includes several essays from the translators. Everyone who worked on this project is female or non-binary and from the essays we come to understand the major significance of centering female and NB voices in Chinese literature where traditionally they had little to no representation. As with any anthology, some of the stories were stronger than others, though every one of the non-fiction essays was excellent. Fans of R.F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War might be excited to know that she was one of the translators and has an essay included in the collection. This is well worth your time. Sci-fi stories, fantasy stories, and even some that blend the two, all drawing on different aspects of Chinese culture and history. One of my favorites was about a game designer who is assigned a VR game about taking care of a baby and decides to push his wife to have a real baby so he can use it for research. It was smart, disturbing, and a pointed critique of capitalism. Others were beautiful, haunting, or thought-provoking but I don't want to give anything away. Just read it! I loved essays that explained some of the choices they made in translation and why, because it gives great context to reading those translated stories. The audio narration for this is excellent. I received an audio review copy from NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.4 After enjoying quite a few translated collections of Chinese SFF short stories, I was very very excited for this one since it was first announced. And I was ecstatic when I got the arc to read. This was definitely more fun among all the collections I’ve read before and I loved how we got a mix of genres like hard sci-fi, a bit of fantasy, some contemporary, thoughtful dystopia, a historical lens and even some xianxia influences. I think the only thing I missed was havin Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.4 After enjoying quite a few translated collections of Chinese SFF short stories, I was very very excited for this one since it was first announced. And I was ecstatic when I got the arc to read. This was definitely more fun among all the collections I’ve read before and I loved how we got a mix of genres like hard sci-fi, a bit of fantasy, some contemporary, thoughtful dystopia, a historical lens and even some xianxia influences. I think the only thing I missed was having an out and out wuxia story but that’s just a personal preference. Other than the stories themselves, the idea of a collection of female and non-binary authors and translators is awesome because it gives us a hint of the vast scope of creative works being put out by these amazing authors. The multiple essays we got about the technical and cognitive aspects of translation, both from Chinese to English and vice versa were very illuminating. I also loved getting to know the history of internet novels and it’s influence on works created by women. Overall, this was some excellent time spent and I can only hope I’ll get to read more works by all these creators in the future. Below are my thoughts on the individual stories and essays. The Stars We Raised by Xiu Xinyu Translated by Judy Yi Zhou I’m not sure I got what the story was actually about but I felt a lot of loneliness in it - a lonely boy trying to find some companionship in the stars. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulation by Count E Translated by Mel “etvolare” Lee The story of a fox trying to achieve immortality through cultivation and his troubles as well as relationships with his friends, this was quite fun and entertaining. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What Does the Fox Say by Xia Jia This is not exactly a story but the author’s exploration of language and what might happen if an algorithm attempts to write a story. How the author interprets the algorithm will string its sentences together was fascinating to read about. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Blackbird by Shen Dacheng Translated by Cara Healey Set in a elderly home, this is the story of a young nurse trying to get used to her new job and the oldest woman in the home, refusing to leave the world until she is given no choice. This felt both atmospheric and melancholic, with its very beautiful descriptions. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro by Anna Wu Translated by Carmen Yiling Yan I don’t want to say much about this tale of the rise and fall of a noble, his love for literature and the forever ongoing battle between beauty and fate - except that this was beautifully written and despite being melancholic, I loved it. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Futures of Gender in Chinese Science Fiction by Jing Tsu Interesting essay about Chinese science fiction, it’s historical influences, the growth of authors from marginalized genders and how this changes the way SFF is written and consumed. Baby, I Love You by Zhao Haihong Translated by Elizabeth Hanlon Another fascinating story about parenting, raising children, people’s changing attitudes about having children in this day and age, and what does it take to actually love your child. This was equal parts interesting, heartbreaking and infuriating. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Saccharophilic Earthworm by BaiFanRuShuang Translated by Ru-Ping Chen The story of plants having the ability to experience abs demonstrate emotions and helping their humans understand their own - this was unique and very vivid and imaginative. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Alchemist of Lantian by BaiFanRuShuang Translated by Ru-Ping Chen Told through the POV of an immortal alchemist, we follow his travails and experience his exhaustion of living many lifetimes and suffering humans but I’m glad he gets to help atleast one person. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 The Way Spring Arrives by Wang Nuonuo Translated by Rebecca F. Kuang A story about how earth’s rotations and revolutions work and how seasons change told through the amalgamation of science and fantasy, this was a very lush and vivid tale evoking a lot of beautiful imagery in my head. I truly could feel the arrival of spring and the land coming to life again. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Translation as Retelling: An Approach to translating Gu Shi’s “To Procure Jade” and Ling Chen’s “The Name of the Dragon” by Yilin Wang This is an essay by the author about the next two stories which they have translated and I loved how they explain their process of translation, the choices they’ve made about keeping the original mandarin words vs translating the words, and how much work goes into ensuring the story retains its cultural and mythological context while also not feeling too unfamiliar to an anglophone reader. A perfect essay to be a part of this collection. The Name of the Dragon by Ling Chen Translated by Yilin Wang An enchanting tale told through the POV of a dragon which has been imprisoned by humans for centuries because human’s desire for immortality is never ending and even a powerful creature like a dragon can never satiate all of them. Very anguish invoking tale. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ To Procure Jade by Gu Shi Translated by Yilin Wang Another story where I don’t wanna give anything much but it was super fun and I have to give credit to the main character Deyu for being such a resourceful person as well as having some good luck. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as told in a Sinitic Language by Nian Yu Translated by Ru-Ping Chen A very interesting but also devastating and ruthless tale about the effects of climate change, what lengths humans will go to for survival, anyone else be damned. And I thought the one point which felt extremely realistic was how despite knowing climate change would cause a lot of damage, we would choose to neglect it and destroy our planet. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective by Emily Xueni Jin This was an interesting essay about translation, especially when a word in one language can map to many in another lexicon and the correct translated word to choose becomes a task based on additional context. The author takes an example from the recent movie Mulan and explains the issues that can arise when translating words that may have gendered connotations and how one must be careful with not enforcing stereotypes in such instances. Very informative. Dragonslaying by Shen Yingying Translated by Emily Xueni Jin This story about the age old process of how a dragon like water based creature is tortured and operated upon to change its aesthetic to please humans is brutal to read and just makes you feel revolted at the injustices being committed on the creatures as well as on the families whose occupation this is. Excellent writing though because it’s very vivid but that just makes it more of a difficult read. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ New Year Painting, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, Zhaoqiao Village by Chen Qian Translated by Emily Xueni Jin The story of a young girl who is bullied incessantly but turned into a goddess due to some legend that forms around her after her disappearance. This is also about karma and regret and the innocence of childhood. I found it very haunting and melancholic, but very engaging. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Portrait by Chu Xidao Translated by Gigi Chang I don’t wanna give away the story but just mention that every single word here is enchanting. The descriptions are utterly beautiful and evoke very strong emotions. Just gorgeous writing overall. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Woman Carrying a Corpse by Chi Hui Translated by Judith Huang Unfortunately, I couldn’t make sense what this story was about. Maybe it’s about resilience. Or maybe it’s about the fact that we get into this routine and rut in our life that we forget living and enjoying the life we’ve been given. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 The Mountain and the Secret of their Names by Wang Nuonuo Translated by Rebecca F. Kuang A seamless amalgamation of the devastation caused by satellite launch debris on nearby villages with the rituals of shamanism and the blessings of the ancestors, this story was fascinated and I was hooked all throughout. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Net Novels and the “She Era”: How Internet Novels opened the door for Female Readers and Writers in China by Xueting Christine Ni I was most excited for this essay - one, because I love interacting with the author Christine on Twitter and have been very impress by some of her reviews and critiques on her website; secondly, because this essay topic feels very close to my heart. My journey into cnovel and cdrama fandom began with watching adaptations and reading fan translations of these so-called Net Novels by female authors, so I was very interested to get to know more about this industry. And the author does a great job tracing the history of this way of publishing, how many of these internet authors have succeeded in bypassing traditional publishing gatekeepers, and became very influential in the emergence of more three dimensional female characters across genres. I also ofcourse loved it when Christine mentioned some of the popular internet authors and their works, some of which I knew and had read or watched. The familiarity just makes me feel wonderful. Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks by Rebecca F. Kuang What a way to end this collection. Because the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Chinese American authors is Rebecca and her Poppy War trilogy. And as she talks a lot about her ongoing PhD and the technicalities of translation on Twitter quite a bit, it was interesting to see her expand upon it in this essay. And I love her unique perspective as a diaspora author who’s relationship with both English and Chinese are different, which informs both her original writing as well as translation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    afternoonsunjeans

    rf kuang translated the cover story and contributed an essay and the cover is just drop-dead GORGEOUS. anyways, y'all can have my soul. tor calls this anthology "a collection of Chinese sff, written, edited, & translated by women & nonbinary creators." rf kuang translated the cover story and contributed an essay and the cover is just drop-dead GORGEOUS. anyways, y'all can have my soul. tor calls this anthology "a collection of Chinese sff, written, edited, & translated by women & nonbinary creators."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    We’re getting two different collections of translated short story collections within a single year! What a blessed time to be Chinese diaspora. The Way Spring Arrives covers a broad array of topics, from hard sci-fi stories like ‘A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language’, more traditional xianxia style works like ‘The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulation’, and stories that seamlessly blend the two together. My personal favorites of this collection both fall under the las We’re getting two different collections of translated short story collections within a single year! What a blessed time to be Chinese diaspora. The Way Spring Arrives covers a broad array of topics, from hard sci-fi stories like ‘A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language’, more traditional xianxia style works like ‘The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulation’, and stories that seamlessly blend the two together. My personal favorites of this collection both fall under the last category. ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro’ by Anna Wu, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan crosses the worlds of Douglas Adams with a historical Ming dynasty setting. Initially whimsical, the tone switch to somber reflective piece left me with a surprising feeling of melancholy. The book’s title story, ‘The Way Spring Arrives’ by Wang Nuonuo, translated by Rebecca F Kuang, retells the scientific mechanisms of a seasonal shift from winter to spring, seamlessly integrating the Chinese mythological pantheon. For me, the highlights of this collection weren’t the stories themselves, but the essays on CN->EN (and vice versa) translation, the history of SFF in China (and the rise of webnovels), considerations of gender in translation, and more, spliced between the short stories. For anyone interested in the history and the impact of webnovels in China, Xueting Christine Ni’s essay ‘Net Novels and the ‘She Era’: How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Female Readers and Writers in China” gives a detailed run-through. Since I do heavily read translated CN webnovels, the art of translation and the different considerations translators factor into their work has been an interest of mine and these essays were extremely thought-provoking. One particular quote that really stuck in my mind follows: By staying absolutely true to the stereotypes that such gendered adjectives impose, are we as translators also complicit in reinforcing those stereotypes? Can actively ungendering those gendered adjectives be counted as pushing against gender roles, or is that simply butchering the original text and language? from “Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective” by Emily Xueni Jin Overall, I rate this book a 4.5/5. The Way Spring Arrives encompasses a dazzling array of Chinese Science Fiction, curated and authored by female and non-binary creators, and includes essays giving insight into the history of Chinese SFF and translation processes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tori (InToriLex)

    I won an ARC from the publisher, but this does not impact my review. I'm going to DNF, after pushing myself to keep reading. This collection had some interesting concepts and thought provoking essays. However there are stories I didn't understand, which could be because I'm unfamiliar with Chinese sci-fi literature. This was different then the kind of sci-fi I'm used to reading. Ultimately I couldn't relate to the characters or find something in the writing to make me want to read more. I would r I won an ARC from the publisher, but this does not impact my review. I'm going to DNF, after pushing myself to keep reading. This collection had some interesting concepts and thought provoking essays. However there are stories I didn't understand, which could be because I'm unfamiliar with Chinese sci-fi literature. This was different then the kind of sci-fi I'm used to reading. Ultimately I couldn't relate to the characters or find something in the writing to make me want to read more. I would recommend this for readers who are familiar with Chinese fiction and want to learn more about how it has developed in the past few years.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sookie

    I enjoyed reading this collection, a good mix of contemporary and retelling of classical and folk tales. The essays provide a context to translation, gender evolution and identity. The Stars we raised by Xiu Xinyu, Tr - Judy Yi Zhou: A magical realism telling of stars and their cultivation to star dust. Amidst this short story lies in humility of humans in the vast of unknown, of friendships and the continuing exploitation and commodifying of even the fantastical for a profit. The tale of Wude's I enjoyed reading this collection, a good mix of contemporary and retelling of classical and folk tales. The essays provide a context to translation, gender evolution and identity. The Stars we raised by Xiu Xinyu, Tr - Judy Yi Zhou: A magical realism telling of stars and their cultivation to star dust. Amidst this short story lies in humility of humans in the vast of unknown, of friendships and the continuing exploitation and commodifying of even the fantastical for a profit. The tale of Wude's Heavenly tribulation by Count E, Tr - Mel "etvolare" Lee: A classic story of gods, cultivation and immortality with a slight twist. A very post modern take on fable like story. What does the Fox say? by Xia Jia: Flash fiction about literature and literary merits. may also be a little tongue-in-cheek about criticism that exists about intertextuality. Blackbird by Shen Dacheng, Tr - Cara Healey: Story about life and death, folktales and legends, and a woman's will to just not die. The restaurant at the end of the universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taroby Anna Wu, Tr - Carmen Yiling Yan: This is probably my favorite story in this collection. A great mix of historical and speculative fiction that works well with the setting. The futures of genders in Chinese science fiction by Jing Tsu: An short essay on origins of Chinese science fiction, spaces in world SF stage for marginalized Chinese writers and evolving unique style of mixing classics, wuxia, xianxia genres with western approaches to SF. Baby, I love you by Zhao Haihong, Tr - Elizabeth Hanlon: A man has a child so that he can study the child and create a virtual reality game about raising a child. Its creepy, disturbing and brilliant. A saccharophilic Earthworm by BaiFanRuShuang, Tr - RU-Ping Chen: This was a ride, I had to re-read in multiple sections to grasp what is going on. I am also pretty sure I haven't understood completely what the author intended. Its a good throwback on language of flowers and their impact on culture. The Alchemist of Lantian by BaiFanRuShuang, Tr - RU-Ping Chen: A very ordinary look by an extraordinary being and is very, very irritated. The author hides a lot behind seemingly innocuous words but a boulder sits behind them. The way spring arrives by Wang Nuonuo, Tr - Rebecca F. Kuang: Spring, a time of joy, of new life and all things change brings a bittersweet budding love story to a completion and also starts a new one at the same time. This titular story gives a spin on changing seasons, love, destiny and fate. A lovely read. Translation as Retelling by Yilin Wang: This is a fascinating essay on gender neutral pronoun - ta, meaning he/she/they. While learning, this is what I had learnt also but the author explains how in Mainland China, this pronoun has fallen out of use as gender neutral but is commonly used for "he". There is a phonetic equivalent with a different radical for "she" and with this, "they" has been erased. This essay gives a good precursor to the next two stories translated by the same author. The Name of the Dragon by Ling Chen, Tr - Yilin Wang: What I like about this story lies in its folklore, the idea of greed and misuse of what is useful and keep taking without honoring the boundary of proprietary. But what happens when this overused entity decides to rebel, to revolt and stand up! To procure Jade by Gu Shi, Tr - Yilin Wang: There is a fascinating layer of gender identity and the non-confirmation for either. A brief history of Beinakan disasters as told in a Sinitic language by Nian Yu, Tr - Ru-Ping Chen: One of the most complete stories in the collection that's fantastically speculative and remains so with its mind bending world building and a generational story of survival. Absolutely gorgeous. Is there such a thing as Feminine quietness? A cognitive linguistics perspective by Emily Xueni Jin: In recent times I have read quite a few notes on failing translations (sub titles in case of dramas) from Chinese to English. In certain cases, non gendered words gets translated to a gendered one because in English, it doesn't simply exist. While the language does amplify adjectives with gendered nuances, it becomes important for the language that's translated to, be able to enunciate it as accurately as possible. Dragonslaying by Shen Yingying, Tr - Emily Xueni Jin: A fictional historical account of dragons, kingdoms and adventurers. New year painting, ink and color on rice paper, Zhaoqiao villege by Shen Yingying, Tr - Emily Xueni Jin: Classic story of greed, revenge and horror. The portrait by Chu Xidao, Tr - Gigi Chang: ...why envy the world of men and their plentiful pining.so, so, lovely. The woman carrying a corpse by Chi Hui, Tr - Judith Huang: A fable style story, the metaphors are classics, and the ending, a tad bittersweet. The mountain and the secret of their names by Wang Nuonuo, Tr - Rebecca F. Kuang: Story about family and the legacies that there are. Net novels and the "She Era": How Internet novels opened the door for female readers and writers in China by Xueting Christine Ni: As someone who deep dived into Chinese drama after watching adaptation of a web novel, this essay shines a light on web novel history and the influence it has on contemporary Chinese entertainment and its culture. There is a degree of rebelliousness as a lot of them are published anonymously, exploring sexuality and gender, and influencing diverse conversations. Writing and Translation: A hundred technical tricks by Rebecca F. Kuang: Works as a great final word.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    Y’ALL.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tilly

    *ARC received in exchange for an honest review* This is a brilliant collection of short stories and essays, unlike anything I’ve read before. I was drawn to the stunning cover and incredible subtitle (a visionary team of female and non-binary creators, heck yes!!), and having previously only read one of the authors, R.F. Kuang, I was excited to discover some new contemporary fantasy/sci-fi writers. Throughout the 22 chapters, I was taken on poignant and existential journeys through new planets an *ARC received in exchange for an honest review* This is a brilliant collection of short stories and essays, unlike anything I’ve read before. I was drawn to the stunning cover and incredible subtitle (a visionary team of female and non-binary creators, heck yes!!), and having previously only read one of the authors, R.F. Kuang, I was excited to discover some new contemporary fantasy/sci-fi writers. Throughout the 22 chapters, I was taken on poignant and existential journeys through new planets and parallel timelines and the lands of the gods, experiencing heartbreak and wonder and magic along with the characters. I also emerged with a whole new appreciation for literary translators and the intricacies of gender and genre in Chinese literature after reading the five thoughtful essays included in the collection. I love reading short stories and I tend to prolong the experience, enjoying just one or two at a time and really letting them sit with me. I’ll be thinking about the stories in this collection for a long time. Thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jackie ϟ Bookseller

    I enjoyed every story and essay in this collection. Full RTC

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    4.5 stars ROUNDED UP ASIAN FEMALE AND NONBINARY CREATORS ARE THE RIGHTFUL HEIRS TO THE SCI-FI/FANTASY THRONE. THE WAY SPRING ARRIVES IS THEIR CORONATION CEREMONY. Thank you to all the folks who contributed to this collection of short stories and essays. As part of the Asian diaspora, this is the kind of book I demand more of and find the greatest joy in reading. My notes on each short story/essay: The Stars We Raise: - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 - Captivating and strangely beautiful. Baby star-creatures that grow in 4.5 stars ROUNDED UP ASIAN FEMALE AND NONBINARY CREATORS ARE THE RIGHTFUL HEIRS TO THE SCI-FI/FANTASY THRONE. THE WAY SPRING ARRIVES IS THEIR CORONATION CEREMONY. Thank you to all the folks who contributed to this collection of short stories and essays. As part of the Asian diaspora, this is the kind of book I demand more of and find the greatest joy in reading. My notes on each short story/essay: The Stars We Raise: - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 - Captivating and strangely beautiful. Baby star-creatures that grow into something ugly and nearly lifeless. What is their purpose? Can they learn, understand, think? What relationship can a person really have with something so unknown? The Tale of Wude's Heavenly Tribulation: - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Shape-shifting, heavenly tribulations, mischievous, deceptive ghosts, inter-species friendships. - "Addressing it to the 'Assorted Deities Under the Banner of the Venerated Celestial Who Disseminates the Sound of Thunder of the Primordials in the Nine Heavens' will suffice." is the best quote lol What Does the Fox Say? - ⭐⭐⭐.75 - a short and interesting musing about how stories are created, and a contemplation on how AI might function in creating a meaningful or sensible story. - the resulting story was actually really cool to read. The author's note at the end was thought-provoking Blackbird - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Although this story was mostly rather mundane and existentially drab, I found it engaging. So descriptively visual that it made me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable. I love this style of writing. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro -⭐⭐⭐.5 - An oddity. Time travelling mashed taro, alternate realities, etc. The Futures of Gender in Chinese Science Fiction - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Baby, I Love You - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 - VERY strange, uncomfortable, awkward, and served kind of deadpan. - Can technology give us something better than reality? - Is it possible to feel more for a simulation than the real thing? - Does parental instinct exist? The Saccharophilic Earthworm - ⭐⭐ - Performing plants, a woman with forgotten dreams, and a love with forgotten warmth The Alchemist of Lantian - ⭐⭐⭐.5 The Way Spring Arrives - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 - "He needed to spend sixteen thousand years, experiencing the same thing sixteen thousand times, to see clearly what love was. Only then could he grow the heart of a human." - Beautifully told. Loved this story. Translation as Retelling - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 - What a fascinating glimpse into the world of storytelling in translation. - Translations as a form of retelling. This highlights the specific ways in which a translator must consider the text they are translating - from the voice of the narrative, to gender pronouns (or lackthereof), to untranslatable cultural and mythical allusions, etc. - Non-binary characters in Ancient Chinese tales may have been erased because of the loss of / changing meaning of gender-neutral pronouns. The Name of The Dragon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Humans are assholes that take advantage of and destroy even the greatest and most powerful that nature has to offer. - You really shouldn't fuck with dragons. Procure Jade - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - a little grammatical misunderstanding leads to a wild goose chase for a spring of immortality, but a lowly Eunuch happens upon a strange metal fish that has a thirst for ghost blood 🙃 A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language - ⭐⭐⭐.75 - gave me post-environmental-apocalyptic existential anxiety AND space travel anxiety so that was fun - wtf is out there in space, man?! Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? Cognitive Linguistics Perspectives - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - another insightful essay regarding the intricacies and difficulties of translation. - an a monolingual (😔) person, I am vastly unaware these big linguistic questions that face most, if not all, translators - the issue of different languages having single lexical terms versus "equivalence clusters" of different words under the same semantic umbrella ("quiet" because the term most prominently addressed in this essay) - the issue of often not being able to maintain similar structurally formed equivalent sentences in translation creates more cognitive effort to restructure and reproduce meanings in a target language - also how language can both gender or un-gender its subject and how translators consider stereotyping and reinforcing stereotypes through their work. Dragonslaying: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25 - nothing to do with dragons but a lot to do with slaying the majority of a single species over the course of hundreds of years via medical transformation and somewhat unintentional extermination? - Dark, and only got darker near the end. - Truly terrible. A shout out to all the horrible things humans are willing to do to cause harm in the name of fulfilling human desires. New Year Painting, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, Zhaoqiao Village - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - A story of the pain caused by bullying, a blessed and cursed painting, justice, and revenge. The Portrait - ⭐⭐⭐ - weird The Woman Carrying a Corpse - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Mountain and the Secret of Their Names - ⭐⭐⭐.75 - What's more powerful: a rocket, an algorithm, or a mountain infused with the secrets of innumerable ancestors? Net Novels and the "She Era": How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Female Readers and Writers in China - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - the internet created a platform by which female creators could transcend barriers such as patriarchal standards in the publishing industry, in order to reach an audience and have their work judged purely for its merit rather than for its author's gender. - The rise of smartphones allowed for even more access to this space by female authors and readers alike. It also made comfortable, convenient consumption of these works, thus growing the internet novel industry even further. - without publishers mediating between them, readers and authors became more connected than ever - Women's internet lit broke taboos around sex, female desire, pleasure, the female body, queerness, etc - female net authors have not only shifted the gatekeeping of the publishing industry in China, but have also helps shift societal understandings and representations of women even in male-written works. Writing and Translation: a Hundred Technical Tricks ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - "When moving between languages also involves moving between worlds, perhaps it helps that the translators, too, are people who are used to being on the outside, who are used to navigateing hidden spaces, and who are familiar with the challenge of making themselves understood."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jordan (Forever Lost in Literature)

    Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature! The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators is an imaginative and incredibly creative collection of stories from a fantastic array of Chinese authors. This is a magical, enlightening, and entertaining collection of stories that have so much heart in them and that are simply filled to the brim with imagination. Since there are so ma Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature! The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators is an imaginative and incredibly creative collection of stories from a fantastic array of Chinese authors. This is a magical, enlightening, and entertaining collection of stories that have so much heart in them and that are simply filled to the brim with imagination. Since there are so many stories in this collection, I’ll share my thoughts on a few of my favorites below. “The Stars We Raised” by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Judy Yi Zhou: “The Stars We Raised” is the opening story of this collection and I think it was a perfect way to start this collection. It evoked a lot of different emotions from me, from awe to intrigue to even a bit of a melancholy air, and it had such a great sense of imagination that I think captured something really special. “Blackbird” by Shen Dacheng, translated by Cara Healey: This was a rather melancholy and somewhat eerie story that I found myself particularly captivated by. This one features a modern setting in an elderly home and is about a young nurse and an elderly woman, the latter of which is not quite ready to move on from life just yet. I thought this one was exceptionally thought-provoking. “The Way Spring Arrives” by Wang Nuonuo, translated by R.F. Kuang: This titular story was a beautiful story about the ways in which the earth rotates and how the seasons are changed throughout the year. I think this was a great choice for the title of this collection because it really evoked a sense of freshness that fits well for both the upcoming season and the creativity of this collection. “The Portrait” by Chu Xidao, translated by Gigi Chang: This was such an incredibly beautifully written and translated story. The story itself was not necessarily my favorite, but the writing was so elegant and delicately crafted that I couldn’t drag myself away from it. “The Woman Carrying a Corpse” by Chi Hui, translated by Judith Huang: This story is about exactly what the title says: a woman carrying a corpse. We encounter a variety of different people that the woman meets on her travels and all of the questions they ask her about the corpse. This is probably one of “weirdest” stories, and I can’t say I know the exact theme or message it was meant to be, but I still feel like I got a lot from this woman’s journey. Definitely an odd one, but one whose format I enjoyed as much as I did the content. There are a couple essays sprinkled throughout as well, such as “Translation as Retelling” and “The Future of Gender in Chinese Science Fiction.” I thought these essays were really well written and fascinating/informative and appreciated their inclusion. My only sort of problem is that they felt fairly randomly included and I think made the transition from short story to essay a bit choppy and didn’t flow all that well. This is a large collection with over 15 stories, so it’s well worth the read and sure to have at least a couple stories to your taste! Overall, I’ve given The Way Spring Arrives 4 stars. *I received a copy of The Way Spring Arrives courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    4.5 STARS General thoughts first, content warnings are included in each short story or essay's mini review. This anthology includes stories about so many different themes and topics, so many different approaches to story telling and accentuating various aspects. I'm sure there is something for everybody within this collection, which also includes some very insightful essays on translation and female and nonbinary Chinese writers in general. A few stories were inspired by folklore and Chinese myth 4.5 STARS General thoughts first, content warnings are included in each short story or essay's mini review. This anthology includes stories about so many different themes and topics, so many different approaches to story telling and accentuating various aspects. I'm sure there is something for everybody within this collection, which also includes some very insightful essays on translation and female and nonbinary Chinese writers in general. A few stories were inspired by folklore and Chinese mythology, others by Chinese history and some focused more on the human experience, embedded in Chinese culture which gave it a lot more specific meaning. If anyone is worried about picking this up because there is a feeling of apprehension of not understanding the stories because of their cultural context or anything, I can only encourage you to give it a try. To me, many of the story ideas and themes were very innovative and I immensely enjoyed diving into each new story. The essays are an additional delight, I loved the insights of the translators, being interested in translation myself, and enjoyed learning about the impact a maybe not so perfect translation can have on people. Following are mini-reviews on every short story and essay in this collection including content warnings! The Stars We Raised (逃跑星辰) by Xiu Xinyu 修新羽, Translated by Judy Yi Zhou 周易 CW: bullying, mention of suicide, blood This story touches on multiple themes: growing up and power structures among children in connection with bullying, as well as the change of one’s perspective on life and events when getting older. There was also an aspect of human’s relationship with nature and how we exploit it in any way possible. People in this story very quickly gave up trying to communicate or understand the stars, understand where they came from and maybe even what they want but instead began using their ground up remains as cement additive. It wasn’t even mentioned whether or not that made any sort of difference or was in any way, shape or form different from regular cement. I also really enjoyed the stark contrast between what happened in the village and life in the countryside that was shown where the stars play an integral part of day-to-day life and people in the city who have no connection to the phenomenon at all. The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulations (五德渡劫记) by Count E (E 伯爵), Translated by Mel “etvolare” Lee light CW for: violence, burned bodies This one read like a story from mythology and while I’m familiar with the concept of spirits and gods in Chinese mythology, I’m not sure how much of this is actually rooted in actual stories. I really enjoyed it either way, it is a story about the search for identity and belonging as well as proving oneself. It is very magical full of animal spirits and ghosts and gods. I also really loved the ending. What Does the Fox Say? 狐狸说什么? By Xia Jia 夏笳 CW: none This essay was an interesting exploration of story structures, linguistics and intertextuality as well as artificial intelligence. In the author’s note, Xia Jia explains what it feels like to write a text in a secondary language which I could definitely identify with. There is a lot of word associations and sometimes when you think you’ve come up with a great way to phrase a sentence, you eventually realize it was inspired by someone else’s work. Blackbird 黑鸟 by Shen Dacheng 沈大成, Translated by Cara Healey 贺可嘉 CW: mention of sexual harassment, mention of death, mention of terminal illnesses A very simple and serene story about something not-quite-natural. I did enjoy it but so far has definitely been my least favorite story in this collection. It ended very abruptly, too, in my opinion and although it gives incentive to think upon what one has read, I really wish there would have been some more reflection and discussion in the text itself about what it means for Mrs. An to “refuse”. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro 宇宙尽头的餐馆之太极芋泥 by Anna Wu 吴霜, Translated by Carmen Yiling Yan 言一零 CW: none Beginning with a scene referencing one of the great works of science fiction (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), a story involving time travel, Chinese dynasties and a restaurant at the end of the world unfurls. I absolutely loved it! I immensely enjoyed the time travel aspect, albeit in a more passive role. The changes in POV made this very fast-paced, although it is not action-packed in any way. The Futures of Genders in Chinese Science Fiction by Jing Tsu 石静远 CW: none An impressive essay in which the author characterizes and criticizes the limitations of the terms “gender” and “genre” and recounts how Chinese science fiction has developed and which different approaches to the genre female and nonbinary authors take. I really loved the author’s insights and was especially intrigued by what was mentioned as one of the first works of Chinese science fiction “Nüwa shi” or The Stone of Goddess Nüwa, which I will probably have no luck finding in English… I also really liked how the author pointed out the intersectionality of the entire genre and also made a point in differentiating between works written about women and nonbinary people and works written by them. Baby, I Love You 宝贝宝贝我爱你 by Zhao Haihong 赵海虹, Translated by Elizabeth Hanlon 韩恩立 CW: mention of speciesism, blackmail, manipulation Zhao Haihong skillfully brought multiple issues together in this story and I thought it was brilliant! There are so many different angles one could potentially think about: technology and its impact on humanity and out social lives, the somewhat persisting belief that having children is the norm, the question of whether or not to give up one’s career in favor of raising kids. This story was so creative and I really liked how many different topics it touched upon, I’m deeply impressed! A Saccharophilic Earthworm 嗜糖蚯蚓 by BaiFanRuShuang白饭如霜, Translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 CW: life-changing injury This story is like a lush garden and it only comes full circle with the title in the very last paragraph. Flora was going to be a director for stage productions but she got in an accident and now has to make do with directing the flowers in her apartment. My favorite aspect of this story was definitely Qiao and his changing attitude towards Flora and the plants. I’m intrigued by the sacchrophilic earthworm though, I wish there was more about them in the story. The Alchemist of Lantian 蓝田半人 by BaiFanRuShuang白饭如霜, Translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 CW: mention of terminal illness The protagonist faces a dilemma of remaining the way they were meant to be, distant and unemotional, and using their power to help someone. I perked up at the mention of Xi’an and Qin Shi Huang. The story is quite short but I really loved what we got. The writing style was also much more personal than the other stories so far. The Way Spring Arrives 春天来临的方式 by Wang Nuonuo 王诺诺, Translated by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 CW: mention of terminal illness The titular short story of this collection certainly does not disappoint! I’m sure a lot of what happens in this story is inspired by Chinese mythology in some way or another. I especially loved the connection between Xiaoqing and Goumang and the giant fish, as well as the thought of these “gods” or rather beings responsible for the seasons living together in a village. I also really loved the lore of this story with the axis of the earth, the gear at its center and the journey Xiaoqing and Goumang go on, as well as how there is a certain cycle to how these things go. Translation as Retelling: An Approach to Translating Gu Shi’s “To Procure Jade” and Ling Chen’s “The Name of the Dragon” by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 CW: none Another impressive essay that talks about the challenges in translating stories that are based on folklore and myth. I have always been intrigued by the process of translating literature and I know Chinese literature has a long tradition, there are usually a plethora of intertextual references and that word plays in Chinese are incredibly hard to translate without explanations. I might actually come back to this essay eventually as I’m taking a course about translation studies this semester. My favorite part of the essay was the author elaborating about the use of pronouns in Chinese and how they only became gendered very recently at the beginning of the 20th century. The Name of the Dragon 应龙 by Ling Chen 凌晨, Translated by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 CW: slavery, violence, death, beheading This story about the dragon Yinglong is framed by two humans finding a vase with the picture of the dragon on it. I loved the contrast between the writing styles of both story levels. This also depicts dragons not as majestic, powerful entities but rather as Yinglong being enslaved by humans and used for their gains and advantages. That is until eventually the dragon has had enough. To Procure Jade 得玉 by Gu Shi 顾适, Translated by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 CW: blood, death, violence This was a delightful story, and with the knowledge of how the translator went about translating this even more so to me! I also had some background knowledge about Chinese history and was familiar with Empress Dowager Cixi and I also know some Chinese which made me appreciate the word play even more! A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language 衡平公式 by Nian Yu 念语, Translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 CW: natural disaster, death, mention of genocide This mirrors so many issues humanity is currently confronted with but frames them in an entirely new narrative and it was absolutely brilliant! It’s a story about shortsightedness and ignorance, the unending belief of a people to be better than others and acting according to that belief. It’s also a story about scientific prowess, learning from the past and being faced with natural disasters out of one’s control. I really enjoyed the many layers of this and how it painted a frighteningly accurate picture of humans (though in this world, Beinakans are in the role we are in in real life). Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 CW: none Another interesting essay on translation and linguistics that I greatly enjoyed! It talks about the challenges of translating Chinese to English and vice versa in connection to meaning, context and connotation and questions whether translators play a part in reinforcing stereotypes by translating gendered words, comprehensively examined through the example of a translation of the word “quiet” in Mulan and how a play on words can get lost in translation when translators choose certain (in this case gendered) words. Dragonslaying 屠龙 by Shen Yingying 沈璎璎, Translated by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 CW: sexism, slavery, mutilation, blood, graphic violence, graphic description of operation Probably the most gruesome story so far, I did enjoy reading it. Especially the association one has before starting to read with the title and then the story turns that expectation around and delivers something horrific (that is regarding the content). There was just enough worldbuilding and lore to this that pulled everything that happened into perspective. The reader is faced with extreme violence and the question of whether or not that is necessary is posed. Albeit graphic and violent, I did like this story. New Year Painting, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, Zhaoqiao Village 年画 by Chen Qian 陈茜, Translated by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 CW: mention of bullying, haunting The slightly creepy tone of this story rounded out the collection for me, there is a little bit of everything. I really loved the setting (because I have actually been to Zhejiang Province and the countryside of that region and had no trouble picturing the landscape) and although this was definitely not the most interesting story to me, it was entertaining. Still, definitely among my least favorite of the collection. The Portrait 画妖 by Chu Xidao 楚惜刀, Translated by Gigi Chang 张菁 CW: death Another story that was not really my style. It was fine, we get to know about Danhong, a master painter struggling to complete his masterpiece and Suxuan. This one is definitely my least favorite out of all the stories in this collection and I was slightly bored reading it. The Woman Carrying a Corpse 背尸体的女人 by Chi Hui 迟卉, Translated by Judith Huang 錫影 CW: corpses, death This reads like a myth or a tale from folklore and it is a hauntingly beautiful metaphor. It’s very simple but also incredibly powerful imagery at the same time – a woman walking down the road carrying a corpse of a loved one. Multiple people come up to her and ask why she is doing what she does and she tries to explain but there really isn’t any good explanation. The story definitely struck a chord for me. The Mountain and the Secret of Their Names 山和名字的秘密 by Wang Nuonuo 王诺诺, Translated by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 CW: death (of a loved one) I really enjoyed the thought that was at the center of this story: that a place and people can live on in names and that your heritage can somehow be reflected in names. There is power in names and while we usually use them to identify ourselves, they also carry so much more meaning. The approach to that in the story was very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. Net Novels and the “She Era”: How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Female Readers and Writers in China by Xueting Christine Ni 倪雪亭 CW: none A captivating essay that gives insight into China’s internet novel culture and its influences and development. I really loved the way Xueting Christine Ni discusses the way internet novels shaped Chinese internet culture and how it became a “safe space” for exploration of identity and more despite censorship and pertaining cultural and social traditions and conventions – especially for female writers. Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 CW: none This essay goes into the intricacies of translation and how it has re-configured the author’s writing process in a way. I really loved Rebecca F. Kuang’s examination of what is important when it comes to translating Chinese to English and what she paid special attention to while doing so. Social and cultural awareness and specific connotations and knowledge that can be assumed to be common among native speakers of a certain language play big parts in the most difficult aspects of translations and to me that has always been very intriguing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlott

    As the subtitle states, The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a short story anthology of speculative fiction stories translated from Chinese "From a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators". The stories span a wide variety of speculative from myth retellings to science fiction. As with such anthologies often the case, there were some stories I liked more than others but all stories had me throughout engaged and introduced me to writers I had not read before. But what I really loved As the subtitle states, The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a short story anthology of speculative fiction stories translated from Chinese "From a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators". The stories span a wide variety of speculative from myth retellings to science fiction. As with such anthologies often the case, there were some stories I liked more than others but all stories had me throughout engaged and introduced me to writers I had not read before. But what I really loved about this book was that between the stories, there were also a couple of essays included which looked at gender and Chinese speculative fiction wrtiting, the role of online publishing ("internet novels"), and the ins-and-outs of translating. While I wished for a bit more depth with the solely gender focussed essay, I wholeheartedly loved the essays thinking through issues of translations. For example, Yilin Wang states in the essay "Translations as Retellings: An Approach to Translating Gu Shi's 'To Produce Jade' and Ling Chen's 'The Name of the Dragon'": "I want to give Anglophone audiences the same immersive reading experience as readers of the soruce texts and not present the tales as unknowable Other, yet at the same time I also want to preserve linguistic and cultural differences, even if they may at times distance non-Chinese readers." And Rebecca F. Kuang asks in "Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks": "Perhaps it was once reasonable - say, in the eigteenth century - to think white Americans were unfamiliar with dim sum and guanxi; today, those terms are firmly entrenched within the English lexicon. Why bring the text closer to the reader, when the reader has already moved closer to the source?"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. It's a nice collection of speculative fiction by Chinese authors. Some of them were pretty good, but several of them I just didn't get. If you're looking for something different, this might be for you. I won this book in a goodreads drawing. It's a nice collection of speculative fiction by Chinese authors. Some of them were pretty good, but several of them I just didn't get. If you're looking for something different, this might be for you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Bookrvws

    A really amazing collection of translated short stories and essays. I was pleasantly surprised to see the variation through this collection. I expected it to be mostly science fiction but it was actually a mix of sci-fi, literary essays, translation essays, and fantasy. Rather than assuming the readers had a background in the subject, the books took the time to intertwine theory with practice. Overall, a really engaging read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    James

    I LOVE THIS BOOK HERE IS LINK TO IT ON IF WANT TO IT CHECK OUT ON https://amzn.to/3hxqyXK I LOVE THIS BOOK HERE IS LINK TO IT ON IF WANT TO IT CHECK OUT ON https://amzn.to/3hxqyXK

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This collection is stunning. I can think of no better anthology to read during the month of March, as we welcome spring in the northern hemisphere and celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Seventeen speculative fiction short stories and five essays, all written, translated, and curated by women and nonbinary authors challenging gender norms in Chinese science fiction. It’s always hard to review an anthology with so many valuable pieces. As with any anthology, there were This collection is stunning. I can think of no better anthology to read during the month of March, as we welcome spring in the northern hemisphere and celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Seventeen speculative fiction short stories and five essays, all written, translated, and curated by women and nonbinary authors challenging gender norms in Chinese science fiction. It’s always hard to review an anthology with so many valuable pieces. As with any anthology, there were some stories I connected with more than others, but overall they left me with the strong sense of disquiet I often crave from speculative fiction. Many of the stories take a deep dive into the human elements of storytelling, yet without abandoning the elements that make for good science fiction (small changes to societal elements or scientific realities). The majority of Chinese science fiction I’ve read previously has been written by men, and I admit I spent some time comparing some of these stories to the most famous of them, Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem. The difference is palpable. From the chapter 6 essay The Futures of Gender in Chinese Science Fiction by Jing Tsu, “This volume shows that there is also a difference between science fiction *about* women and other marginalized genders and the ones written *by* them…” As obvious as it may seem, this anthology epitomizes that statement’s ethos. The written space created and curated by women has a different feel, that I didn’t know I was lacking until I read it. The Way Spring Arrives has five essays, serving as pillars of the collection for me. Ranging from topics on gender to the nature of translation (and gendered translation), they orient the uninitiated to the project and provide insight for Chinese to English translations, and the concept of translation and situating the translator. RF Kuang’s essay, for example, asks what she as a Chinese American author, should assume for a Western audience in either her original fiction or her translation. She ponders if it even matters if she learned Sun Tzu from her father or from Wikipedia. The roots of contemporary Chinese literature, including science fiction, connect to the broader lineage of Chinese storytelling. I urge you to pick up this collection if you are a fan of contemplative science fiction, books in translation, women’s voices in genre fiction, or gender roles in literature.

  18. 5 out of 5

    v

    a very fun collection! a very wide sampling of fantasy and sci-fi concepts from contemporary chinese authors (all, i believe, are 21st century publications). 'dragonslaying' stands out for being conceptually meatier than some of its peers, but even seemingly simple ones ('the woman carrying a corpse,' 'the way spring arrives') are often very delightful. i think for the intended audience of this collection, the essays are a very solid add and a great introduction to thinking about translation and a very fun collection! a very wide sampling of fantasy and sci-fi concepts from contemporary chinese authors (all, i believe, are 21st century publications). 'dragonslaying' stands out for being conceptually meatier than some of its peers, but even seemingly simple ones ('the woman carrying a corpse,' 'the way spring arrives') are often very delightful. i think for the intended audience of this collection, the essays are a very solid add and a great introduction to thinking about translation and translation studies. but they're first and foremost more of a peek behind the curtains into the process of this work for those translators in particular (which i am not opposed to! translation is a grossly under-appreciated role!) -- but it did make me want to reread (for example) lydia h. liu's 'translingual practice' and others who attempt to argue or answer the questions the translators raise. still! overall, enriching material, but a mild suspicion to certain gestures at straight-forward empowerment or sentences like 'the state intervened, but it wasn't all bad,' with no further explanation. there's a lot of great contextual information in the essays, though, besides some of those moves. in sum: fun! a lovely sampling! individually, each story is a quick read and i can imagine really enjoying picking it up and putting it down over an extended period of time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and the collection did not disappoint. While inevitably with any short story collection, particularly an anthology, any reader will enjoy some stories more than others, this is a fantastically curated collection -- wide-ranging, diverse, and I believe at least a few stories that'll appeal to any reader of sci-fi and/or fantasy. In addition, there are several short essays interspersed throughout the collectio The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and the collection did not disappoint. While inevitably with any short story collection, particularly an anthology, any reader will enjoy some stories more than others, this is a fantastically curated collection -- wide-ranging, diverse, and I believe at least a few stories that'll appeal to any reader of sci-fi and/or fantasy. In addition, there are several short essays interspersed throughout the collection which deal with topics related to gender representation in Chinese literature and publishing, Chinese to English / English to Chinese translation, and gendered language. I found all of these essays interesting & they, like several of the stories, left me with lots to think about. Finally, the hardcover edition of this book is beautiful; I read most of my fiction digitally but I'm pleased to have this edition on my shelf. I'm looking forward to seeking out work by several of the authors featured in this collection. Content warnings: violence, death, death of a loved one, gore, medical content / medical trauma (very graphic description of a non-consensual surgical procedure), bullying, terminal illness, speciesism

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    This is a great collection of SFF by women and nonbinary writers translated by women and nonbinary translators. I'm so glad necessary books like this are being translated into English. Stories vary quite a bit, from contemporary fantasies where stars are pets to ancient mythological worlds of shapeshifting foxes to alien invasions and dystopias where dragons are slaughtered. I love the variety and vastness of the selection, though sometimes it was overwhelming to listen to on audio back to back, This is a great collection of SFF by women and nonbinary writers translated by women and nonbinary translators. I'm so glad necessary books like this are being translated into English. Stories vary quite a bit, from contemporary fantasies where stars are pets to ancient mythological worlds of shapeshifting foxes to alien invasions and dystopias where dragons are slaughtered. I love the variety and vastness of the selection, though sometimes it was overwhelming to listen to on audio back to back, and I would've processed each story better if I'd read 1-2 a day. There are also several fascinating essays.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ady

    Read some and listened to some on audio. A mixed bag of stories with a handful of essays tossed in. Standouts: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, The Way Spring Arrives, and Dragonslaying

  22. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    3.5 as an overall collection because of a few stories that didn’t catch my interest at all, but most the individual stories get 4 stars from me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I wish all short story collections could be assembled with this much care and enthusiasm. Is every story perfect? Perhaps not, but the overall curation is excellent.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    **I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley.** It felt impossible to me, after reading the first three or so stories of this collection, that I would continue to enjoy this book as much the whole way through - because it's all different authors who might have styles I didn't jibe with, because those opening stories seemed too good to be true - and yet: I did. I really, really did. Every single story here is a stunner - or, at the very least, is very interesting. I really have to hand it to th **I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley.** It felt impossible to me, after reading the first three or so stories of this collection, that I would continue to enjoy this book as much the whole way through - because it's all different authors who might have styles I didn't jibe with, because those opening stories seemed too good to be true - and yet: I did. I really, really did. Every single story here is a stunner - or, at the very least, is very interesting. I really have to hand it to the editors: they created a really, really strong collection here. The only real bump in the reading experience is, I'm sorry to say, the essays. Because the stories were so good the essays ended up feeling a bit like the teacher stopping you from reading further in a really good book to drag you through explanations of its' most basic and least compelling of themes. I think if the essays had been deep dives rather than primers I would have enjoyed them more but...I don't know. A collection of stories by women and non-binary writers is in itself a commentary on under-represented voices, so I didn't really need that re-explained to me in the form of an essay. On top of that...none of the essays really felt polished. They were more like blog posts. You'd go from a beautifully written/translated story to an essay with clunky transitions and ideas all over the place: it was jarring. That said, this is still probably the best reading experience I have had in a long, long while. I can't get over how good every story here was. And so I would definitely recommend this book to anyone - even if this isn't your usual genre.

  25. 5 out of 5

    natrosette

    4.5 stars The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a collection of translated Chinese SFF from female and nonbinary creators. I was really looking forward to picking this one up and was in no way disappointed. The prose throughout this collection was stunning; you can tell that every bit of it was carefully considered. The audiobook was also well-done and I particularly appreciated hearing the pronunciation of the Chinese words used, such as in the essays on translation. Speaking of which, the 4.5 stars The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a collection of translated Chinese SFF from female and nonbinary creators. I was really looking forward to picking this one up and was in no way disappointed. The prose throughout this collection was stunning; you can tell that every bit of it was carefully considered. The audiobook was also well-done and I particularly appreciated hearing the pronunciation of the Chinese words used, such as in the essays on translation. Speaking of which, the nonfiction essays explaining different aspects of the relationships between gender, translation, and Chinese literature were by far my favorite part of this collection. Not only were they intriguing and informative on their own, but they also enhanced my enjoyment of the stories themselves. Though an anthology can never average out to a five star read, I very much enjoyed my time with this one and would recommend anyone who enjoys SFF short stories to give it a try. Below are my thoughts on each story or essay, though I'm purposefully keeping the summaries brief to try not to spoil anything. The Stars We Raised 逃跑星辰 by Xiu Xinyu 修新羽, translated by Judy Yi Zhou 周易 - 3.5 stars A story of a lonely boy growing up and caring for a star, as told by one of his classmates. A bit ambiguous, I'm not sure I fully grasped the narrative, but it conveyed a lot of emotion. The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulation 五德渡劫记 by Count E E 伯爵, translated by Mel “etvolare” Lee - 3.5 stars Lighthearted story of a fox having to outsmart a trickster and pass a test of lightning on his way to achieving immortality. This one was mostly just a bit of fun for me. What Does the Fox Say? 狐狸说什么?by Xia Jia 夏笳 - 4.5 stars An exploration of linguistics and AI, an algorithm generating a story, and how meaning is derived. The note I wrote after finishing it was "slightly unhinged, overall a great time." Blackbird 黑鸟 by Shen Dacheng 沈大成, translated by Cara Healey 贺可嘉 - 4.5 stars Very atmospheric story set at a nursing home about the refusal to let go. Just the right amount of creepy and didn't overstay its welcome. The Restaurant at the End of Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro 宇宙尽头的餐馆之太极芋泥 by Anna Wu 吴霜, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan 言一零 - 5 stars My first favorite in this collection. Hard to explain much without spoiling, but I loved the structure (a bit of a story within a story) and how things are gradually pieced together. Once again, great atmosphere, with two opposite settings: a vibrant space restaurant and a frigid snowy vista. Essay: The Futures of Genders in Chinese Science Fiction by Jing Tsu 石静远 - 4 stars An essay about the history of Chinese scifi and its relationship with gender. Honestly I felt like some of it went over my head, but even still I learned a lot. Baby, I Love You 宝贝宝贝我爱你 by Zhao Haihong 赵海虹, translated by Elizabeth Hanlon 韩恩立 - 3 stars Zero out of ten for the protagonist, he's a fucking asshole. Deals with themes of parenthood, virtual reality simulation, and the hard work it takes to raise a child. Not my cup of tea, but I suppose my infuriation points to it being well written and is kind of the point since I think it's meant to be a disturbing critique of modern society. A Saccharophilic Earthworm 嗜糖蚯蚓 by BaiFanRuShuang 白饭如霜, translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 - 4 stars A shorter one about an ambitious but homebound woman, her lover, and her (anthropomorphic) plants. I was surprised by how much I liked this, the imagery really worked for me. The Alchemist of Lantian 蓝田半人 by BaiFanRuShuang 白饭如霜, translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 - 4.5 stars Another short one, about a (more-or-less) immortal alchemist who's very fed up with life. Absolutely loved the protagonist's voice; I think the audiobook in particular really made this one. The Way Spring Arrives 春天来临的方式 by Wang Nuonuo 王诺诺, translated by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 - 4 stars A imagery-rich story on the changing of seasons and the cycles of life, following a girl who must bring about spring with the help of many fish and her young protégé. I enjoyed this depiction of the gods and all of earth's processes being manually initiated. I'm curious as to the choice for this to be the title story, though it certainly made for a great cover. Essay: Translation as Retelling: An Approach to Translating Gu Shi’s “To Procure Jade” and Ling Chen’s “The Name of the Dragon” by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 - 5 stars I very much appreciate the background this provided around all the decisions translators have to make to maintain the balance between preserving the original text and making it approachable for a new audience. The in depth explanations of some of the specific choices Yilin Wang made for these two stories were so interesting, including transliteration versus translation, how much explanation to provide for things that would be general knowledge to Chinese readers, and choice of pronouns. I'm glad I had both the audiobook and the ebook to hear the pronunciation alongside how things were written, but then again I'm very much a geek for linguistics. The Name of the Dragon 应龙 by Ling Chen 凌晨, translated by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 - 4.5 stars Human's never-ending thirst for power and a dragon who just wants to be left alone. Lush and bright descriptions in what is essentially a very depressing story. To Procure Jade 得玉 by Gu Shi 顾适, translated by Yilin Wang 王艺霖 - 3.5 stars A legendary spring no one has been able to find and a resourceful man just trying to make ends meet. This one surprised me with the direction it went it. A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language 衡平公式 by Nian Yu 念语, translated by Ru-Ping Chen 陈汝平 - 4 stars I really enjoyed the concept of this, imagining an alien species who have hereditary memory capsules and the lengths we'll go to to avoid extinction. However, there were a couple places where I simply got confused about what was being described. Essay: Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 - 5 stars I loved this essay and especially how understandable it was, with a specific example pulled from the subtitles of the Mulan live action. Explores how translators' choices when one word can be mapped to multiple words in another language can support stereotypes, and questions whether a translator can "ungender" parts of a text while maintaining the authenticity of the translation. Dragonslaying 屠龙 by Shen Yingying 沈璎璎, translated by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 - 5 stars Dragonslaying is an exclusive, torturous, and costly art undertaken for the entertainment of the rich. This one was incredibly dark, gory, and depressing. Another favorite of mine. New Year Painting, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, Zhaoqiao Village 年画 by Chen Qian 陈茜, translated by Emily Xueni Jin 金雪妮 - 4 stars An unusual painting is unearthed and found to be connected to tales of a small village and a bullied girl. We get a bit of a look into how legends form, and how much might be the truth. I really enjoyed the perspective this was told from of a young art restorer. The Portrait 画妖 by Chu Xidao 楚惜刀, translated by Gigi Chang 张菁 - 3.5 stars The best painter in the land is stumped in completing his work A Hundred Beauties when he cannot cannot capture the last woman's soul. I'm not sure why I didn't quite connect to this one, but it's definitely beautifully told. The Woman Carrying a Corpse 背尸体的女人 by Chi Hui 迟卉, translated by Judith Huang 錫影 - 4 stars A repetitive tale of a woman carrying a corpse. Feels allegorical. I'm sure this is saying something very important, I'm just not sure what it is. The Mountain and the Secret of Their Names 山和名字的秘密 by Wang Nuonuo 王诺诺, translated by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 - 4.5 stars Interesting take on the old moving into the new. A village directly in the path of satellite launch debris. A young boy taught shamanism by his grandfather who grows to be a young man and comes to see magic as an algorithm based on his ancestors' names and the secrets the mountain holds from all it's lived through. Essay: Net Novels and the “She Era”: How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Female Readers and Writers in China by Xueting Christine Ni 倪雪亭 - 5 stars I've heard more and more about Chinese web novels and their popular adaptations in the past couple years, but had hardly an inkling of how the industry works and how it came about, let alone the impact it's had on allowing for works by female writers for female readers in China. This was so informative, outlining the history of this new publishing phenomenon and many popular examples. There's so many works mentioned in this essay that I want to look further into. Essay: Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks by Rebecca F. Kuang 匡灵秀 - 5 stars I'd never thought of translation as a way to improve your own writing, though it makes sense. In my own experience, there's so much more you realize about your native language while learning a second one, and I can only imagine how much more that would extend to all the technicalities of translating from one language to another that she describes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Dawn

    This was probably my favorite short story collection of early 2022. I enjoyed every single story. A great collaboration of authors, with such magical, mythical takes. A true joy to read. Definitely going to be buying a copy of this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ellie J.

    5/5 stars Recommended for people who like: anthologies, short stories, Chinese literature, language and linguistics, gender, translation Big thanks to NetGalley and Tordotcom for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! The Stars We Raised: Xiu Xinyu, transl. Judy Yi Zhou 4/5 stars I thought the idea of stars just hanging around on earth was interesting. I liked that the children did what children do best and made a game out of it. I thought that aspect made it more realistic, and I like 5/5 stars Recommended for people who like: anthologies, short stories, Chinese literature, language and linguistics, gender, translation Big thanks to NetGalley and Tordotcom for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! The Stars We Raised: Xiu Xinyu, transl. Judy Yi Zhou 4/5 stars I thought the idea of stars just hanging around on earth was interesting. I liked that the children did what children do best and made a game out of it. I thought that aspect made it more realistic, and I liked how the transitions showed growth. The Tale of Wude’s Heavenly Tribulation: Count E, transl. Mel ‘etvolare’ Lee 4.5/5 stars I enjoyed reading about Wude’s misadventure. This was an entertaining story and I liked the hints that there could be future stories about the characters. What Does the Fox Say: Xia Jia 5/5 stars I quite enjoyed this one as well. It’s clever in its use of language and narration, and I liked reading the author’s note afterward about how the story came about. Blackbird: Shen Dacheng, transl. Cara Healey 5/5 stars This one was interesting. It didn’t go the way I was expecting, but it did go an interesting route. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro: Anna Wu, transl. Carmen Yiling Yan 5/5 stars I really enjoyed this story. The mixing of a very sci-fi realm with one that’s more aligned with ‘normal’ history was interesting, and I liked how time was played around with. The imagery was rich as well, which I always enjoy. Mo was a fun character too and I liked her addition to things. The Futures of Genders in Chinese Science Fiction: Jing Tsu It’s kind of hard to rate an essay. This one poses some good questions about the role of gender in the past and present (and of course future) of sci-fi. Interesting read. Baby, I Love You: Zhao Haihong, transl. Elizabeth Hanlon 4/5 stars I’m not really sure how I feel about this one. The writing was good and I was invested in the story. However, the narrator is unlikeable and some of the things in there I don’t really agree with (i.e., the whole biological clock stuff and a woman who wants kids changing her mind just because she interacted with some kids). A Saccharophilic Earthworm: BaiFanRuShuang, transl. Ru-Ping Chen 5/5 stars I like how I couldn’t tell if this was truly fantasy or just something cooked up by Flora at first. It was an interesting take on loss and love and relationships. The Alchemist of Lantian: BaiFanRuShuang, transl. Ru-Ping Chen 4/5 stars This one had some humor to it. It’s an interesting concept, to be resentfully immortal. The Way Spring Arrives: Wang Nuonuo, transl. Rebecca F. Kuang 5/5 stars I liked the imagery and the mythology in this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of Goumang, but the rest of the story was good. Translation as Retelling: An Approach to Translating Gu Shi’s ‘To Procure Jade’ and Ling Chen’s ‘The Name of the Dragon’: Yilin Wang This was a good overview on translation and the intricacies of the job. I liked getting to know some background of some of the choices of these translations. The Name of the Dragon: Ling Chen, transl. Yilin Wang 3.5/5 stars This story was fairly quick and brief. I get the dragon was upset about having to serve humans, but I don’t really get the point of the story. To Procure Jade: Gu Shi, transl. Yilin Wang 4.5/5 stars This one plays on language and meaning, which I enjoyed. I felt somewhat bad for Deyu at the end, considering what he’d gained since leaving the palace, but it was still a good story. A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language: Nian Yu, transl. Ru-Ping Chen 5/5 stars This is definitely one of my favorites. I really liked the different planets and the differing issues that are faced on each of them. There’s definitely a moral dilemma in here (as well as several allegories for climate change). Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective: Emily Xueni Jin This essay was another good one about translating and language. I liked how this one specifically focused on words in specific contexts and how to best choose a translation. Gender is heavily taken into account here, and I find the different ways ‘quiet’ can be translated depending on context from English to Mandarin to be quite fascinating. Dragonslaying: Shen Yingying, transl. Emily Xueni Jin 4/5 stars This is well written and I liked the magic of the world, but it’s also horrifying. New Year Painting, Ink and Color on rice Paper, Zhaoqiao Village [Tk]: Chen Qian, transl. Emily Xueni Jin 5/5 stars I liked this one as well. There was a good mix of reality and fantasy, and I liked the curse aspect of things. The Portrait: Chu Xidao, transl. Gigi Chang 4/5 stars This story didn’t go where I was thinking it would. It was interesting how it turned out. The Woman Carrying a Corpse: Chi Hui, transl. Judith Huang 5/5 stars This was an odd little story, but I liked the twisting wordiness of it. The Mountain and the Secret of Their Names: Wang Nuonuo, transl. Rebecca F. Kuang 4/5 stars I liked the role of the mountain in the story. I wish we’d gotten to see a bit more of the grandfather, though. Net Novels and the ‘She Era’: How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Female Readers and Writers in China: Xueting Christine Ni This was a really interesting essay on the rise of net novels in China and the role they played in creating a more egalitarian form of literature. I wasn’t familiar with this topic and found the essay to be quite educational and interesting. Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks: Rebecca F. Kuang This was another interesting piece that explored translation. I’m currently taking a class on translating right now (German to English), and I find it interesting to read about how various translators think about the act.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melina

    Full review on melinas.blog The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a collection of Chinese science fiction and fantasy stories and essays written, translated and edited by a team of female and nonbinary creators. The stories are quite varied, ranging from soft fantasy featuring fox cultivators, to magical realism starring immortal grandmas, to innovative futuristic end-of-the-world science fiction. There are over twenty stories and essays in this collection and I have a lot to say about each Full review on melinas.blog The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a collection of Chinese science fiction and fantasy stories and essays written, translated and edited by a team of female and nonbinary creators. The stories are quite varied, ranging from soft fantasy featuring fox cultivators, to magical realism starring immortal grandmas, to innovative futuristic end-of-the-world science fiction. There are over twenty stories and essays in this collection and I have a lot to say about each of them but I'll narrow down my review to some of my favourites. The title story, The Way Spring Arrives(1) is a sweet, romantic little tale, not just of one man's love for a woman but of mankind's love for our world. It's the story about the birth, life and death of spring, written in beautiful, delicate prose. The Name of the Dragon(2) is a story about the lengths to which people are capable of going in order to exploit those around them, including magnificent, special creatures like dragons. To Procure Jade(3) is a sort of love letter to nonbinary people that tells the story of a legendary spring of jade that offers eternal youth to women and wealth to men. This story is not only beautifully written, but masterfully translated as well. A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language(4) is this collection's crown science fiction story full of twists and turns, and it's fascinating not only from a scientific standpoint, but from a linguistic and environmentalist one as well. Finally, Dragonslaying(5) is a story about mermaids, and it was my absolute favourite from the entire collection. A poignant, mind-boggling and heart-breaking masterpiece that I won't stop thinking about for a long time. Of the essays, I truly enjoyed all of them, as a lover of books and someone who's studied linguistics and languages (Mandarin being one of them). There's a lot to be said about the technicalities of translation, especially when working with such a complex, character-based language like Mandarin. I also loved learning more about the phenomenon of net novels and the way the internet allowed female authors like Mo Xiang Tong Xiu to achieve a level of success they most probably wouldn't have had they not posted their novels and grown their audience online. I highly recommend this collection to all lovers of science fiction and fantasy, translated literature and Chinese culture. The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories comes out on March 8. Huge thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan-Tor/Forge, as well as the authors, editors and translators of these stories for the advanced reader copy. ----------- 1 The Way Spring Arrives, written by Wang NuoNuo, translated by Rebecca F. Kuang 2 The Name of the Dragon, written by Ling Chen, translated by Yilin Wang 3 To Procure Jade, written by Gu Shi, translated by Yilin Wang 4 A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as Told in a Sinitic Language, written by Nian Yu, translated by Ru-Ping Chen 5 Dragonslaying, written by Shen Yingying, translated by Emily Xueni Jin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I sincerely believe that The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories Anthology is the biggest work of love and passion I've seen in quite some time. This anthology collects nineteen short stories exploring Chinese science fiction and fantasy. The thing I love the most about The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories Anthology, other than the obvious (it is a brilliant collection of stories), is that the creative team is all either female or nonbinary. I love this representation. More, please! Callin I sincerely believe that The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories Anthology is the biggest work of love and passion I've seen in quite some time. This anthology collects nineteen short stories exploring Chinese science fiction and fantasy. The thing I love the most about The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories Anthology, other than the obvious (it is a brilliant collection of stories), is that the creative team is all either female or nonbinary. I love this representation. More, please! Calling them a collection of short stories is incorrect. There are fictional short stories in here, yes. But there are also reflective and informative essays included in this anthology (see the complete list below). That was a surprise for me, but a pleasant one. What I loved the most about The Way Spring Arrives because it is a beautiful blend of fantastical stories and informative pieces. As with any anthology, some were stronger than others, and I naturally fell in love with one (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe being my favorite). Overall, I loved the insight and perspectives made available by this collection and strongly urge other fantasy lovers to give it a try. The Stars We Raised by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Judy Yi Zhou The Tale of Wude's Heavenly Tribulation by Count E, translated by Mel "etvolare” Lee What Does the Fox Say by Xia Jia, Blackbird by Shen Dacheng, translated by Cara Healey The Restaurant at the end of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro by Anna Wu, translated byCarmen Yiling Yan The Futures of Gender in Chinese Science Fiction by Jing Tsu Baby, I Love You by Zhao Haihong, translated by Elizabeth Hanlon A Saccharophilic Earthworm by BaiFanRuShuang, translated by Ru-Ping Chen The Alchemist of Lantian by BaiFanRuShang, translated by Ru-Ping Chen The Way Spring Arrives by Wang Nuonuo, translated by Rebecca F. Kuang Translation as Retelling: An Approach to translating Gu Shi's “To Procure Jade” and Ling Chen's” The Name of the Dragon” by Yilin Wang The Name of the Dragon by Ling Chen, translated by Yilin Wang To Procure Jade by Gu Shi, translated by Yilin Wang A Brief History of Beinakan Disasters as told in a Sinitic Language by Nian Yu, translated by Ru-Ping Chen Is There Such a Thing as Feminine Quietness? A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective by Emily Xueni Jin Dragonslaying by Shen Yingying, translated by Emily Xueni Jin New Year Painting, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, Zhoaqiao Village by Chen Qian, translated by Emily Xueni Jin The Portrait by Chu Xidao, translated by Gigi Chang The Woman Carrying a Corpse by Chi Hui, translated by Judith Huang The Mountain and the Secret of their Names by Wang Nuonuo, translated by Rebecca F. Kuang Net Novels and the “She Era” How Internet Novels opened the door for Female Readers and Writers in China by Xueting Christine Ni Writing and Translation: A Hundred Technical Tricks by Rebecca F. Kuang Thanks to Tor.com and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  30. 5 out of 5

    Claire Smith

    As a reader, I have a comfort zone. It’s sci-fi/fantasy, it’s murder mysteries, it’s books about America, or 20th century Hollywood or Victorian England. I haven’t read anything in translation since I finished undergrad years ago. Reading The Way Spring Arrives was like jumping in and out of my comfort zone repeatedly. It’s a genre I’m used to, but from a culture I know pathetically little about. There’s some top notch, will-recommend-to-my-short-story-book-club-later, sci-fi and fantasy in here As a reader, I have a comfort zone. It’s sci-fi/fantasy, it’s murder mysteries, it’s books about America, or 20th century Hollywood or Victorian England. I haven’t read anything in translation since I finished undergrad years ago. Reading The Way Spring Arrives was like jumping in and out of my comfort zone repeatedly. It’s a genre I’m used to, but from a culture I know pathetically little about. There’s some top notch, will-recommend-to-my-short-story-book-club-later, sci-fi and fantasy in here (“The Way Spring Arrives” and “Baby, I Love You” come to mind though there were many others). There were also some stories that were just absolutely wild— stories that walk that very sci-fi line of so imaginative you’re enthralled, but then spend the next several minutes going “wtf did I just read?” (“A Saccharophillic Earthworm,” what the heck happened there? Someone please swap theories with me). Others were simply delightful like “Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Tai-Chi Mashed Taro” which is a spin off of the Douglas Adams book and “What Does the Fox Say” a flash piece about linguistics and Ylvis. And then there were a group of stories I would categorize as “I am a dumb American white person with no cultural context for this and need to do some further research.” I haven’t read a story in a while that I just fully did not understand, and this anthology had a few. That’s on me, though, not the book. The book tried to help me understand wherever possible. There were a bunch of really good essays about translation that helped me understand not only the challenges the translators were facing, but also some of the broader context of Chinese sci-fi. Rebecca F. Kuang (author of The Poppy War) has an excellent essay about it as does Yilin Wang. Yilin Wang’s is particularly interesting as it is an essay about translating two stories that appear in the book after the essay. So, unlike some of the others, you know the translator’s thoughts and have some context going into the two short stories. I also found Jing Tsu’s “The Futures of Genders in Chinese Science Fiction” really engaging. It told me a lot about women in Chinese literature historically and about how China first encountered the sci-fi genre (as we know it) as an import in the era of Jules Verne. It’s one of those essays that helps you understand while showing you just how much there is you don’t know. Each story and essay is entirely its own thing. There are all types of subgenres, tones, subjects, and styles. If you can pick this up and find nothing you like, I’d be shocked. I learned a ton reading this and enjoyed some quality short stories that I hope I can nominate for awards next year. Excellent read for international women's day. Who this is for: Anyone who likes sci-fi and/or short fiction. Also, anyone who has ever thought about translating something and went “wow, that seems hard, I can’t believe people can do that.”

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...