China Mountain Zhang
Maureen F. McHugh
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Winner of the James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and a Hugo and Nebula Award nominee.
With this groundbreaking novel, Maureen F. McHugh established herself as one of the decade's best science fiction writers. In its pages, we enter a postrevolution America, moving from the hyperurbanized eastern seaboard to the Arctic bleakness of Baffin Island; from the new Imperial City to an agricultural commune on Mars. The overlapping lives of cyberkite fliers, lonely colonists, illicit neural-pressball players, and organic engineers blend into a powerful, taut story of a young man's journey of discovery. This is a macroscopic world of microscopic intensity, one of the most brilliant visions of modern SF.
dutifully. "From feudal to capitalist?" There is a moment of silence. Finally an ABC raises his hand. "Laoshi," he says formally, 'Teacher,' "Mao Zedong changed the diagram. The revolution in China was a peasant revolution, not a proletariat revolution." "Wrong," I say. The young man's eyes get large. "Lenin changed the diagram. Other than that you are perfectly correct." I sound like Comrade Wei, my calculus teacher in middle school. Marx and Lenin I hated that man. There is a nervous
power tech, a young woman with sturdy calves outlined by the tight legs of her coveralls. All day she sells and channels power and I imagine the city's energy pouring through her hands, the hair on her head rising with the build-up of static charge. Of course that's not true, she sits at a terminal and feeds information, watches the lines, drains the power reservoirs when they're needed and fills them when demand falls. The train stops a Lawrence and the doors open. My power tech gets off and I'm
it. "No, don't," he says. "Please don't." The din makes it hard to carry on this conversation. Students call to each other in nasal, six-toned Nanjing dialect and shrill four-toned Mandarin. At home, my non-Chinese speaking friends say Chinese conversations often sound like arguments. I wonder how long it will be until I hear the liquid vowels of Spanish again. "Yan Chun!" the young man next to me shouts, "Yan Chun! Zouba!" 'Let's go.' Across the floor, a tall young man with an open face,
is red," Liu Wen says, "and now that we've had our cultural exchange hour finish your beers because I'm hungry." But we don't. Haitao doesn't want to leave yet, he wants to watch the sunset from his window. So we talk, about my engineering mark, about Liu Wen's week (in carefully vague terms.) Liu Wen has apparently had a fair week, business-wise. Outside the window it is the west which is red. The towers of the overcity, the new communes, rise above Nanjing. The sides that face west are red,
means, but unusual. I go back to the old goat yard and crack the second pack and stick the indicator on the wall. Lilith follows me around. She's one of the pregnant nannies. She's also my favorite, she's affectionate. I think Martine holds this against her, she said once that Lilith was easy. Nobody could ever accuse Martine of being easy. I pet Lilith, and shoo her out of my way and clean up. The CO2 levels in the old goat yard are high, too. I put a sticker in the garden, oddly enough, O2