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Summary

Now a number one blockbuster film.

The Sun is dying. Earth will perish too, consumed by the star in its final death throes. But rather than abandon their planet, humanity builds 12,000 mountainous fusion engines to propel the Earth out of orbit and onto a centuries-long voyage to Proxima Centaurai....

Cixin Liu is one of the most important voices in world science fiction. A best seller in China, his novel The Three-Body Problem was the first translated work of science fiction ever to win the Hugo Award. Here is the first collection of his short fiction: 10 stories, including five Chinese Galaxy Award winners. 

This collection's title story, 'The Wandering Earth', is the biggest science-fiction movie ever to come out of China - taking the world's number one office ranking in February 2019. Liu's writing takes the listener to the edge of the universe and the end of time, to meet stranger fates than we could have ever imagined. With a melancholic and keen understanding of human nature, Liu's stories show humanity's attempts to reason, navigate and, above all, survive in a desolate cosmos.

©2019 Cixin Liu (P)2019 Head of Zeus

Critic reviews

"Cixin's trilogy is SF in the grand style, a galaxy-spanning, ideas-rich narrative of invasion and war." (Guardian)

"Wildly imaginative, really interesting...The scope of it was immense." (Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States)

What listeners say about The Wandering Earth

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  • Overall
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Another epic story arc from Cixin Liu

Another epic story arc from Cixin Liu and nothing at all like the film which I thought was a hammy, juvenile, travesty. Liu (and the special effects teams) must be weeping. As always with Liu's books, there are multiple threads, multiple characters, and multiple sub-stories within the main theme, and while it begins with the threat of Earth's demolition by the sun going nova, such that the inhabitants decide to move it out of the way, it follows so many other trails that it's often difficult to keep up. My strategy is to listen and then read; this way I can 'hear' the Chinese names and terms in my head from the narration, while also being able to watch how the themes develop and to roll around in the words in my own time. I'll come back to this when I've done that but it's a long-ish book so I may be a while!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Al
  • 25-08-19

Potential epics, but not enough time to connect

felt there was some really good stories intertwined here. but as each of theses was just a scrape on the surface it didn't give enough time to really get into the depths of anything like an epic should be.
that said, Cixin shows he has a lot of ideas and material he can work with if he wants to grow these into something more.

7 people found this helpful

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Uneven story read by a telegraph reader

The science part of the story is intriguing, but the human characters and how they relate to each other are rather poorly developed, forced, I would say.

The worst part, I am afraid, it Jeremy Domingo’s reading. He reads the text as if it was some sort of telegraph news. The reading breaks down the little flow there is in the text and becomes the more jarring the longer it goes on. Perhaps better reading would make a difference, but now it seems that the text would need further editing, it reads quite awkwardly in English at times.

The book is award winning, but this read rendition does not seem to do justice to it.

6 people found this helpful

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A bit dark for my taste

This is more a collection of short stories than a single one, though many of the stories seem to be from different parts of the same time line. Unfortunately they are read in random order (though this may well be the order they are in the book). There is very little warning when you switch from one story to the next, which can be a bit jarring at times.
I would say that the stories are quite well written, and although somewhat dark for my tastes, if you like darker stories (and aren't too bothered with slightly shaky laws of physics), this may well be great for you. The narrator did quite a good job, though making the transition from one story to the next a bit more distinct would have been nice!

3 people found this helpful

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  • OH
  • 10-05-20

Fantastic imagination

Many strange new things to come in the future! But eell founded on simple principles of physics which the author use. These (not too many) details lead to the big things the story and the twists are based on. Nice craftmanship in storytelling.

2 people found this helpful

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Gripping stories.

I admit I was initially disappointed that the title story was not the whole book, but the first of many stories. However, I was quickly caught up in the storytelling. For me a triumph. It also gives the reader a different perspective on Chinese culture and thought processes. More of the same, please. I love Cixin Liu's writing style.

1 person found this helpful

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Clever stories of possible or inpossible futures

Black mirror comes to mind when listening. For me it was a bit confusing at first. I was not aware that it was a collection of short stories i just read the first part of the summary

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A curate's egg

Some of the stories are good. Others not so much. The style of writing is unmistakable, but some of the short stories seem very much like a recycling of themes from the three body problem trilogy, and as such, the endings are very predictable. The first short story 'wandering earth' is outstanding and worth the ticket price alone.
The narrator is far below the standard of the performance of the 3BP series and was frankly irritating. At times I thought I was listening to the monotone of a text-to-speech app.

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Good at the start but not so good later

I downloaded this because Niall Ferguson talked about it in his latest book and became interested in what Chinese sci fi might be like. I really enjoyed the first few stories. The later ones not so much. Earlier works perhaps. I downloaded one of Cixin's novels off the back of this so overall quite positive

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I wish some would be their own works

I more or less enjoyed every story, some more than others - probably due to personal taste. I think some of these would have been great as their own works, not just as a short story. Many stories didn't have closure, and the ultimate fate is for the listener to imagine.