It’s also Chinese science fiction. I have Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem here and have been meaning to read it for a good few months. Sadly, I decided to rekindle Bookninja with my spare time instead. Dumbass.
It’s no surprise that sci-fi is booming in China, where the breakneck pace of technological transformation can feel surreal. Economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty, and brought extreme wealth to the upper and political class, but technology has also become a tool of state oppression. Some Chinese factories have outfitted workers with devices that measure brain-wave activity to monitor their emotional fluctuations and alertness. Bird-shaped drones have been used to surreptitiously spy on citizens, and surveillance through facial-recognition technology is widespread. On social media and messaging apps, posts containing certain banned words are automatically censored. China is now also leveraging its technology to conquer the solar system: After lagging behind in the space race for decades, the nation recently made a historic landing on the far side of the moon, where it has plans to build a permanent research base, and aims to have a rover exploring Mars next year.
Wait, “upper and political class”? I thought they were communists…. Oh, riiiiiiight. [Taps side of nose]