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China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

China Mountain Zhang (original 1992; edition 1997)

by Maureen F. McHugh

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821None11,036 (4.05)38
Title:China Mountain Zhang
Authors:Maureen F. McHugh
Info:Orb Books (1997), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 324 pages
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China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh (1992)

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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Tiptree winner 1992 ( )
  SChant | May 8, 2013 |
The same friend as gave me Blankets insisted that I should read this. Another life-changing book, for him, a book that came at the right time. He told me that it wasn't like a lot of SF, that it didn't have some great big plot, that it was just about people getting on with their lives.

I didn't really get into it at first. The narrative voice feels strange to me, something I had to get used to. It almost felt like I was reading it in translation -- which would be appropriate enough, given the setting. The setting doesn't take long to figure out: the domination of the Chinese, the communism. It's all pretty easy to absorb, but at the same time I didn't get very into the novel or the characters. I kept reading more for my friend's sake, to try and see what he saw in it, than anything else.

I'm glad I did. It's not a "traditional" novel, I suppose, with the loosely intertwined stories, most of them without any real resolution, like life. I didn't find it life-changing and I don't really have that much to say about it. I didn't find it life-changing, but it was interesting enough to read once I got a little more interested. It's about ordinary people, despite the sci-fi backdrop. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
A very engaging first novel set in a possible future when China controls the United States. Themes of class struggle, sexuality and spirituality woven throughout. Young Zhang is a engineering technician who is just trying to create a stable future for himself, despite the odds stacked against him. I look forward to reading more from Maureen McHugh. ( )
1 vote hayduke | Apr 3, 2013 |
if the plot had been half as interesting as the characters were, or the world they inhabit is, this book would have been fantastic. as it is, only so-so.

basic concept summary: china has come out on top of the political/ideological dogpile, so the world is a (mostly) socialist sino-centric place. the good schools, the quality jobs, the big money, and all the envy & prestige are gazing toward china. enter zhang, who's chinese/hispanic - his parents had him gene spliced as a kiddo to look purely asian, and it serves him rather well - a sort of dead-end-job slacker feeling some post-adolescent blahs. the plot is very basic & straightforward, and pretty much serves only to push our quasi-hero through interactions with others. the people are all marvelously realized, and somehow you genuinely care about the characters, all the while being completely unsurprised (perhaps even unimpressed) by the plot itself.

not really standard sci-fi fare (there's a real minimum of space travel, no green-skinned martians, etc), more of the modernist dystopian future sort of speculative fiction. it's an intriguing world with captivating people in it, just wish the story was as engaging to match. ( )
  fireweaver | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maureen F. McHughprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A simple way to get to know more about a town is to see how the people work, how they love and how they die. - Albert Camus, The Plague
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312860986, Paperback)

When talking about this book you have to list the awards it's won--the Hugo, the Tiptree, the Lambda, the Locus, a Nebula nomination--after that you can skip the effusive praise from the New York Times and get to the heart of things: This is a book about a future many don't agree with. It's set in a 22nd century dominated by Communist China and the protagonist is a gay man. These aren't the usual tropes of science fiction, and they aren't written in the usual way. But, wow, it's one heck of a story.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:23 -0400)

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