Vagabonds

Hao Jingfang, trans. from the Chinese by Ken Liu. Saga, $27.99 (640p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2208-7
Hugo Award–winner Jingfang’s cerebral, futuristic debut explores the interplay between societal values and individual dreams in crisp, gorgeous prose. Luoying is a member of the Mercury Group, a group of teenagers born and raised on Mars sent to study on Earth for five years as part of a cultural exchange. Upon returning to their home planet, the students feel disconnected from their people. Having spent nearly a third of their lives in the highly materialistic capitalist Terran society, they struggle to reintegrate into the serene, seemingly utopian Martian republic. As Luoying strives to find her place in her old world, she grows suspicious of her grandfather, the current consul of Mars, and his involvement in both the deaths of her parents and her selection for the Mercury Group. Luoying’s growing disillusionment with Martian society is nimbly handled, as Jingfang vilifies neither capitalism nor communism, allowing for complex political commentary grounded in her characters’ emotions. Though some readers may grow frustrated by the novel’s slow pacing, the carefully considered quality of the language mirrors the thoughtful story being told. Fans of literary science fiction will relish this challenging tale. Agent: Katelyn Hales, Robin Straus Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/18/2019
Release date: 04/14/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0777-6
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