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.
friends. I'm sure he's not interested either, so why am I nervous? "Have a beer," I say. "Let me get to that separator," he says. When he is finished he says he has to get back, has to get up early the next day and all, but he does stay for the beer, sitting in my living room with the little environment unit. "I can't fix it," he says, "it's all fused inside." "Have you heard anything more?" I ask. "About being reassigned? No." His voice is soft and curiously flat. "But I've talked to some of
badly, dream and dream but I can't remember what I dream about when I wake up. At least I don't sleepwalk. And then it is Thursday, time for the council meeting. There is an empty chair at the front, McKenzie sits in the audience. Aron opens the meeting and says, "We can't have a meeting until we have a full council. We have one person willing to sit on council, Martine Jansch. Any other nominations or volunteers?" Kepet Waters stands up, "I'm willing," and sits down. McKenzie looks at her lap
under the old lights of the station, his burgundy sweater is the brown-red of bloodstains. While traveling he does not look at me. He is angry at me. Maybe he is tired, too. I hope he is tired, although I'm not anymore. I can't keep a train of thought in my head, many thoughts just skitter around, my head is a cricket cage. He will be angry when he finds out that I don't know how to dance. The new San-xiang should know how to dance, but I just don't. I can't help it, I don't. When he gets mad,
pool. The room is darker, and there is a light that reflects across the water, like the moon, Bobby says. He holds my wrist as we walk down the steps into the water. I can see him, his skin is so white, and I can see my suit. There are other people here, I can hear them and barely see them. The water is warm, much warmer than the pool where it is light. I can smell plants, and there is a cricket. It must be a recording, but I can hear him, sawing away. A cricket is good luck. Maybe even a
Cinnabar says. "You and Peter have been friends a long time. Which do you prefer, Zhang or Rafael?" "Which does Peter call me?" "Mostly Rafael." "Rafael is fine. Peter's a good guy," I say, "a good friend. The best." "I can see that," Cinnabar says softly. From the kitchen Peter calls, "What is this, my eulogy?" "Except, of course," I add, "he thinks he's everybody's mother." This strikes some cord in Cinnabar, he starts laughing. Peter comes out of the kitchen scarlet with embarrassment,