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【中英双语】《看不见的星球》中国科幻小说国外读者书评

更新:2018-01-16 19:18:56  |  来源:转载  |  阅读:0
标签:选集中国星球

Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation 

《看不见的星球》中国当代科幻小说选集国外读者书评

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国外网民评论翻译:

Oct28, 2016 Tadiana✩Night Owl☽ratedit really liked it
4.5stars for thiscollection of Chinese SF short stories. Final review, firstposted on Fantasy Literature:

给这本中国短篇科幻小说选集打4.5星。最终版书评,首发于《奇幻文学》。

Invisible Planets is an interesting and varied anthologyof thirteenspeculative short fiction stories and three essays by sevencontemporary Chineseauthors, translated into English by Ken Liu.As Liu mentions in the Introduction, several of these stories have wonU.S.awards (most notably the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette, given toHaoJingfang’s Folding Beijing) and have been included in “Year’sBest”anthologies. Chinese fantasy and science fiction is richly diverse, andthiscollection amply proves that. While there is political commentary in someofthese stories, it would be, as Liu comments, doing these works a disservicetoassume that they can be reduced to metaphors about Chinese politics.Thesestories offer insights not just into Chinese thought and culture, butaboutlife and humanity generally, which is what the best science fiction andfantasydoes.

《看不见的星球》是由来自七位中国作家的十三篇短篇幻想小说及三篇论文构成的选集,题材有趣风格多变,由刘宇昆翻译成英语。刘宇昆在前言里所介绍,其中数篇业已荣获美国的奖项(最值得一提的是荣获2016年雨果奖最佳中短篇小说奖的郝景芳的《北京折叠》)或是收录进《科幻小说最佳年选》。中国的奇幻科幻小说别开生面,这部选集便能充分证明。尽管有人对其中部分作品产生政治性的批评言论,但正如刘宇昆所言,此种言论试图将这些作品贬低为针对中国政治的隐喻,会有损这些作品的价值。这些小说不仅能提供洞悉中国思想及文化的机会,还能一窥生命和人性的究竟,这正是优秀科幻奇幻小说所具备的。

“The Year of the Rat” by ChenQiufan.Genetically engineered rats, rodents of unusual size and intelligence,andprogrammed with certain behaviors (like walking upright), are exportedfromChina as luxury pets. When a mass escape of rats from their farms occurs―whether by accident or as a political ploy ― and the rats’ geneticlimitationson reproduction begin to break down, they create a threat to thecountry.Unemployed college students, like the narrator, are enlisted to huntand killthe Neorats. But the hunting and the killing turn out to be moredifficult thanexpected: the rats’ intelligence makes them difficult to trap,and some of thestudents begin to question the morality of the cause. Amongother things, thisstory explores how our ideas and perceptions can bemanipulated, whether byrats, love interests, or hidden political powers.

陈楸帆的《鼠年》里,拥有不寻常体型和智力且被人工编程而具有特定行为(如直立行走)的基因工程改造的老鼠作为奢侈型宠物从中国出口。不知是意外还是政治手腕使然,发生了大规模的养殖场老鼠出逃事件,而且从基因上限制老鼠生育能力的机制失灵,产生了全国性的威胁。待业的大学生包括故事的讲述人,被征召进猎杀新鼠类的队伍;但猎杀的过程远比预想中要难得多:老鼠的智力之高让其难以中圈套,而有些学生开始对其行为道义产生质疑。此外,该小说探究我们自身的想法和感受是如何能被无论是老鼠、暧昧对象、或是看不见的政治权力玩弄于掌心。

“The Fish of Lijiang” by ChenQiufan. Aworkaholic office worker, stressed and burned out, is placed on amandatorytwo-week leave and sent to the beautiful historic city of Lijiang, nowa centerfor rehabilitation. He meets a girl there and they begin spendingtimetogether, seeing the sights, playing drinking games, listening to strangeNaximusic, watching the red fish hover in the waterways, struggling againstthecurrent to maintain their positions. The girl opens the narrator’s eyes tosomehigh tech tricks that are being foisted on unsuspecting workers. Theclassthemes in “The Fish of Lijiang” are echoed in the later story FoldingBeijing,which I felt handled that theme more creatively, but the repeatedsymbol of thefish was thought-provoking.

陈楸帆的《丽江的鱼儿们》里,一个饱受压力精疲力竭的白领工作狂,被强迫休假两周并送往风景优美的历史古城,现为疗养中心的丽江。在那儿,他遇上了一个女孩一起共度时光,赏美景,玩酒桌游戏,听怪怪的纳西古乐,看红色鱼儿在水沟里努力游动逆流而上。女孩讲的高科技玩意是如何愚弄不知情的员工,让故事讲述人大开眼界。《丽江的鱼儿们》的阶级性主旨与后面的小说《北京折叠》遥相呼应,虽然我感觉后者在该主旨的把握上更富创意,但反复出现的鱼儿的象征性还是发人深省。

“The Flower of Shazui” by ChenQiufan. Anengineer, on the run from a failed criminal scheme at his prior job,has made anew life in Shazui Village, selling black market augmented-realitysoftware and“body films,” a thin film applied to people’s bodies that displayswords orpictures. When Snow Lotus, a lovely high class prostitute, needs his servicesoneday for a malfunction in her body film, he finds out about the troubles inherlife and decides to use his high tech skills to assist her. This story, setinan alternate reality version of the Shenzhen Bay area, juxtaposes hardsciencefiction and high tech with the underside of society and its desperateand veryhuman problems.

陈楸帆的《沙嘴之花》里,一个工程师在他之前工作岗位上犯罪暴露后踏上逃亡之路,在沙嘴村开始了新的人生,售卖黑市的增强现实软件和贴在人身上显示文字图案的“人体贴膜”。当美丽的高级妓女雪莲有天请他帮忙修坏掉的人体贴膜,他发现了她人生里的麻烦便决定用自己的高科技手段帮助她。这个故事发生在平行版本的深圳湾地区,将硬科幻高科技与社会底层及其悲惨而又充满人性的困境并排展现。

“A Hundred Ghosts ParadeTonight” by XiaJia. Ning was left on the steps of a temple as a baby, and waspicked up andadopted by the ghosts who dwell on Ghost Street, a long, narrowstreetinhabited only by the ghosts ― and Ning, who loves them. Ghost Street isadefunct tourist attraction: no tourists come any more, and the buildingsarefalling to pieces. Gradually it becomes apparent that Ghost Street is a typeofWestworld amusement park: the souls of real people have been fusedintomechanical bodies that mimic some of the characteristics of actual ghosts:theycannot stand direct sunlight, which burns them irreparably; they canremovetheir heads and put them back on again.

夏笳的《百鬼夜行街》里,宁哥儿打襁褓时就被遗弃在寺庙前的台阶上,被住在鬼街的鬼捡到并收养。鬼街又窄又长,除了鬼和宁哥儿,没人住在那儿。鬼街曾是一处旅游景点,但现在游客都不来了,建筑变得破败斑驳。随着故事逐渐展开,原来鬼街是类似《西部世界》的游乐园,活生生的人的灵魂被注入进机械身体以模仿一些鬼的角色;鬼不能承受阳光直射,会烧伤无法修复;鬼能摘下头再放回去。

Before she became a ghost, XiaoQian tellsme, she lived a very full life. … And then her children got sick, oneafteranother. In order to raise the money to pay the doctors, Xiao Qian soldherselfoff in pieces: teeth, eyes, breasts, heart, liver, lungs, bone marrow,andfinally her soul. Her soul was sold to Ghost Street, where it was sealedinsidea female ghost’s body. Her children died anyway.

“在做鬼之前,小倩曾经有过非常丰富的人生经验,…后来她的孩子们得了病,又一个一个死去了,小倩为了筹钱给孩子们治病,便把自己一份一份地卖掉,牙齿,眼睛,乳房,心脏,肝,骨髓,最后卖掉的是她的灵魂,她的灵魂被卖到鬼街,灌入一个女鬼的身体里…”

Ning thinks he is the onlyliving being onGhost Street, but it may be that there is something artificialabout Ning aswell. “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight” is a lovely, bittersweettale, enhancedby Xia Jia’s wonderful imagery. This is a story that confused meat first (Iinitially missed the shift from fantasy to science fiction), butonce Iunderstood the premise, I reread it with tremendous pleasure. It’s amagicalbut sad world, left behind in society’s unceasing search for newer,moresensational amusements.

宁哥儿自以为是鬼街唯一的活人,但宁哥儿其实多少也是人造的。《百鬼夜行街》是个苦乐参半的美丽故事,夏笳本人美妙的意象力提升了作品。这故事一开始让我摸不着头脑(看第一遍时从奇幻转换到科幻的部分我看漏了),后来看明白了故事的前提,我怀着极大的愉悦重读了一遍。书中魔幻而悲伤的世界,被不停追逐更新潮更刺激娱乐的社会所抛弃

“Tongtong’s Summer” by Xia Jia.Tongtong’sGrandpa, who can no longer live on his own, moves in with her family.Grandpagrumpily resists getting a caretaker, so Tongtong’s father decides totry out aprototype robot caregiver, which they call Ah Fu. One day Tongtongbeginsconversing with Ah Fu, and finds out that the robot is remotely controlledbyWang, a university student working in R&D at the robotmanufacturer’sfacilities. Grandpa’s temper continues to worsen, until Wangcomes up with acreative solution.

夏笳的《童童的夏天》里,童童的外公因为生活不能自理而搬来与童童一家同住。外公脾气不好,拒绝找护工照料,于是童童爸爸决定试用一台测试阶段的护理机器人,取名叫做阿福。一天童童与阿福试着交谈,才知道机器人是由一名在机器人制造企业研发部门工作的大学生小王在远程控制。外公的脾气越来越坏,直到小王想出个很有创意的解决办法。

This is a fairly straightforwardtale thatsensitively explores the needs and concerns of the elderly in anear-futurescience fictional setting. I was especially moved by the author’snote at theend, dedicating this story to “all the grandmas and grandpas who,each morning,can be seen in parks practicing tai chi, twirling swords, singingopera, dancing… You made me understand that living with an awareness of thecloseness ofdeath is nothing to be afraid of.”

故事简单明了,在近未来科幻背景下很体贴地探究了老年人的需求和担忧。作者在后记的一番话尤其打动我,她把这篇故事献给“那些每天在公园里打拳、舞剑、唱戏、跳舞、遛鸟、画画、写大字、拉手风琴的爷爷奶奶。你们让我知道,向死而生并不是一件那么可怕的事。”

Jana: All of Xia Jia’s featuredpieces wereemotionally affective for me, particularly “Tongtong’s Summer,”becauseTongtong’s character and her relationship with her Grandpa weresowell-written. The Ah Fu prototype is especially interesting becausethetechnological seeds of a “robot caretaker” already exist: theinternalresistance which smooths out Grandpa’s motions inside the controllersuit isakin to the gyroscopes implemented in cutlery for people withParkinson’s;robots with interactive screens can go to school as surrogates forill orotherwise infirm children; and using a wall-screen to communicate remotelyisno different from video-conferencing or Skyping. The ending and author’snoteare, indeed, moving, and I’d recommend keeping a few tissues on hand justin case.

夏笳的这些富有鲜明特色的短篇作品每一篇都触动到我的情感,尤其是《童童的夏天》,童童的性格和她与外公之间的关系写的很好;“阿福”原型机也特别有意思,因为“机器人护工”的科技萌芽已经实现:帮助外公平稳操纵的遥控手套的内置阻力,与现实中帕金森病患者(注:症状之一为手控制不住地剧烈抖动)专用餐具内置的陀螺仪密切相关;带有互动屏幕的机器人可以成为生病住院的孩子去上学的替身;而视频墙的远程通讯功能同视频会议系统和视频通讯软件没什么差别。结尾和后记真的很感人,建议手边备有纸巾以防需要。

“Night Journey of theDragon-Horse” by XiaJia. A huge, ancient and rusted dragon-horse awakens from along sleep to finda desolate world from which humans have disappeared. Wherecars once filled thestreet like a river of steel, lush trees now dance in thewind. Thedragon-horse begins a journey to explore this changed world. Hebefriends achatty bat, and they exchange stories as they travel. It’s aleisurely tale, amelancholy tale, a poetic meditation on the effects of passageof time. As abonus, Xia Jia provides links for some YouTube videosto an actual robotic dragon-horse, built by France and gifted to Chinatocommemorate the friendship between their nations, which inspired this story.

夏笳的《龙马夜行》里,巨大、古老而又锈迹斑斑的龙马从长睡中醒来,发现身处的是人类消失后的荒凉世界。“曾经车流如织的通衢大道上,参天树木生得郁郁葱葱,在风里婆娑起舞”。龙马开始了探索变化后的世界的旅程。龙马与一只健谈的蝙蝠交上了朋友,一边旅行一边交换故事与见闻。这是个轻松的故事,也是个忧郁的故事,是对时光荏苒的诗意冥想。作为福利,夏笳还提供了一头真正的机器龙马的视频链接,是法国建造并送给中国以纪念两国间的友谊,这篇故事正是受此启发。

“The City of Silence” by MaBoyong. In theyear 2046, the State tightly controls the lives of itsinhabitants, in apolluted, stagnant world. People’s lives are solitary andrather empty, withthe Web as the main vehicle for human interaction. They areonly allowed to use“healthy words” in their communications in person or online.Originally a listof forbidden words deemed unhealthy (for example, “tired,”“love,” “movement,”and all sexual and curse words), now it is a list of thewords that people are permittedto say or write. And the List of Healthy Wordsgets shorter every day. People’sspeech is constantly monitored and policed bythe state.

马伯庸的《寂静之城》里,2046年,某国严密控制居民的生活,每个人的生活既孤独又空虚,而网络是人类交往的主要载体。不管是人际交流还是网上沟通,人们只允许使用“健康词汇”。原先有一个被认定为不健康的屏蔽词汇(比如:疲劳,运动,以及所有的脏话)的清单,而现在是允许使用的词汇清单,且健康词汇的清单每天都在缩减。人们的言论受某国的持续监控和管制。

Arvardan applies to use the BBSforums, butthey don’t contain any more interesting speech or ideas than henormally sees.However, he notices that the documents given him by a womanworking in theDepartment of Web Security contain a hidden message … and adangerousinvitation.

阿瓦登申请使用BBS论坛,但论坛不再有往常般的有趣言论或想法。但是,他注意到网络部的女职员给他的文件含有隐藏信息,是个危险的邀请。

Evidently inspired by GeorgeOrwell’s 1984,which is discussed in one of the meetings of the Talking Club thatArvardanjoins, “The City of Silence” takes the concept of thought police andapplies itto a technological age. As one of the characters comments,“technology isneutral. But the progress of technology will cause a free worldto become freer,and a totalitarian world to become ever more repressive.”Arvardan and hisfriends know and can still think the words that the State nowdeems unhealthy,but one wonders what will become of the next generation in MaBoyong’snightmarish society.

小说明显受乔治奥威尔的《1984》的启发,小说里阿瓦登参加的说话会的一次聚会里也提到过,《寂静之城》采纳了思想警察的概念并将其用在科技时代的背景。正如书中某一角色所言:“技术是中性的,但技术的进步会让自在的世界更自在,集权的世界更加集权”。当下阿瓦登和同伴们还能在脑海力想某国认定不健康的词汇,但让人不禁琢磨马伯庸笔下噩梦般的社会的下一代形态会是什么。

“Invisible Planets,” by HaoJingfang. Oneof many recently-published short SF/F pieces which takeinspiration from ItaloColvino’s classic novel Invisible Cities, and thesource of thisanthology’s title, “Invisible Planets” describes numerous worldspopulated bycreatures both strange and familiar. Liu describes it as“fabulist,” and Ithink that’s the best descriptor for the story. As thecharacteristics of eachplanet, its inhabitants, and their histories are listed,you can almost hearthe soothing, sing-song voice of the narrator as you (theconversation partner,also included in the narrative) are transported throughoutdistant galaxies.The overall tone is slightly bittersweet: perfection in anysociety isimpossible, but that knowledge shouldn’t stop anyone fromexperiencing andenjoying beauty and the wonder of first discovery.

郝景芳的《看不见的星球》是最近发表的短篇科幻/幻想小说,受伊塔洛·卡尔维诺的经典小说《看不见的城市》的启发。《看不见的星球》描绘了许多住着既熟悉又陌生的生物的世界。小刘称之为“寓言体”,我深以为然,是对这个故事最好的描述。每个星球的特征、住民及其历史跃然纸上,仿佛自己在遥远星系穿梭时听到旁白的心平气和娓娓动听的嗓音。总体基调有点苦乐参半:完美的社会是不存在的,即便懂得这个道理,也不能阻碍任何人从初次发现中体会欣赏其中的美丽与神奇。

Folding Beijing, by Hao Jingfang (previously reviewed by Marionand Tadianafor our Short Fiction Monday feature). Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award forBestNovelette, this story examines literal class division via a wondrous citythatfolds into the ground and the various people that live and work withinitsbuildings. Lao Dao is a sanitation worker living in Third Space, the sectionofthe city which supports the people of Second and First Space; Third Spacehasthe largest population, over 51 million people, and yet they have thehardestlives and constantly struggle just to make ends meet. Lao Dao’s dream isfor hissmall daughter Tangtang to attend a music and dance academy, but inorder tofinance such a lofty dream, he must break the law by first meeting withanambitious student who lives in Second Space and deliver a letter to awealthywoman living in First Space. The amount in question is an impossiblyhigh sumfor him, and yet is the kind of money that First Spacers considerpocketchange.

郝景芳的《北京折叠》荣获2016年雨果奖最佳中短篇小说,故事通过描绘一个不同人群共同生活工作在其中的地面能折叠的奇妙城市,对阶级划分作以剖析。老刀是一名环卫工人,生活在专门用以维持第一和第二空间居民生活的第三空间,第三空间是三个空间里人口最多,超过5100万人,但这5100万人过着最艰难的生活,起早摸黑也不过勉强温饱。老刀的梦想是让宝贝女儿糖糖能进入学唱歌跳舞的专门学校,为了攒到实现这个遥不可及的梦想的金钱,老刀不惜以身试法,为一个住在第二空间的学生给住在第一空间的富婆送信。书中探讨的报酬可谓天价,但对第一空间的人来说不过是零钱。

The mechanisms of the foldingcity arewell-described, but Hao’s primary focus is on the class differencesseparatingthe people of Beijing. Things like money any quality of food, evenaccess tosunlight, are taken for granted by the wealthy and are exponentiallymoretreasured as one climbs down the economic ladder, and one’s height ofsocialclass is directly inverse to the amount of work expended by theindividual inquestion. This isn’t to say that those at the top are completelyinhuman: oneFirst Space character is clearly mindful that his section of thecity iscompletely dependent upon Third Space and its workers, and that thoseworkersmust have access to employment, even though it may be back-breakingandthankless work. Lao Dao cares so much about his little girl that he’swillingto do anything to give her a better life, even risk imprisonmentfortransgressing outside his assigned Space, and his efforts are bothsympatheticand admirable in this lovely, imaginative, astute story.

城市折叠的机制在书中描写地很清楚,但郝景芳的着眼点首要在于将北京人划分成三六九等的阶级差异。富人眼里理所应当的事物如金钱、食物品质、甚至照不照的到阳光,受珍视的程度随着经济梯级的下降而指数性上升,而且人在社会阶层所在高度与承担的工作总量成反比。并不是说顶层人士完全没有人性:书中某个第一空间人士思路非常清晰,知道其所在空间是完全依赖于第三空间及其劳工,认为这些劳工必须保障就业,即使就业的是不受人注意的繁重工作。在这个富有想象,眼光敏锐的优美故事里,老刀视女儿为掌上明珠,为了给女儿更好的生活而不惜一切,甚至冒坐牢的风险离开限定空间的这份努力让人同情并钦佩。

“Call Girl,” by Tang Fei. Aninterestingstory with unexpected twists about a teenaged girl and the oldergentlemen sheentertains. The set-up and title are misleading, in a good way,but I’d like toknow more about how her dog-whistle pendant and stories work.Tang provides somany tantalizing details in a short amount of text, and I’dlike just a littlemore clarity so that I can fully appreciate everything thatoccurs.

糖匪的《黄色故事》的内容是关于一个青春期小女孩和她取悦的年长绅士,是个有着始料不及的反转的有趣故事。故事设定和标题有误导之实,但是朝好的方向。我想了解更多关于小女孩的狗哨坠子的工作原理。糖匪在不长的篇幅里塞进许多撩人的细节,我就希望少点晦涩,能让我全面欣赏发生的一切。

“Grave of the Fireflies,” byCheng Jingbo.Cheng blends elements of fairy tales from across the globe in thisabsolutelywondrous fairy tale about a princess, her mother, and a collection ofrefugeestraveling through a cooling universe. Their planet has been transformed“intoan Ark” to carry what remains of humanity because no one can determinewhystars are dying, but after Princess Rosamund’s people arrive at a newplanet,Weightless City, she and her mother step into a giant robot and receiveastonishinganswers. This is a complex, multi-layered, ornate story, and agenuine pleasureto read.

程婧波的《萤火虫之墓》,混合世界各地的童话元素于一身,造就了这个关于一个公主和她的妈妈以及一群逃亡者穿越冷却了的宇宙的旅程的绝妙童话。由于无人能确定恒星走向死亡的原因,他们的星球被改造成一艘“方舟”带着所有幸存人类逃亡;当罗莎蒙德公主一行到达新的星球——自由落体城,她和她的妈妈走进一架巨大的机器人并获得令人震惊的答案。这篇小说结构复杂、层次多样、辞藻华丽,读来好一番享受。

Kat: “The Circle,” by Liu Cixin.Liu Cixin’s “The Circle” is set in China in 227 BC. When Jing Ke, alearned manfrom a neighboring dynasty, refuses to assassinate King Zheng ashe’s beeninstructed, King Zheng recognizes that Jing Ke is not only noble, buthighlyeducated and intelligent, so he hires him as an advisor. King Zheng iseager toextend his lifespan and thinks that Jing Ke, who is studying themathematicalproperties of nature, will someday learn the secrets of eternallife. To thisend, Jing Ke is trying to calculate all the digits of pi, butit’s slow-goinguntil, under pressure, he comes up with a brilliant idea whichhe implements toeveryone’s satisfaction… until it goes wrong. At the end ofthis clever story,we’re left with the realization that great leaps in humanprogress often comefrom sudden flashes of insight and that the only thing thatlimits us is theshortness of our lifespans.

刘慈欣的《圆》,其背景设定为公元前227年的中国。当客卿荆轲拒绝受命刺杀秦王政,秦王政才发现荆轲不仅人品高尚,还学富五车聪慧过人,便任命其为幕僚。秦王政渴望延年益寿,知道荆轲习晓大自然的数学特性,认为荆轲迟早能破解永生的秘密。为此,荆轲尽其所能计算圆周率π的所有数字,但进展缓慢;重重压力之下,荆轲想出绝妙的主意并付诸行动,所有人都很满意…直到出错了。这个巧妙的故事的结局让我们意识到,人类前进的伟大一步往往来自于灵光一现,生命短暂是我们唯一的局限。

“The Circle” will be especiallyappealingto those who have a basic understanding of computer hardware andsoftware andconcepts such as binary code, Boolean algebra, RAM, firewall, etc.I think itwould be a great story to assign to a beginning computer scienceclass and willbe mentioning it to a colleague of mine who teaches CS courses atmyuniversity. (And, hey, she’s Chinese!)

对计算机软硬件及概念如二进制、布尔代数、RAM内存、防火墙等有基本了解的人群,会觉得《圆》特别有吸引力。我觉得这个故事特别适合作为在计算机班开班时的内容,我会跟我大学教计算机的同事提一下(巧了,她是中国人/华人)。

Jana: Even though I know verylittle aboutcomputer programming, I enjoyed “The Circle” because Liu writes soclearly thatI could visualize everything that was taking place, and picturingmen with flagsmoving in precise patterns is easier for me than whatevermysterious alchemy ishappening inside my internet machine. Liu makes it allseem so plausible, evenwithin the context of China’s Warring States Period,since we have no way ofknowing what concepts and technologies have been lost tothe dust of time andhistory.

尽管我对计算机编程知之甚少,但我仍能欣赏《圆》,因为大刘描写的很清晰,书中发生的所有事情我都能视觉化,比起用来上网的机器内部的神秘变化,我更容易在脑海里想象出举着小旗的人群以精确的阵型移动的景象。即便故事背景是中国的战国时代,大刘也能把故事讲圆了,毕竟我们无法得知究竟有多少理念和技术散佚在时间与历史的尘埃里。

“Taking Care of God,” by LiuCixin. Massivespaceships appear in orbit around Earth without warning and thepassengers,announcing themselves as humanity’s progenitors and collectivelyreferred to asGods, are sent to live with families all over the planet inexchange for accessto their wildly advanced technology. Three years later, theshine has worn offthe apple, and the adoptive families chafe against thechanges brought on bycaring for an elderly person who doesn’t know how to fitinto their new surroundings.This excellent story has a little bit of everythingI like: social commentary,sly humor, and speculation about humanity’s originsand place in the universe.Liu provides an honest, thoughtful examination of theinitial joys and gradualfriction brought on by caring for an elderly familymember, as well as theconfusion and frustration felt by people who once hadlimitless freedom and nowsimply want to be taken care of by their descendants.

刘慈欣的《赡养上帝》里,大规模的宇宙飞船毫无征兆地出现在地球轨道上,飞船里的人自称是人类的创始人也就是通常所说的上帝,全球的家庭接纳他们同住以换取远远超前的科技。三年过去了,新鲜感早已不在,收养上帝的家庭对因照料一个不懂如何融入环境的老头子所产生的改变而心生愤懑。这个优秀故事具备我喜爱的所有特点:社会评论、歧义幽默、关于人类起源和在宇宙中地位的猜测假设。大刘作了一次诚实且深思的剖析,直面儿女因照料老年家庭成员所带来的始乐终怨,和曾经拥有不受约束的自由而现在只求后代能赡养的老人所感受的困惑与失意。

Tadiana: Liu Cixin’s two storieswere amongthose in this anthology that impressed me the most. “Taking Care ofGod” uses ascience fictional setting to explore the interrelationship betweenthe youthfuland the aging, both on an individual level and on a macro level, aswe see herehow an entire civilization echoes the aging process. There isfrustration andsome understandable self-interest on both ends of the spectrum.As bad as theelder abuse gets in some situations, it hits hard when one of theGods explainsthat they have been treated even worse in the past. Their urgentadvice tohumanity in the end was an interesting and unexpected turn in thenarrative.

刘慈欣写的两个故事是这本选集里让我印象最深刻的。《赡养上帝》以科幻小说的设定,从个人层面和宏观层面上来探究年轻人和老年人之间的相互关系,就如同我们在当下的整个文明社会是如何反复讨论老龄化过程。相互关系的一端是失意,另一端是可以理解的自私。某些情形下虐待老人让人揪心,但更让人揪心的是上帝中的一位解释说以前得到的对待更差。故事末尾上帝给人类提供的紧迫的建议,是让人始料未及的有趣反转。

Essays:

论文

The first, by Liu Cixin, is titled “The Worst of All Possible Universes andtheBest of All Possible Earths…” and examines the success and impact ofhistrilogy, REMEMBRANCE OF EARTH’S PAST, specifically withinthescience-fiction genre and within his country. Liu’s uation of thetrilogy’ssuccess and its reception in China is as thoughtful as his fiction,with ameasure of hope for what directions the genre can take and where humanitymightgo as the future continues to unfold.

第一篇是刘慈欣的《最糟的宇宙和最好的地球》,剖析了他的《地球往事》三部曲的成功与影响力——尤其是在科幻文学界和他的祖国。怀着一份对科幻文学的走向以及未来人类或能到达的高度的期许,大刘对其三部曲的成功并在中国大受欢迎的自我评价同他的作品一样深思熟虑。

The second essay, “The TornGeneration:Chinese Science Fiction in a Culture in Translation” by Chen Quifan,providesinsight from “a former googler” into social progress, the roleliterature canplay in changing ideals, and “China in transformation.” Chen isboth insightfuland, like Liu Cixin, hopeful for the future.

第二篇是陈楸帆的《撕裂的一代:转型文化中的中国科幻》涉及:一名前谷歌员工(即陈楸帆)对社会进步的洞察,文学在理想转变中所能扮演的角色,以及“转型中的中国”。陈楸帆如同刘慈欣一样对未来富有眼光且充满希望。

Finally, Xia Jia’s “What MakesChineseScience Fiction Chinese?” asks a difficult question without a solidanswer,though Xia makes a strong effort at providing an overview of the genrein Chinaover the last century or so. She does a great job of informing andeducating Westernreaders who may not be familiar with the unique perspectivesof Chineseauthors, and I would consider this to be essential reading for anyonewho seeksa broader perspective on science fiction.

最后一篇是夏笳的《什么是中国科幻?》,提出了一个难以回答的问题,尽管夏笳非常努力提供过去一个世纪左右中国科幻文学的纵览,却并没有给出这个问题的让人信服的答案。然而她在为不熟悉中国作者特定视角的西方读者摆事实讲道理这方面的确做得很出色,我建议任何寻求更广角看待科幻小说的人士将这篇论文列为必读。

Overall, Invisible Planetsis animpressive collection of stories. Even though they’re all translated bythesame person, each story is clearly distinct, and the authors’ individualstylesand messages are easily discernable. Ken Liu has done the entire fieldofscience fiction a tremendous service with his work here, both as an editorandtranslator, and we sincerely hope to be able to read many more translatedworksof Chinese science fiction in the months and years to come.

总而言之,《看不见的星球》选集是一本令人印象深刻的小说选。即使是由同一人翻译,每篇故事都有显著不同的特色,作者们的个人风格和主题思想清晰可辨。刘宇昆既是本作的编辑又是翻译,为整个科幻界作出了显著贡献。我们真切希望能在未来的岁月里看到更多中国科幻小说的译作。



Nov21, 2016 Alex☣Deranged KittyCat ☣ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition 
评分3.15星
There! I did it! I must say that this was a somewhat hard journey as there aremany cultural differences. But I am curious now in regard to Chinese sci-fi,and I'll be reading some more in the future.

各位,我读完了。必须承认,由于大量文化差异导致阅读过程不太容易。但我现在对中国科幻产生好奇,未来会阅读更多的中国科幻作品。

1. "The Year of the Rat" by Chen Quifan - ★★★☆☆《鼠年》陈楸帆 
"In the Year of the Rat you'regoing to fight rats. Now that's funny."“鼠年灭鼠,有创意” 
This was... Well, I'm not sure what this was. It felt like some kind ofdystopia, where you either have a job, or you end up fighting rats. It feltlike a horror story, where you wait for the monster to appear. It felt likesomething political, where you doubt anything and everything. It was extremelyconfusing and I'm left feeling uneasy. Uneasy because the government can trickyou at any point, and because science left unchecked can bring nightmares tolife.

这部作品,怎么说,我不太清楚是什么。感觉有点像反乌托邦小说,要么找到工作,要么沦为灭鼠大军一员;感觉有点像恐怖小说,等着怪物出现;感觉又有点像政治小说,对所有事物保持怀疑。实在太捉摸不着,让我感到不自在,不自在的原因在于政府能任意摆弄你,也在于不受限制的科技会让人生陷入梦魇。

2. "The Fish of Lijang" by Chen Quifan - ★★★★☆《丽江的鱼儿们》陈楸帆
This is the only truly free choice Ihave left. 
This is the second story that hints at lack of freedom. 
Say hello to a workaholic man who is sent by his company to a rehabilitationcenter. He is not allowed a phone or anything else that might tell him thetime. And this center is completely artificial. 
There, he meets a woman and the two hit it. But their meeting is not by chance.It's actually pretty sad if you ask me. 
Are all the stories in this anthology sad? I hope not.

这便是我在这世上仅有的自由选择。
第二个故事暗示着失去自由。
来认识下这个工作狂,他被公司送到康复中心,那里不许拥有手机或是任何能看时间的东西,而且这个疗养中心是彻头彻尾的幌子。
他在那儿遇见个姑娘且好上了,但两人的相遇并非巧合。真是个悲伤的故事。
这部选集的故事都那么悲伤?希望不要啊。

3. "The Flower of Shazui" by Chen Quifan - ★★☆☆☆《沙嘴之花》 - 陈楸帆
I have a bit of a problem with all the names. They sound so alien to me thatsometimes it's hard for me to follow.
This story is about a man who committed a crime and had to run away. He becomesinfatuated with a prostitute who is in a relationship with her pimp. Trying tohelp her, things get out of hand.
Again, a sad story. 

我对书名有点意见,名字看上去像是个异形故事,读的时候时不时让我感到出戏。
故事内容是一个男的犯罪后不得不逃亡,后来迷上一个与皮条客相恋的妓女,为了帮她而变得一发不可收拾。又是个悲伤的故事。 

4. "A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight" by Xia Jia - ★★★★★《百鬼夜行街》夏笳
And then her children got sick, oneafter another. In order to raise the money to pay the doctors, Xiao Qian soldherself off in pieces: teeth, eyes, breasts, heart, liver, lungs, bone marrow,and finally her soul. Her soul was sold to Ghost Street, where it was sealedinside a female ghost's body. Her children died anyway. 

后来她的孩子们得了病,又一个一个死去了,小倩为了筹钱给孩子们治病,便把自己一份一份地卖掉,牙齿,眼睛,乳房,心脏,肝,骨髓,最后卖掉的是她的灵魂,她的灵魂被卖到鬼街,灌入一个女鬼的身体里…

This is by far my favorite story. It's that of a boy living on a street full ofghosts, robots that are shells for human souls. These ghosts were toys forhumans, but newer toys were invented, so Ghost Street was abandoned.
Again, a sad story, but a very interesting one. Saying more about it would meanspoiling it.

目前为止最喜欢的一个故事。故事内容是有个男孩住在一条全是鬼的街上,所谓鬼是内置人类灵魂外是机器躯壳的机器人。这些鬼是人类的玩物,但当新的玩物发明后,鬼街被废弃了。
双是一个悲伤的故事,但非常有趣,再说太多会剧透。

5. "Tongtong's Summer" by Xia Jia - ★★★★☆《童童的夏天》夏笳
This is an emotional story about a little girl, Tongtong, and the summer hergrandpa moved in with her family. The SF element comes in the form oftechnology. People have invented robots operated by other humans as caretakers.
We get to see things from Tongtong's POV. Even if she's an innocent child,she's quite perceptive and you cannot help getting attached to the characters. 

这个温情的故事讲述的是小女孩童童在她外公搬来同住的夏天发生的事情。科幻元素表现在科技形式,人类发明了由人操控的机器人用作护工。
我们得以从童童的视角看待事物,尽管她还是个天真烂漫的孩子,确相当有洞察力,让人不禁对故事里的人物产生情感。

6. "Night Journey of the Dragon-horse" by Xia Jia - ★★★★☆《龙马夜行》夏笳
3.5 stars
These short stories are becoming quite hard to review. They are beautifullywritten. And they can be pretty boring at the same time. Maybe it's thecultural difference, but it's getting harder to finish this anthology withevery story.
This one is part SF, part post-apocalyptic, part urban fantasy. 
In a world where humans don't exist anymore, a dragon-horse robot and a bat setupon a journey. As they reminiscent about the past, we get to see glimpses of aworld before humans disappeared. With more details and more action, this wouldhave been an amazing novel.
So far, Xia Jia is my favorite Chinese writer.

这些短篇小说越来越难写评论了,一方面写得很优美,一方面又相当无趣。或许是文化差异的缘故,完成这部选集的全部书评好难哦。
这篇故事部分科幻,部分后启示录题材,部分奇幻。
故事的世界里,人类已不再存在,龙马机器人和蝙蝠踏上旅程。它们对过往的追忆,让我们一窥人类消失之前的世界。如果有更丰满的细节和更丰富的剧情,或许能成为一篇美妙的小说。
目前为止,夏笳是我最喜爱的中国作家。

7. "The City of Silence" by Ma Boyong - ★★★★★《寂静之城》马伯庸
This is very 1984ish. In fact, Orwell's book is muchtalked about in this short story. But instead of Big Brother watching you, youhave the appropriate authorities listening to your every word. The webhas become a control tool and people rarely leave their houses.
Some said that outside the borders ofthe State there are other Web sites, but those were only urban legends. 
As a huge fan of 1984, I loved The City of Silence.

这篇非常地“1984”。实际上这篇短篇小说里也屡次谈论到奥威尔的书。除了“老大哥”在看着你,还有“有关部门”监听着你蹦出来的每个字。网络成为了控制的工具,而人们几乎足不出户。
“据说美国境外也是有互联网络站点,但那不过是都市传说。”
作为1984的真爱粉,我超喜欢《寂静之城》。


8. "Invisible Planets" by Hao Jingfang - ★★★★☆《看不见的星球》郝景芳
"Yes, what you say sounds like theTruth. But the world is full of Truths. So what if you have a Truth?"

“是的,你说得很正确,可是世界上正确的东西太多了,正确又如何呢”

This short story feels like a discussion between an adult and a child. Theadult tells stories about different planets and their inhabitants. I especiallyliked the story of planet Amiyachi. This planet has two intelligent races, oneruling during the winter, and one during the summer. They don't know about eachother and have no clue how if one perished, so would the other.

这篇短篇故事像是大人与小孩之间的谈论。大人讲了形形色色的星球和星球上的住民的故事。我尤其钟爱阿米亚吉星,这个星球上有两种智慧种族,一个在冬天统治,另一个在夏天统治。双方都不知道对方的存在,不知道如果一方死去,另一方也会随之而去。

9. "Folding Beijing" by Hao Jingfang - ★★☆☆☆《北京折叠》郝景芳
The title says it all, as the city of Beijing is actually folding (thinkInception or Doctor Strange). There are three spaces (inhabited by three socialclasses) that get to take turns to be above ground. Needless to say, FirstSpace gets to enjoy the fresh air the most, as they are the privileged class.Second Space consists of white collars, while Third Space literally takes careof the trash.
The main character comes from the Third Space, and the story is pretty uncomfortable.It's sad and frustrating to see such discrimination, and it's even sadder whenyou think it's all around us, too.

标题说明一切。北京城变得能折叠(想象下《盗梦空间》或《奇异博士》),三个空间(居住着三种社会阶层)存在其中,交替出现在地面上。无需多言,第一空间能享受最多的新鲜空气,因为他们是特权阶层;第二空间由白领组成,而第三空间里都是垃圾和“垃圾”,而我们的主人公来自于第三空间。这故事相当令人不快,目睹如此不公让人悲伤沮丧,更让人悲伤的是想到类似的事情就发生在我们周围。

10. "Call Girl" by Tang Fei - ★★☆☆☆《黄色故事》糖匪
I did not understand this one. Yes, it's about a call girl, but as you're ledto believe she offers sex for money, you discover that's not the truth. She offerssomething else, and I cannot understand if she uses some kind of paranormalpower or some gadget.

不太能理解这篇。故事是关于一个应召女郎,就在你被故事牵着以为她为钱卖春,又发现并非事实。她卖的是别的什么,我不太明白她是用了什么超自然力还是什么装置。

11. "Grave of the Fireflies" by Cheng Jingbo - ★★☆☆☆《萤火虫之墓》程婧波
2.45 stars
This is fantasy with a drop of sci-fi. The stars are dying, so mankind isleaving their home-planet. During this journey, Rosamund is born, the daughterof the last Queen of men. The planet they colonize is ruled by a magician, and,in time, Rosamund meets him, while finding out more about her mother's past.
This felt rushed. As a full novel, it would have been amazing. Like this, itbarely begins when it ends.

带有一丁点科幻的奇幻小说。恒星正在死去,所以人类离开自己的母星。旅途中,人类最后的皇后的女儿罗莎蒙德出生。人类殖民的星球由一位魔术师统治,罗莎蒙德终于遇见魔术师并获悉了更多母亲的过往。
感觉太赶了,如果写成长篇小说的话会很奇妙。但本篇没怎么开始就结束了。

12. "The Circle" by Liu Cixin - ★★★☆☆《圆》刘慈欣
At first, I found this a little hard to understand. I kept thinking about allthose people with their flags and what was all about, but it all eluded me.Then came the twist at the end and I was left speechless. That was a greattwist!
P.S. Read this as my neighbors had their music on maximum volume. >.
一开始觉得有点难理解,我一直在琢磨带着小旗的这些人是什么意思,但还是很茫然。直到结局最后的反转让我瞠目结舌,真是神转折!
另:读这篇的时候我的邻居把音乐的音量开到最大,>.<太高估人的常识了。

【译者注,《圆》是刘慈欣为了三体的海外发售而以秦始皇及人列计算机的内容写的英文版短篇小说,读过三体的读者应该能大致猜出什么内容,大刘本人说没有必要发表中文版。】

13. "Taking Care of God" by Liu Cixin - ★☆☆☆☆《赡养上帝》刘慈欣
You know God? In Cixin's vision, God is an ancient civilization that madehumans only in order to have someone take care of them once they're old anddecrepit. That's like parents having children only so that someone takes careof them in their old age. To say that I didn't like this story is anunderstatement. Respect is earned, not assumed. And you cannot make somebodytake care of you.
P.S. My neighbors are still annoying the crap out of me with their music.>.< 

你可知上帝?刘慈欣的版本里,上帝是一个上古文明,造人的目的只是为了在年老体衰之际有人能赡养自己,有点像父母生儿育女只是为了老的时候能有人照料。我说不喜欢这个故事已经很客气了。尊严是挣来的,不是想当然的,你不能强迫别人赡养你。
另:我的邻居还在放他们的破音乐,气死我了。>.<

*I thank Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Netgalley for this copy in exchange foran honest review.

感谢出版社赠送此书,以此诚实书评回报。(less)



Nov 08, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it 
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera, worldbuilding-sf, 2016-shelf 
Thanks to Netgalleyfor the ARC!

感谢Netgalley赠与的先行版。

There were quite a few interesting stories in thisvolume. It isn't considered a "Best-Of" collection by a long shot,but it does happen to give us westerners a taste of modern Chinese SF in theform it has now become. I won't say that a few were breaking any molds oranything, but there are a few things to consider.

本书里有不少有趣的故事,虽然谈不上是“最好作品”的合集,但也赶巧让我们西方人一尝当代中国科幻现在的味道。我不敢说其中有打破常规的作品,却有一些引人遐思的东西。

Such as? Well, SF as a whole is generally less respectedin China than it is over here with one exception. 

比方说?这么说吧,科幻在中国总体来说没有在我们这儿受尊敬,但有个特例。

Liu Cixin is followed by the Chinese internet like awildfire, sparking conversations and discussions across the board much to theamazement of the author. Even the engineers that had been the butt of hiscomments have taken up the book to rave about it. I personally loved histrilogy, the first of which won the Hugo over here. Another first, by the way.

刘慈欣在中国网络上如野火燎原般受人追捧,激起对该作者的拍案叫绝的作品的广泛对话与讨论。甚至工程师——评论里刘慈欣被拿来取笑的身份——同行们也拿起书并为之倾倒。我本人很喜爱他的三部曲,其中第一部赢得雨果奖;顺便一提,也是首次(译作获奖)。【译者注:这段好多文字游戏,野火-激起(燃起),工程师-笑柄(工具柄),第一部-第一次;这个评论者虽然是评论大刘的老面孔了,但他竟然知道刘电工的梗】

So it's not that big a surprise that curiosity set inamong us westerners, right? That's the whole purpose of this book. To give usall a chance to see what kind of glories are happening in the field over there.We even get an excerpt from Liu Cixin's The Three-BodyProblem and an awesome story called "Taking Care ofGod" (Which is both tongue-in-cheek and a serious read.)

所以我们西方人会(对此)产生好奇也没什么奇怪,对吗?提供给我们一探彼方科幻界究竟产生何样之光辉的机会,就是本书的全部意义。我们甚至能读到刘慈欣的《三体》里的一章改编的故事和另一个名为《赡养上帝》的让人肃然起敬的故事(故事既荒诞又严肃)。

His are my favorites.

他的作品就是我的最爱。

BUT, I really shouldn't neglect mentioning the lyricaland metaphor-heavy Hard-SF tale of survival among the death of stars in ChengJingbo's "Grave of Fireflies" or Hao Jingfang's "FoldingBeijing", a tale of social stratification meeting a crazy actual science-fictionalfolding of the city.

但素,我真心不会忽视程婧波的抒情与暗喻并重的置群星于死地而后人类求生的硬科幻小说《萤火虫之墓》,以及郝景芳的社会阶层化遇见城市折叠的疯狂科幻现实的小说《折叠北京》。

I also really enjoyed MA Boyong's "The City ofSilence". It's a modern retelling of 1984, but more than that, it takes the entireconcept of language modification to its limits. I was told not to read it as asatire and so I didn't, and because I read it as a serious tale set in aserious way... it freaked me the hell out. Truly, what a nightmare. This onemight stay with me a while. I was tempted to relegate it to the pile of similaroppressive dystopians, but no. It took several aspects and ran with it sosolidly that I think it deserves plenty of accolades. :)

我同样真心欣赏马伯庸的《寂静之城》,它是《1984》的现代版再演绎,但不仅于此,它将限定语言的整体概念发挥到极致。有人告诉我不要用阅读讽刺文学的眼光去阅读,我照做了;就因为我把它当作严肃文学而以严肃眼光阅读完后,我吓尿了。真的,这是何等的噩梦啊。这个故事会伴随我一阵子。我曾不禁想要将其归类于压迫性反乌托邦文学一类,但不行,它风格如此多面,行文如此踏实,我认为其配得上更多嘉奖。

I totally recommend this for curious people. I even recommendit for fans of clever SF. :)

向怀有好奇心的人隆重推荐,更向热爱构思巧妙的科幻小说的粉丝推荐。

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