Elegant Science Fiction

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Mars and Earth have reached an uneasy peace since the conclusion of the Martian War for Independence. Over the decades, the differences in philosophy, governance, ideology, and lifestyle have only increased. A group of young Martians was sent to live on Earth for five years, and has just returned home. Now that they are back, they are forced to contemplate what it really means to be free, and what is the price of ideological purity. Luoying, the granddaughter of the Martian Consul, was part of that group and now feels adrift in her home world. She sets out to learn the real history of her planet and her family, and the answers may only lead to more questions.

Vagabonds is decidedly science fiction, but has cross-genre appeal. Hao Jingfang is a master storyteller, and Ken Liu has translated the story in elegant English prose. The questions posed by Luoying and the other characters get at the heart of what it is to be human and how we define progress without straying from the narrative or getting too bogged down. This isn’t a particularly light read, but it is certainly worth the time and effort. Highly recommended to anyone who is willing to invest in a book and see it through.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.