From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.
As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?
Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.
Koofi's New York Times bestseller, The Favored Daughter, movingly captures the political and cultural moment in Afghanistan, a country caught between the hope of progress and the bitter truth of history.
Split evenly between strong female and male leads, these heroes fight losing battles on principle alone, discover lies hidden deep inside themselves, execute daring rescues and fight for love and liberty in a society where human dignity is cheaper than obsolete swarmbots.
These original, never-before-published works are from veteran authors, including William F. Wu, as well as emerging talents.
Most of the cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen are partly mechanical, too, except for those few humans called control-naturals. That group has to keep all their original equipment, just like the original cowboys. Louie Hong is one of those control-naturals, and life isn't easy for him. Most folks look down on a man who doesn't have at least one bionic hand.
Yet Louie Hong is determined to make his way in the new Wild West.
All Hong has to do is explain to the bounty hunters who are after him for robbing a bank, and the outlaw gang that is after him for stealing the loot, that he hadn't done any of it.
With a little bit of luck, and the help of Chuck, his steerite companion, Hong hopes to find a home on the range that nobody can take away—not outlaws, not bounty hunters, not cyborgs, not even singing steerites.
In Hong on the Range, William F. Wu has returned to the high-tech Wild West world of his Hugo and Nebula Award finalist short story, "Hong's Bluff," and written a rousing, funny science fiction saga complete with cyborg cowboys and outlaws. It is an exciting and witty subgenre of science fiction: The cyber western.
This novel was chosen by the American Library Association, Booklist, and the Library Journal for their recommended and best of the year lists.
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First I could only see that something large was displacing the tall buffalo grass ahead. Then I reached the spot and found a steerite lying down with his steel legs neatly folded underneath him. They gleamed silver in the sun and his hinged metal tail swished back and forth, its brush swatting the flies that buzzed around the natural hide of his meaty, biological middle. As I pulled my battered hat off by the brim and squinted at the steerite, he turned his steel bovine head toward me, short horns and all.
"Hi, there," I said.
"Hello," he answered pleasantly. He had been programmed with excellent enunciation and a trace of a Boston accent. "Good day to you. Where are you bound?"
I untied my red bandana and wiped off my forehead with it. "I'm going to Femur to look for a job. Pardon my asking, but ... have you lost your herd? What are you doing here?"
"I am merely waiting. Have I lost my herd? More accurately, my herd has been rustled."
"I dutifully escaped. None of my comrades succeeded in this endeavor. Since our trail crew ran off, I have no trail boss to whom I must report. Nor am I honor bound to join the herd after it has been rustled."
I nodded toward the mark stamped onto the shining metal base of his tail, where it extended from his natural hindquarters. "Waiting for what? You still have your serial number."
"Oh, yes. I am fully programmed and ready to report to any authority who can restore me to my legal owner."
"I don't know. We get basic programming for herding, pasturing, and speech, but little precise data. Of course, we can accumulate information as we go, but no one ever told me the owner's name or where to locate him."
"I guess the trail crew was supposed to get you there?”
"Indeed they were, those cowardly louts." He lowered his head modestly. "I am led to believe that my mechanical parts are quite expensive. Not to mention my beef."
~~~~~ Description ~~~~~The moonlight was still strong, and Lo Man Gong still sat up on the overhead window, where few people and no old men could ever get.“Feel better, Chinaman?” he asked mildly.The night before, my resistance had been low, and his presence had somehow seemed tolerable, if not rational. Now I was more clear-headed ... yet he was still here. I didn’t like him as much.I let my eyes drop closed again. Once I was cured of malaria, I’d be free of him. I had eaten twice today; now, if I slept well, I’d be in sound shape pretty soon.“You know the keilin, Chinaman Jack?”That was the Chinese unicorn, a mystical animal whose rare appearances were highly auspicious. In the Cantonese I normally heard, it was pronounced “keilun.” It wasn’t like European ones, though. This unicorn had the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse, the tail of an ox, and a fleshy horn. I knew that much.“The unicorn?” I opened my eyes and looked at him. As before, the moonlight glowed through his shape.“Ah, you know the keilin. He smiled and nodded thoughtfully. “The keilin means good things happen. It’s very powerful.”I watched him silently.After a while, he looked into my eyes again. “Nobody remember me, Jack. Some people remember, some of my frien’. A few of them. Most, nobody remember at all. No children, no relative. You, Jack. You like me. Unless you change.”Yes, I knew that. I had already come to understand that. And I knew that he had come for me, here in the middle of the country, away from his home as longtime Californ’. But I didn’t know why.
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"Four grams of gold transferred to your account when she arrives, and twenty grams if she is my sister.”
“That was the deal.” Ah Soey spoke gruffly, belying how desperately he needed the money. Four grams would pay his most urgent debts; twenty more would arrange rent, new clothes, and a small staff to open the consulting office he had planned for years.
“I will know her,” said Kwan Douhak, as though trying to convince himself. “Our reunion should be private.”
“You two will not be alone just because I leave. She will have some sort of escort.”
Kwan Douhak glanced up, startled. “You said she never married, that Kwan was her birth surname.”
“That’s right. Kwan never married, but she adopted nearly every child ever orphaned by disease or accident on this colony. I imagine she will have one of her grown children or grandchildren with her. She will want her own interpreter.”
“Why? You speak English.”
“She will not trust me to interpret.”
Kwan Douhak eyed Ah Soey suspiciously. “I thought you knew her -- was that not the reason you could arrange this meeting even though she is a recluse?”
“That does not mean she will trust me to interpret when I am on your payroll. I contracted work with her company a couple of times ten or fifteen years ago, but I did not work directly under her. Back then, my boss said she personally approved my selection.”
Kwan Douhak nodded grudging acceptance of his explanation.
Ah Soey did not say, thirty years ago I knew her even better, but you haven’t paid me to tell you about that.