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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Book Review: To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

This is not my usual cup of tea. I generally hate short stories (just when you start to get into them and know the characters, they're over.) I don't read a lot of scifi or books in translation. But this book blew me away. After all, the exception proves the rule!

In stories set across the universe, from tiny mountain subsistence farming villages to the outer reaches of the Milky Way, time and again, and in interesting and unique ways, Mr. Liu finds ways to illuminate our humanity. In particular, our art, our poetry, our love, and our kindness. You might expect a book with robots and spaceships, and there are a few of those, but mostly it's about self-sacrifice, about relationships, and what it means to be human. It's hard to talk about a short story collection without discussing individual stories in a way that feels both spoilery and yet unrepresentative of the whole. So I'm just going to say again, this book is amazing. I think everyone should read it. I couldn't read more than one story in a sitting because they were so profound that after each one, I needed to sit with it for a while. But I was always eager to get back to the next one. A masterpiece.

This book is published by Tor, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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