"There is perhaps no voice better suited to tellthe stories of contemporary China's conflicted, layered reality. China is atonce a very young and a very old country, and as much guided by revolutionaryfervor as by the heavy memories of history. Where the techniques of literaryrealism often seem powerless before the many contradictions of the country'sheadlong plunge into uneven development, Xia Jia has discovered a way to usespeculative fiction, with its rich semantic web of fantastic metaphors, derivedfrom both the language of magic and science, to convey the psychological truthof being Chinese at this moment."-Ken Liu, from theIntroduction