The Wages of Humanity
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The Wages of Humanity

by Cixin Liu
Release date: May 14, 2013
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction
Tags: translation

Translated by Holger Nahm.

An assassin has been given a peculiar and bewildering mission: An alliance of the world's richest tycoons is offering an exorbitant price for him to kill the three poorest people on earth. What could have led these billionaires to come up with such a perversely cruel plan? Why would they possibly feel threatened by such ragged, penniless vagabonds? Could it have something to do with the aliens and their occupation?

China Galaxy Science Fiction Award of Year 2005.

"Liu Cixin's writing will remind SF fans of the genre's golden age, with its positive focus on scientific development, combined with a consistently constructive vision of China's future role as a global superpower. It's characteristic of an SF genre which has been embraced by Chinese culture because it is seen as representing the values of technological innovation and creativity so highly prized in a country developing more quickly than any other in the world today." – Damien Walter, The Guardian

"Liu Cixin has put his exuberant energy to good use, erecting a gallery that must be measured on a scale of light-years. Inside this gallery of his, he has stored away marvels beyond imagination produced by the science and technology of cosmic civilizations. The moment you step into Liu Cixin's world, the rush of his enthusiasm buffets you like a particle storm – a storm of enthusiasm for science and for technology; And it is this enthusiasm that bears the heart of his world's magnificent galaxy. We can find it reflected not only in the grand vistas he creates, but also in the fateful decisions of his characters. The stark contrast of his grand worlds against the choices of these lonely and feeble beings can be truly shocking!" – Yao Haijun, editor in chief of “Science Fiction World”

"First and foremost, as a reader, I very much enjoy and find great satisfaction in Liu Cixin's stories. The stories he tells are incredibly lucid, their language is conversant, their rhythm is tightly woven and their plots exceedingly compelling; Their imagery is unique, they have a boundless quality about them and they are brimming with powerful language; In these ways he echoes the great Taoist philosopher Chuang-tzu. What is more, I truly adore technology and industrial culture and consider them to be very exquisite, serious and atmospheric; almost holy. Liu Cixin's stories reflect this sentiment of mine. Therefore, I at times think that he echoes Newton. Finally, there is the military side of things. One does not have to look far to see his innate passion for all things to do with weaponry. In Liu Cixin we can see a stubbornness, a heroic ideal of centuries past." – Han Song, deputy editor of “Oriental Outlook”

updated 2015-11-05

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