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Head of Zeus
Vagabonds
14 Apr 2020 * EBOOK * £4.99 * 9781786696496

AD 2201: Earth and the colonies of Mars attempt a reconciliation after a century-long Cold War. Can two mutually antagonistic cultures forget the past and embrace the future?

Fiction / FL (Science Fiction)
Extent: 640 pages
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Vagabonds: Shortlisted for the 2021 Arthur C. Clarke AwardHao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

The first novel from the Hugo Award-winning author of 'Folding Beijing', translated by Ken Liu.

Can the void between two worlds be bridged?
AD2201. Just over a century ago, the Martian colonies declared their independence. After a brief conflict, Earth and Mars cut ties, carving separate trajectories into the future, viewing each other with suspicion and even hatred. Five years ago, a group of Martian students were sent to Earth as goodwill ambassadors from the Red Planet. Now the young men and women are coming home, escorting a delegation of prominent Terrans to see if the two worlds can bridge the void that has opened up between them.

Almost immediately, negotiations break down and old enmities erupt.

How do you escape the gravity of the past?
Luoying, one of the returning Martians, is caught amidst the political intrigue and philosophical warfare. Martians and Terrans, old friends and new mentors, statesmen and revolutionaries – everything and everyone challenges her, pushing her to declare her allegiance. Torn between her native land and the world on which she came of age, Luoying must discover the truth amid a web of lies spun by both sides, she must chart a course between history and the future, or face the destruction of everything she's ever loved.

Born in 1984, Hao Jingfang leads the new generation of Chinese science fiction writers. A physics graduate, she holds a PhD in Macro-economics and works at the China Development Research Foundation. In 2016, she became the first Chinese woman to win a Hugo Award. She lives in Beijing with her husband and daughter.

A philosophical science fiction epic that uses a cold war between Earth and colonized Mars in the 23rd century as a stage for debate on what constitutes a healthy society.

The best of new wave Chinese SF, only from Head of Zeus.

First full-length novel from the Hugo-award winning author of novelette 'Folding Beijing'.

Translated by award-winning author and translator Ken Liu.

MARKET: Cixin Liu; Chen Qiufan.


'Hugo Award-winner Jingfang's cerebral, futuristic debut explores the interplay between societal values and individual dreams in crisp, gorgeous prose ... Fans of literary science fiction will relish this challenging tale' Publishers Weekly

'A thoughtful debut with ample scope for reader engagement' Kirkus Reviews

'[A] masterful narrative. Highly recommended for fans of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy or readers who enjoy sf with a focus on social and political themes' Booklist

'A long, generous, and often quite graceful novel ... Jingfang's ambitious novel [...] represents a significant new voice in world SF' Locus Magazine

'Luoying holds the keys to peace between the planets, but the author, an economist based in Beijing, is more interested in the subtleties of her journey than in her arrival, offering up a long, satisfying meditation on political and creative freedom. Vagabonds juxtaposes Earth's capitalist free-for-all with Mars's centralised, authoritarian high-mindedness' The Times

'In a leisurely, discursive narrative Hao spins a fascinating and even-handed examination of two very different possible futures' Guardian

'[A] spellbinding novel' Asia House

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