China Mountain Zhang

{4.5/5} “I am impure, a mongrel. I am an imposter. And there is more that he doesn’t know. When I tell him what I am, he will look foolish because he has mistaken me for Chinese, he will lose face. We will pretend that nothing was ever said. Then when this job is finished he will inform me that the company can no longer use me.”

Zhang, a tech engineer, gets along with his crew and with the foreman. Then one day the foreman wants him to meet his daughter. Meanwhile, Martine has a little farm — crops, goats, and bees — on Mars. She’s used to her life now, but things change when she encounters a father and daughter who are new to Mars.

China Mountain Zhang was published in 1992. It’s a science fiction novel by Maureen F. McHugh. In fact, it’s her first novel — you certainly wouldn’t know it from her assured writing style.

The two storylines eventually converge a bit, but both are interesting. The book imagines a future where China is very influential — which seems plausible. It contains other speculation about technological and social changes. The characters are memorable and the situations unique. One topic that’s explored is community, reminding me a bit of Still Forms on Foxfield.

I look forward to reading more books by McHugh.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 16th, 2012 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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