I'm on the road again, so this will be brief.
My friend Haihong Zhao has published an English translation of her story, "Exuviation" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.
This is an extremely interesting time for Chinese science fiction. For a long time SF was discouraged in China as a frivolous waste of time. Then the argument was successfully made that it would be useful in encouraging imagination in young people. This was a shrewd observation. Its truth is, I think, self-evident, and it comes at a time not long before the emphasis on manufacture shifts to an emphasis on design.
As a result (I'm oversimplifying here, you understand, based on things I've heard and may have imperfectly understood), Chinese SF exists in an analogue of American "Golden Age" science fiction -- strongly emphasizing science, and if possible,adventure as well.
"Exuviation" is something different, an evolutionary step forward, and (this, I think, speaks well for the future of SF in China), the recipient of the Galaxy Award. It is to American eyes a very strange story indeed, and thus particularly valuable.
But don't take my word for it. Pick up a copy and decide for yourself.
And speaking of China . . .
It's no secret that the Great Firewall of China blocks sites like Blogger.com. Which was very frustrating when I was blogging about how well my Chinese hosts had treated me and none of my friends there could access this site and see how grateful I was.
Now that I've got an upcoming book to flog, I'm thinking of creating a new blog with a less easily misinterpreted name than Flogging Babel. Knowing that several of my readers have lived in China and have a deep understanding of its relationship with the web, I thought I'd ask this question publicly: Are there any blog-creating sites which are readily available to Chinese citizens? Or should I simply rent some virtual land on the Web and place my blog there?
Any advice you can offer me would be gratefully received.