《爱的算法》, a collection of thirteen of my short stories in Chinese, is out from SFW Publishing.
I love the cover design and the interior art, and I think the translators all did a fine job. I’m very grateful for the editors and translators for their hard work in making this happen.
(And my friend Chen Qiufan carried a few copies of the book thousands of miles so that I could get them at Chicon. If you’ve ever traveled overseas, when every ounce/cubic centimeter of luggage matters, you’ll realize that only a very good friend would agree to do this as a favor. I’m deeply thankful.)
A few notes for my Chinese readers:
Some of my favorite stories could not be published in this collection, and others had to be edited by the translators for political reasons. I think we all know what these reasons are, and there’s no need for me to go into them here.
I do not know all of the changes/omissions that have been made. Where I was made aware of them, some of the changes were surprising to me, and I wish they did not have to be made. But I was told that without these changes, the stories would be unpublishable.
Would I rather have readers see a story that is edited or have readers not see the story at all? That is not an easy question to answer.
In the end, I decided that I preferred to have readers see my (altered) stories, even if they were now more like those renaissance paintings that had fig leafs painted over them. I think it’s better to have such a painting and ask viewers to exercise their imagination, than to have them stare at a blank wall.
I understand the difficulties of the translators and editors and publisher. I can only hope that someday they and I will not be put in this position where we have to balance the desire to reach readers against the distasteful act of having to perform such alterations. I can only hope that things will change.
Any Chinese reader who wishes to see the original English can email me. I will either point you to the online English edition or email you the relevant section where I know changes have been made.