Hao Jingfang is an economist (Ph.D. from Tsinghua and macroeconomics analyst for China’s top policymakers), education entrepreneur (founder of 童行学院 (WePlan), a social enterprise dedicated to an education centered on creativity for all children, especially those from impoverished backgrounds), SF IP-developer (she has her own studio), public speaker, mother of two, world traveler, and oh, right, she also writes fiction, including the Hugo-winning novelette, “Folding Beijing,” which is being developed into a major feature film.
I’m so proud of my friend, and I’m honored to have the chance to translate her novel, Vagabonds (《流浪苍穹》), into English.
A century earlier, the Martian colonies rebelled against the rule of Earth and formed the independent Martian Republic. Mars and Earth evolved along separate trajectories into two incompatible societies vastly different in their scale, economy, socio-political system, and mostly important of all, ideals.
People of the two planets view each other with suspicion and even hatred. Five years ago, with the apparent goal of reconciliation, the Martian government sent a group of young students to Earth to study humanity’s home planet as well as to act as goodwill ambassadors from the new world. Now the young students have returned to Mars, bringing with them a group of prominent Earth delegates to see if the two worlds can learn to co-exist in peace and friendship. But almost immediately, negotiations break down as old enmities erupt to the surface.
Luoying, a gifted dancer among the young Martian students, finds herself caught in the crosscurrents of political intrigue and philosophical warfare. Martians and Terrans, filmmakers and politicians, old friends and new mentors, classic books and fresh ideas—everyone and everything challenges her, pushes her to declare her allegiance. Naturally attuned to the hopes and fears of both her native land and the world on which she came of age, she must shoulder the burden of discovering the truth through the web of lies spun by both sides, of charting a new course between the old revolution of which she is an heir as well as the new revolution brewing around her, threatening to bring down everything she’s ever loved.