Chen Qiufan. The Flower of Shazui. (Interzone #243, Nov/Dec 2012)

Translated by Ken Liu.

Good to see Liu enabling us to read a story that would otherwise have been kept from us.

The story works well – presented it without details of the author, you’d almost think it was a William Gibson 1980s cyberpunk thriller.

Set in a part of China that has rapidly moved from rural to industrial, the dense urban setting, with inhabitants of skyscrapers so closely packed together than residents in one tower block can almost shake hands through their windows with their neighbours in the building next door, old sits side by side with new, so that protagonist runs a medicine shop, but also offers hi-tech services on account of his skills from his previous job.

There’s a Shaman living nearby, a high-class prostitute with a hi-tech tramp stamp that denotes her husband/pimp, and the vicious husband/pimp himself, and the hi-tech comes to play…

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