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Hao Jingfang is the author of several novels, a book of travel essays, and numerous short stories published in a variety of venues such as Science Fiction World, Mengya, New Science Fiction, and ZUI Found. Her fiction has been awarded the Galaxy (Yinhe) Award as well as the Nebula (Xingyun) Award. She majored in physics at Tsinghua University as an undergraduate, and afterward conducted graduate studies at the Center for Astrophysics at Tsinghua. Hao recently obtained her Ph.D. in Economics and Management from Tsinghua and currently works for a think tank. Hao does not limit herself to “genre” writing. Her latest novel, Born in 1984, for instance, would be considered a literary novel. Imaginative and precise, her stories are carefully designed on multiple levels. Her wide range of interests and literary approaches are reflected in the two selections for this anthology, “Invisible Planets,” a fabulist tale in the tradition of Italo Calvino, and “Folding Beijing,” a near-future, economics-based dystopia. Both stories can be read in many ways.

*“Folding Beijing” was a finalist for the Hugo Award and the Sturgeon Award.

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As you read, your brain visualises the text and creates images based on your past experiences and your interpretation. Today, however, we live in an image based society where most people read images rather than texts. Is there a big difference in the visual representation of people? This book explores this question by forcing the reader to capture the volatile images in his imagination. The result becomes an extremely personal book, where the pictures remind the reader of the story, rather than the other way around. The author used to have authorship over a book but now the reader takes power.

Special thanks to:

Amy Wu, André Castro, Arjen Suijker, Lauran Schijvens, Renate Boere, Roger Teeuwen and Anne Schaarschmidt

invisible
planets