Book Reviews: Ball Lightning
September 2, 2019
By Cixin Liu (Translated by Joel Martinsen)
Head of Zeus
Reviewer: Sadie-Jane Nunis
Science Fiction–Asian Style
I enjoy science fiction and fantasy. However, I have never read either a science fiction or fantasy book written by an Asian author so this was my first. I was so excited to read it that I put most of my other fiction titles aside to start on it. When you visit the Goodreads Web site, they only humbly mention that Former President Barack Obama is a fan of some of this author’s earlier works. Intrigued now aren’t you dear reader?
So I started, page after page I tried to wrap my head around it. Maybe I was not in the zone hence I could not get into the book. Maybe it has been a while since I read anything that was science fiction or fantasy based. Maybe I was not used to the writing styles of an Asian author trying to do science fiction or fantasy however, that last statement I quickly shook off as I love Asian authors and I am a fan of those not just based in Singapore but also those from India, China, and Japan.
So, what was the issue here? I realised, unfortunately for the author, some of the work might have been lost in translation. Don’t get me wrong, it was not all that bad. I advise you to persevere. There are some sections that were absolutely well-translated as they were so lyrical and you get caught up in the story however, ensure that you prepare yourself for the next dip. What drove me nuts was the numerous times that some of the same words were repeated to a point that I felt that I had to put the book aside for a few days before I continued the reading journey.
All in all, you need to have some patience when reading this book however, when you do find it, it is not that bad overall. So if you aim to achieve some level of zen and you enjoy your science fiction, consider getting this.
Copyright © 2019 Singapore Institute of Management
Article Found In
Issue 3, 2019