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Supernova Era

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,016 ratings  ·  213 reviews

From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling and Hugo award-winning author of The Three Body Problem, comes a new science fiction masterpiece.

In those days, Earth was a planet in space.
In those days, Beijing was a city on Earth.
On this night, history as known to humanity came to an end.

Eight light years away, a star has died, creating a supernova event that

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Tor Books
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Michael Finocchiaro
This is an interesting piece of speculative science fiction meant to answer the question: what if the world was run by kids 12 and under? I found that Cixin Liu’s answer was imaginative and made for a brisk read. I felt that the translation by Joel Martinsen was a bit stuff at times (much like his translation of Dark Forest which I felt was weaker than those of Ken Liu for The Three-Body Problem and Death's End). As for the scenario, and avoiding spoilers, I felt that it was too focused on China ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A solid 3.5 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Chinese science fiction author Cixin Liu has had a successful career in China for many years, winning China’s prestigious Galaxy Award nine times. But it wasn’t until 2014, when his 2007 novel The Three-Body Problem was first published in English, that he became well-known outside of Asia. Since then, some of his earlier novels, like Ball Lightning (originally published in China in 2004), have been translated and published in
Let me be honest here: we need to accept one major handwavium dance move to enjoy this novel. That being said, if we just go ahead and accept the basic premise that CHILDREN under 13 are naturally resistant to catastrophic radiation exposure, or at least they'll heal up when all the adults around them die off, then we've got a pretty great early dystopian nightmare.

The nearby supernova going off, close enough to do more than annoy and far enough away to not just kill us all, is an awesome
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-to-a-cixin, sci-fi
Few years back, I kept hearing about Lord of the Flies being a masterpiece, so eventually it made its way on my reading list. It turned out to be a disappointment and to this day, I still don’t know why it is so praised.

Supernova Era is pretty much Lord of the Flies in a different setting. Except for a couple of brilliant ideas, ones which I recognized being later developed masterfully in The Three-Body Problem, I’m sorry to say that the book was a tedious read for me.

I would have liked the
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
First, thanks so much to Bookish First and Tor Books for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Supernova Era was originally published in 2003 in Chinese, and is now being translated into English! Let me tell you that it is super obvious how much Cixin Liu loves space and technology, or at least writing about it. His descriptions are long, thoughtful, and sometimes intense!

Essentially a supernova blast occurs and the radiation is enough to eventually kill off the entire population
Joseph Spuckler
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

Supernova Era is a work of speculative fiction by Liu Cixin. Cixin is a nine-time winner of the Galaxy Award (China's most prestigious literary science fiction award), winner of the 2015 Hugo Award (for The Three-Body Problem) and the 2017 Locus Award (for Death's End) as well as a nominee for the Nebula Award.

Supernova Era is an interesting work of fiction and was written shortly after the Tiananmen Square uprising. The most difficult premise of the novel is taken care of near the beginning of
Melissa | Recreational Hobbyist
What a interesting & intriguing plot. A star in space burns out & causes catastrophic damage on Earth, the most devastating being that everyone over the age of 13 will die, leaving the entire world to be ran by children.

Now I cannot comment on the science part of this novel with relation to the Dead Star that travels to Earth that creates the supernova event, or the explanation of the event damaging the DNA of those over the age of 13. Suspension of disbelief is important to me when
Jared Martin
The adults are wiped out by a cosmic event that results in the Lord of the Flies on a planetary scale. Liu uses some hand-wavy logic to explain how only the adults were affected by the supernova, which is rather uncharacteristic of his writing. Normally he goes into dissertation-level detail behind the science of major events. Scientific realism is his brand, so it it was a surprise to see that lacking. The story does have some interesting plot points and a few unexpected turns, but overall it's ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: samples
What can I say about Supernova Era?! I mean I could talk all day about a book like this one! The type of book that you kind of feel sorry that is a translation because of your lack of knowledge when it comes to foreign languages. For a book like this one is worth learning a new language. Specially when you know the author has so much potential to surprise you and surpass his present success! I’m not looking to spoil it for anyone! So I’m not going into any details!! I will just keep praising the ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Whoa...I haven't read such an obvious piece of propaganda since probably the Cold War. Written by a Chinese author, it's obviously very clear whose side he is on (even in this SciFi world). Here are some examples: Chinese children leaders are wise, smart and are thinking about the future, while the children leaders of the other countries act just like children; It's the "evil" America that starts Global War Games, but it is the Chinese children that end it! Another example (and considering the ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This is the first time I’ve read a Chinese novel translated into English. The original Chinese book was published in 2003, though it was written even earlier. Thirteen years later, English readers are getting a chance to enjoy it. This is a very well written and translated book.
A very interesting thought experiment on how the world might be if a cataclysmic event wiped out almost all humanity. This event leaves just children alive. I find it hard to believe that children would think and talk the
Kamila Komisarek
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"In those days, Earth was a planet in space.
In those days, Beijing was a city on Earth.
On this night, history as known to humanity came to an end."

Supernova Era is a book from bestselling author Cixin Liu, author of award-winning The Three Bodies Problem novel. I’ve heard a lot about him and was very excited to read some of his work, although I must admit I was a bit scared of too much-complicated science in his book. But in the case of Supernova Era, it is no problem at all. There’s not much
Yi An
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring…Extremely boring…Why did I waste time reading this book…
The theme ia good though, I don't like it because I don't like to read children's book and this book is about the children's world - only children.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cixin Liu's Supernova Era begins with an intriguing premise--radiation from a supernova hits Earth, and everyone on the planet who is over 13 is dying. For some reason, the 13-year-olds might have a chance, and the children 12 and under will survive mostly unharmed. That is, if they and their older siblings can raise them into adults.

I admit I had difficulty understanding how this would work; however, the premise is the point, not how it happens. The adults have about a year, in which they are
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation
Supernova Era explores the fate of humanity after a nearby Supernova irradiates the Earth, causing radiation sickness that will kill everyone over 13 years old within a year. Stylistically, the vibe of this book is a blend of history text and novel, with occasional excerpts from first person accounts of the events. The first third of the book is about the scramble to pass on the full scope of human knowledge and infrastructure to its young successors, then Liu details the dramatic course of ...more
Zachary Flessert
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong beginning, some weak parts through the development, but hit hard at the end, especially with the author's Afterword where he looks back on the time that has passed since he first wrote this story many years past. Time goes on, whether we care or not.

It's a translated work. The writing really shines at some parts.

He threads in philosophy of history and psychology alongside deep speculative scifi.

Would recommend this book especially to teachers, who I think will find a special connection
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-science
I'm not an avid sci-fi fan, but Cixin Liu's work is outstanding: his The Three-Body Problem (2007), the first in his Remembrance of Things Past trilogy, was my entree to his universe-building imagination, and I've read most of his books since then.


I eagerly opened Supernova Era (2004) and found that Cixin Liu has delivered again; well, it’s actually an early book so it's really a pre-delivery again. This is a compelling tale of humanity's End Time—Mankind survives a cosmic catastrophe
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 STARS- Humanity's darkest hour...its future in the hands of children!

Cixin Liu’s newest novel Supernova Era was entertaining and unique! I was immediately pulled into this story and completely captivated by the unfolding events as the author described the Dead Star and its journey through space and time. The introductory statement- “In those days, the earth was a planet in space. In those days, Beijing was a city on Earth.” sent chills down my spine as the author sets the stage for this
Mark Conrad
Jan 10, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm 0/2 on Cixin Liu. Something about his style of writing people just really didn't with for me, they aren't human in any way I can relate to.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cixin Liu is one of the most important science fiction writers of our time. His work displays an expansive creativity and existential gravity that propel readers out of this world while simultaneously grounding us in the inescapable confines of biology and physics. Following his rise in popularity that accompanied the publication of The Three-Body Problem’s English translation in 2014, Liu also represents an opportunity for the English-speaking world to learn about Chinese history and ...more
Great concept, but it fell apart a bit at the end, and there were odd errors in the text, like Queen Elizabeth I visiting the White House, and also a real lack of female characters who weren't in frivolous or care-taking roles. The writing style was also really dry, which that might have been the fault of the translation, or the original text. I felt very detached from the characters and the story while reading it, like the feeling I often experience when reading something from 500 years ago.
Maryjo Laupp
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-2019
The premise of the book is an intriguing one. Eight light-years from planet earth a star created a supernova event that caused strange lights in the sky. Unfortunately, the supernova also polluted the atmosphere with radiation that attacks the human body at the chromosomal level. All humans over the age of 13 will be dead in less than a year. Leaders of every nation in the world take on the unenviable task of training the best and brightest 13-year-olds to run the world once the inevitable ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of a world run by children 13 years and younger is fantastic. In the absence of structure, authority, and resources the kids in Liu's work both mature and regress. He does not romanticize or idealize childhood innocence but shows that they can just be as nasty and brutish as adults — if not more so.

This work falters in that Liu calls upon the reader to suspend an unwarranted amount of disbelief to go along with his plot lines. He pays extraordinary attention to how children will
Kat, aka
Oct 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF AT 50%

I'm not going to be writing a lengthy review for this book. Unfortunately, I only got about halfway before I gave it up as a bad job. I don't think it's fair of me to write a review on a commercial site either, because I don't want to prejudice people against it if they read my singular review. So this review will only be available on Bookish First and maybe Goodreads.

Eight light-years away from Earth, a star dies. This causes Earth to be exposed to levels of radiation that are fatal
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A truly fascinating take on a deceptively simple idea. It kept surprising me with both its playfulness and pragmatism in the face of world-changing events and decisions. At times, it can be extremely chilling in how its participants treat rather gruesome and ethically troublesome subjects, but... that's the point, innit?

Overall, I appreciated the thought experiment this turned out to be, with its own take on what might be. It's easy to overlook the huge potential inherent in children, especially
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered this book in a giveaway from Bookish First, where i read a sample of the first 100 or so pages. I was intrigued by the concept of a world run by children after a supernova kills everyone over the age of 13 on the planet. The sample ended at the time the adults died.

I received the ARC of the English translation and enjoyed the book through chapter 8. It was an incredible thought experiment about how a world run by children would look.

But then in chapters 9 and 10, the book
Susan Beamon
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am adding another country to my list of those that I have read a translation of a book and I returned to my most favorite genre, Science Fiction. This book was written in 2004 in China. It is a speculative book, asking the question: What kind of a world would children make if all the adults and teens over 13 years old were gone? The author suggests it would, at the start, be a world based on playing and games. I am too far from my childhood to say otherwise. I remember liking to play. I still ...more
jennifer cecil
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What would happen if a supernova hit earth and only children age thirteen and younger were able to survive? Cixin Liu answers that question in his novel Supernova Era.
I thought it was a really great premise. Cixin Liu put a lot of thought into how the adults of this world would prepare their children to survive and thrive in their new world. I loved the characters and the emotions given to them. I cried as the adults said their farewells. I became angry at the children for their foolishness and
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A supernova right next door to Earth - cosmically speaking - showers the whole planet in deadly radiation. Only children's bodies can repair the damage in time. Everyone over the age of thirteen will be dead in less than a year from the incident.

As usual with translated books, the first thing; the translation. It's a strange one, this, because while the word for word translation is fine, no hang ups or odd phrases, it's still very clearly foreign, with different cultural mores.

I thought this
Paula Lyle
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
You have to buy the premise that everyone over 13 will die that's the story, but buying that children don't value life is a step too far. That in the name of "fun" children will kill, wantonly and eagerly, in a time when each life is needed to get by day to day. It's an interesting idea, but the writing (or translation) is pedestrian at best. I don't recommend taking the time for this.
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