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Marea tóxica

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  110 reviews
La obra del nuevo talento chino de ciencia ficción.

Mimi se ahoga en la basura del planeta. Trabaja en la Isla de Silicio, lugar donde se reciclan los teléfonos móviles, los portátiles, los robots y los miembros biónicos, todo acumulado en pilas enormes que contaminan cada centímetro de la tierra. La isla, situada cerca de la costa de China, es la tóxica necrópolis del capitalismo
Paperback, 413 pages
Published June 13th 2019 by Nova (first published January 2019)
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Adam Yeah, in like... the first 20 pages. Not sure why you feel inclined to grind your axe without even trying the book, heh.
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Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
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May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
An interesting book about class oppression and the progression of human use and integration of technology. The environmental aspect was of course a significant part of the story, but the damage caused by recycling of e-waste came across so matter of factly that it simultaneously became both more and less horrific.

The style was interesting, using a bit of overlapping time sequencing, and had an almost literary quality to it. In some parts it seemed to take on an almost magical realism
This grim story addressed a number of things: the environment, class oppression, technology use and its disposal, body modifications, exploitation of workers, corporate shenanigans, the Western use of Asia as a dumping ground for its garbage and recycling, differences between cultures, and more. I found the story to be dense with ideas, complicated, and difficult to read at times because of all the uncomfortable questions it was posing. For example, the bulk of the story concerned e-waste and wh ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I’m writing this post, voluntarily, as an ordinary reader and it has nothing to do with the fact that I know the writer personally! I have read the book in its original Chinese years ago, and have liked it a lot since.
TW about the book: violence, abuse, torture, death

If you’re craving hardcore-classic-William-Gibson-Style-Cyberpunk, read “Waste Tide”.
If you’re a fan of environmental literature, folk culture and religion, social class in China and international
J. E. Sambora
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This will be a SPOILER FREE review of Chen Qiufan's 'Waste Tide'.

Thank you to Ken Liu for the superb translation, and to Head Of Zeus for the free review copy.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this novel. I don't have much experience reading Chinese sci-fi or, sadly, Eastern fiction in general, so the setting of the story was already somewhat foriegn to me, even before the divide of futurism.

I thoroughly enjoy "cyberpunk" as a genre, but this novel
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a glutton for all the goodness coming out of chinese sff so this book was a welcome for me. Chen Quifan was one of the authors from Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation that i was looking forward to reading more of so..yeah i was here for this book.

The setting (and people) the events took place in was familiar yet alien at once. it in-cooperated the traditional and existing culture of the people/area with one of a plausible and possible future. The ideas put forth were int
Caleb Masters
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by the author's experience growing up next to the world's largest e-waste center in the world, Waste Tide is an excellent piece of environmental sci-fi writing. Following four characters as they experience the trash filled world of Silicon Isle, Qiufan has crafted a harrowing and compelling vision of our future as well asking hard questions about our relationship to the earth, to each other, and the technologies we embrace. Thank you to Ken Liu and Tor for bringing this modern Chinese sci-f ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure about the English version, but the Chinese version is mind-blasting.
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
After reading three of Chen Qiufan’s short stories in the collection Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation I kept an eye out for more of his work being translated to English, not because his stories were particularly impressive, but because Chen Qiufan writes cyberpunk. I love cyberpunk, even though so many cyberpunk books are disappointing or just downright bad. Unfortunately, Waste Tide proves to be another disappointment in the subgenre, but its flaws suggest that Chen Q ...more
Interesting themes and world building but I honestly had to force myself to finish it. First 40% was a drag and it didn't really pick up to much after that.
I often have trouble with Chinese fiction. It often seems like there are narrative idioms that are clear to readers who are familiar, but which can be jarring to western reader. The very flow of the plot, the use of tension, can be something I'd complain about for a western author, but might be very deliberate here. A few characters seem to go away only to pop up much later, even though they're very important.

What I will complain about is the way Americans are seen about this. Sure,
Christa Maurice
I found this hard to follow. The idea was interesting, but it seemed like the author kept using flashbacks to plug plot holes. I've read a lot of sci fi and a lot of translated literature and this was not high in either category.
May 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really amazing idea. It could just be the translation, which is not the translators fault, but somethings just come across as totally trite one dimensional. In a high concept book, that does not work.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suggested Pairings:
PRECEDE WITH: “The Flower of Shazui” (short story set in same universe)
FOLLOW WITH: The Man with the Compound Eyes, Wu Ming-Yi.

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the film Plastic China, a documentary following workers and their families employed in garbage recycling in a small town in rural China. This is the world Chen Qiufan explores in his first novel, origi
May 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Waste of Time.

The book has some cool ideas for a near-future sci-fi - especially the digital drugs! - but it is terribly executed. The characters simply aren't interesting and the plot is almost non-existent. Most of the book consists of excessive exposition and way too much hand-holding, as if the reader is not intelligent enough to remember what they have read earlier in the book.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish Goodreads let you do half stars - this is a 3.5 for me.

It doesn't hold a candle to The Three Body Problem series (more Chinese SF translated by Ken Liu), but not much does.

Waste Tide is one of those books with concepts cool enough to carry you through to the end, but with a story that's a bit lacking. If you're really into SF and/or interested in what seems to be the recent boom of Chinese SF, Waste Tide is worth your time.
I finished reading this as the Amazon Rainforest burns...
I love technology, but this book gave me the creeps. I hope this isn't one of those books that is self predicting.
Love Mimi, she just put herself out there and tried to make the world a better place for EVERYONE....
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exceptional sf novel that paints a vivid portrait of the uneven effects of near-future technological innovation and its hugely uneven global impact via e-waste.
Carole O
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise, setting and timely concepts of Waste Tide had me looking forward to reading it, but the execution didn't hold up. The writing (or maybe the translation) made the characters seem remote - it was hard to care about them. The book seemed extremely plot-driven, as in (spoiler alert) hmmm, if the little boy takes Mimi's picture when they briefly meet, if he wins a photo contest with the picture and displays it on his desk (even though it was made abundantly obvious to him by 'Brother Wen ...more
James F
I've been waiting for this Chinese sf novel to come out in translation since I read some of Chen's short stories for a Goodreads group last year. The premise of the novel is similar to Hwang Sok-yong's Familiar Things -- a community of low-wage workers built around processing waste, although Hwang's novel was magical realiism set in more or less the present while this is science fiction set in the near future. It wasn't a bad novel, but I was rather disappointed in it.

On the positive side, it was a v
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I first heard of Chen Qiufan through a few of his short stories published in Ken Liu's Chinese SF anthology Invisible Planets. While his stories weren't my favorite in the collection, this novel and accompanying translation have been generating enough buzz that I wanted to give it a shot. 

In broad strokes, the book reminded me both of The Windup Girl  and Blackfish City due to the environmentalist themes, dystopian setting, and very vivid descriptions of local food.

The plot elements were gripping and Chen Qiufan is able to quickly

Girl  and Blackfishof The/>

This was pretty mind-blowing. This high-tech thriller is set in the future on Silicon Island. This is an island where two separate classes live. One class lives in the slums among the high-tech trash they sort and recycle. The other is privileged and relatively well to do. Three clans run the operations, vying for the largest share of the recycling industry. Into the mix comes an American sent to sell a new, improved recycling system, his interpreter, a young girl who was lured to Silicon Island ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a long time to finish this. It was ok. It is translated from Chinese, and I suppose it is faithful to the original; there are many passages that seem out of place and perhaps too poetic for the rest of the prose. Maybe that’s just the style. Interesting ideas though.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere beneath all those words a decent short story lurks. Unfortunately it was just too damn buried to be enjoyed... buried in backstories and descriptions and a lot of wasted words. Shame
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
An interesting mix of cultures and ideas, with a fairly plausible not-just-science-fiction idea at the center of it.
Jeffrey Noyes
I was drawn to this primarily because of Ken Liu’s tendency to take and translate excellent projects. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Waste Tide. Ideally science fiction strikes a balance between character and plot. While the skews don’t need always need to be completely balanced right down the middle, Waste Tide falls way off the mark with its inability to write a character with much substance.

There are moments in the text where it feels like momentum is being built, but i
Philippa Mary
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally written in Chinese, this edition is translated by Ken Liu. This is a fantastic environmental sci fi book and I would highly recommend checking it out. It's definitely not a light read, since it's dealing with topics like the environment and class oppression, but I never felt it was too heavy and it never dragged for me. I would definitely recommend checking it out.
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mix ancient Chinese customs and vicious gang warlords, in a near future world of technological advancement and ecological calamity and you have an action-packed recipe for disaster, wrapped up with a violent conflict between the haves and have-nots.
Ken Rideout
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So original and such rich sci fi here. Not the most riveting read per se but re-affirms that some of the best modern sci fi is coming out of China!
Pedro L. Fragoso
This is extremely rich and multifaceted. There’s a superhero origin story, for starters: « There were two Mimis, she had gradually come to accept this fact, and she named them “Mimi 0” and “Mimi 1.” Mimi 0 was the waste girl from the distant home village: cautious, guarded against everyone, oversensitive yet full of curiosity, pitying a malfunctioning chipped dog, liking a Silicon Isle boy with an ambiguous identity—but so lacking in self-confidence that she kept him at arm’s length. (…) Mimi 1, ...more
Sean Parson
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book way more than I expected and, in the end, I liked it significantly more than any of the three body problem books. But, that could be that the work really hit some of my favorites. Overall, this is one of the best cyberpunk ecological sci fi books I have read. The book explores themes of environmental injustice, colonialism, capitalist violence, transhumanism v. naturalness, activism and collective organizing and did so with beautiful prose and some amazingly weird fiction type ...more
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Chen Qiufan was born in 1981, in Shantou, China. (In accordance with Chinese custom, Mr. Chen's surname is written first. He sometimes uses the English name Stanley Chan.)

He is a graduate of Peking University and published his first short story in 1997 in Science Fiction World, China's largest science fiction magazine. Since 2004, he has published over 30 stories in Science Fiction World, Esquire
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“Now, any further excuses would be stumbling blocks for the collective, and all plans and acts would be highly efficient. This was the decision of all.” 0 likes
“Exact location unknown” struck him in the chest like an icepick. He refused to trust anyone and pledged that he would find her with his own methods. He knew the art of crafting code, of shaping symbols to carry out his will without forbearance. Almost unnoticed, a certain computer virus with directed propagation began to spread among IP addresses in Silicon Isle, infecting more and more machines and taking over web terminals frequented by the waste people.” 0 likes
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