Translation spotlight: Chang Hsi-Kuo’s The City Trilogy

Check out Taiwanese writer Chang Hsi-Kuo‘s The City Trilogy, published in an English translation in 2003 (translation by John Balcom) by Columbia University Press.

From the Booklist starred review:

The first English translation of leading Taiwanese sf writer Chang’s work is a trilogy densely woven out of history, politics, and philosophy and set in a recognizable but quite alien world. The prologue to Five Jade DisksFive Jade Disks, the Huhui people rebel against Shan occupation forces. In Defenders of the Dragon City, the Shan use Huhui factions–feathered people, serpent people, and leopard people–in an attempt to regain the city. Several years later, in Tale of a Feather, Sunlon City is finally brought to blazing ruin by the machinations of a petty power-hungry dictator, Mayor Ma. The historical depth with which Chang endows the world he creates reflects great comprehension of our world. In the manner of the very best sf, Chang’s makes readers think about ideas of great importance to the world they inhabit by posing them in the context of a well-realized, intricately detailed alien society. His Sunlon City, with its masses as well as the almost allegorical leading figures in the action, is virtually a rounded character itself, which, while it facilitates Chang’s historicizing, makes for gripping reading. introduces the bronze statue that towers over Sunlon City even after imperialist Shan invaders destroy the place. In


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