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Vagabonds

Read by Emily Woo Zeller / Translated by Ken Liu
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A century after the Martian war of independence, a group of kids are sent to Earth as delegates from Mars, but when they return home, they are caught between the two worlds, unable to reconcile the beauty and culture of Mars with their experiences on Earth in this “thoughtful debut” (Kirkus Reviews) from Hugo Award–winning author Hao Jingfang.

This “masterful narrative” (Booklist, starred review) is set on Earth in the wake of a second civil war…not between two factions in one nation, but two factions in one solar system: Mars and Earth. In an attempt to repair increasing tensions, the colonies of Mars send a group of young people to live on Earth to help reconcile humanity. But the group finds itself with no real home, no friends, and fractured allegiances as they struggle to find a sense of community and identity trapped between two worlds.

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Jingfang Hao is a Chinese science fiction writer. She won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette for “Folding Beijing,” translated by Ken Liu, at the 2016 Hugo Awards, marking the first Hugo awarded to a Chinese woman. Hao works as a macroeconomics researcher at China Development Research Foundation, a quango organization located in Beijing, China.

"Narrator Emily Woo Zeller imbues this ambitious debut novel with meditative gravitas. In the year 2201, Luoying has returned to her home on Mars after spending five years on Earth as a student ambassador. Rather than being overjoyed at seeing her home planet, Luoying and her fellow ambassadors become disillusioned with their world, which is not the utopia they had thought. Zeller's measured narration mirrors Hao's elegant prose and deliberate pacing, allowing the story's careful revelations to unfold in their own time. Zeller's characterizations are consistent and multilayered, particularly in the case of Luoying, whose deepening maturity is conveyed in an intimate and reflective tone. A sophisticated and truly absorbing audiobook is delivered with thoughtfulness and care."

– AudioFile Magazine

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