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Devourer (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Cixin Liu , Kim Fout , Verbena C. W. , Malice Bathory , Holger Nahm

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  • Longueur : 46 pages (estimation)
  • Langue : Anglais
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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

A crystalline structure floating through the depths of space bears tidings of destruction: “The Devourer approaches!”

Countless cables, thousands of miles long, are lowered from the Devourer's inside wall to the Planet's surface below. An entire world is trapped, like a fly in the web of a cosmic spider. Giant transport modules are then sent back and forth between earth and Devourer, taking with them the planet's oceans and atmosphere. Humility starts the first and final star war in its history. What would be the result?

China Galaxy Science Fiction Award of 2002.


Liu Cixin's writing will remind SF fans of the genre's golden age, with its positive focus on scientific development, combined with a consistently constructive vision of China's future role as a global superpower. It's characteristic of an SF genre which has been embraced by Chinese culture because it is seen as representing the values of technological innovation and creativity so highly prized in a country developing more quickly than any other in the world today.
– Damien Walter, The Guardian

Liu Cixin has put his exuberant energy to good use, erecting a gallery that must be measured on a scale of light-years. Inside this gallery of his, he has stored away marvels beyond imagination produced by the science and technology of cosmic civilizations. The moment you step into Liu Cixin's world, the rush of his enthusiasm buffets you like a particle storm – a storm of enthusiasm for science and for technology; And it is this enthusiasm that bears the heart of his world's magnificent galaxy. We can find it reflected not only in the grand vistas he creates, but also in the fateful decisions of his characters. The stark contrast of his grand worlds against the choices of these lonely and feeble beings can be truly shocking!
– Yao Haijun, editor in chief of “Science Fiction World”

First and foremost, as a reader, I very much enjoy and find great satisfaction in Liu Cixin's stories. The stories he tells are incredibly lucid, their language is conversant, their rhythm is tightly woven and their plots exceedingly compelling; Their imagery is unique, they have a boundless quality about them and they are brimming with powerful language; In these ways he echoes the great Taoist philosopher Chuang-tzu. What is more, I truly adore technology and industrial culture and consider them to be very exquisite, serious and atmospheric; almost holy. Liu Cixin's stories reflect this sentiment of mine. Therefore, I at times think that he echoes Newton. Finally, there is the military side of things. One does not have to look far to see his innate passion for all things to do with weaponry. In Liu Cixin we can see a stubbornness, a heroic ideal of centuries past.
– Han Song, deputy editor of “Oriental Outlook”

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 190 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 46 pages
  • Editeur : Beijing Guomi Digital Technology Co., Ltd.; Édition : 1 (11 mars 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007JL60BQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Mixed bag 11 avril 2012
Par BovinitySupreme - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The concept is AWESOME. The writing is great. The technology, great. The cultural examination and speculation, great. The plot is great. The action is exciting. I can't heap on enough raves for these and other qualities.

And then there's the dialogue. You know when you're watching a comedy show (say, Futurama) and they lampoon antique or foreign dialogue? All dialogue with aliens fits the pattern perfectly. A big scary alien says "Ha! Ha! You white and tender worms, you fascinating little worms." I'm not kidding, that's exactly his first line. Other lines are similar. If this was a movie we would have seen it on one of the early episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, back when Joel hosted.

Other issues:
At one point the alien compares the devouring of Earth and destruction of humans to something that humans do regularly, but fails to address the most important basic questions that one would have for that comparison.

After the climax there is a twist, a sort of reveal; at this point everything else that I raved about above, turns to crap. The secondary plot here is cheesy. The explanation of a prehistoric event doesn't add up. The embodiment displayed here of the livestock idea is a tough sell. At the end there is a new problem and a solution for it - but the solution completely falls flat.

For most of the length of the story I really enjoyed it despite the dialogue. It's absolutely well worth reading in spite of its faults.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 When is a sequel not a sequel? 6 novembre 2012
Par Bruce Barker - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
When the author doesn't bother to TELL you that it's a sequel.

I have been working through the short stories by Liu Cixin ever since I stumbled across one of them as a free offering. That first story, "Of Ants and Dinosaurs" was far better than most of the assorted "kindling" offered gratis from sources like Pixel of Ink. Since I like to support good independent authors (I also recommend checking out Hugh Howey's "Wool" series)I've been padding Liu Cixin's wallet a little by buying his other works one at a time. "Devourer" is the most recent of my purchases.

The others that have reviewed this story to date were less than thrilled with the seemingly unresolved nature of the ending. I can certainly see why. One really needs to have read a certain other title of his to fully appreciate the ending of this story. I'm not sure why the publisher didn't include a tagline of some sort that says, "Set in the Thrilling Universe of _____" or something.
Perhaps they felt it would give away too much of the plot. Nevertheless, I do have a choice of solutions. Either read the next paragraph, which I will separate with a spoiler alert for those that don't wish to know, or read the author's other stories ahead of this one.


The title of the other short story that ties into "Devourer" is the one I alread mentioned in the beginning of this review.


Was that alert truly necessary? I don't know. Either it was critically relevant or I have scored a particularly potent batch of my meds this month. Either way, it was definitely worth gnawing through the bed restraints this morning to write this.

On the surface, this is a story about an overly consumptive alien race that travels through the known galaxies and consumes the resources of planets while scouting for other suitable solar systems to exploit. It takes roughly an earth century for these creatures to consume/destroy a given planet, so the aliens have ample time to "get to know" the indigenous "people" they discover. This allows them to decide whether said creatures are worthy of saving, raising as food, or should simply be erased along with the planet itself. This by itself isn't the most original of concepts. Environmental exploitation has been the motivator for aliens in several movies in recent years alone, "Independence Day," and "Avatar," just to name an obvious pair. Oddly enough, what made this story stand out for me is the exact same thing that turned off another reviewer. There is a scene, roughly in the middle of the story, where the human race attempts to plead its worthiness to the lead scout for the aliens. Where the other reviewer felt this was a poorly realized section of the tale, I felt it was ironic and thought provoking. Your own opinion may fall somewhere in between.

I felt that having read the previous story greatly enhanced my enjoyment of "Devourer." So greatly in fact, that this has become my favorite of Liu Cixin's stories to date. Although I still have several I haven't yet read, no sooner did I finish it than I started telling my wife about it. She enjoys sci-fi movies almost to "geek" levels, but doesn't care for reading them. Forgive the heinous pun here, but she DEVOURED the story. She also completely enjoyed the scene I mentioned and felt it was the pivotal moment of the story. Since then we have both recommended it to friends and other family members.

As always, reviews are subjective in nature. You may not find this story to your liking. All I can say is that this particular author has a rather unique vision in most of his stories. I've been reading for a very long time and am almost voracious in my consumption of the written word. It isn't very often that I find and author worth getting excited about and so far Liu Cixin has been very exciting indeed. Not all of his stories work as well as I felt this one did, but overall even the worst of what I've read thus far has been better than just about anything else I've come across of late. For me, "Devourer" is the best of a very good batch. I hope if you choose to pick it up you enjoy it as much as my wife and I have. Hopefully this man's other works will become available to Western audiences soon. I'd love to read a full novel instead of stories that end soon after I develop a real liking for the characters involved.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Survival at what costs? 30 mars 2012
Par Angelika - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
"Devourer" is another interesting short-story by the Chinese author Liu Cixin. It is a tale about eating and being eaten and about the madness of constant consumption. These are all issues that are of great interest to me and so this story left me with many interesting images and thoughts. It also dives into the classic quandary of happiness in exchange for freedom.
The protagonist unfortunately did little for me, but then, he never did seem the real focus of the story either.
The flow of the plot on the other hand and the reactions of humanity all seem well-realized and the main antagonist serves as a wonderful foil for the issues of the story.
A good read.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting 23 février 2013
Par D. Edwards - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
It's a quick read. Certainly an interesting concept. Unfortunately just not executed all that well. Hopefully this author will continue to write and perhaps work more closely with a translator.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice writing style 11 novembre 2014
Par Lester - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This short novel is a real gem, it's a fun and thought provoking read from an interesting and obviously skilled Chinese author. It's been translated beautifully because there were no hints of translation at all that I could detect. The story details themselves are relatively standard sci-fi ideas, but it's the 'human' aspect that impressed me, and Liu presents humanity interestingly in the light of the alien invaders. I was a little reminded of the work of John Scalzi and his Old Man's War universe novels, mainly by the dialogue and philosophical ideas, and I mean this as a huge compliment. Overall a solid story that I really recommend to any sci-fi reader.
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