To Hold Up the Sky

To Hold Up the Sky

Illustration By David Ho
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Dust jacket and interior illustrations by David Ho.

To Hold Up the Sky will be oversized, printed on premium paper, in two colors throughout. David Ho has contributed a full-color wraparound dust jacket and full-page duotone interior illustration for each story. 

About the Book:

With the publication of the Hugo Award-winning The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, long one of China’s leading SF writers, emerged as a major figure on the international stage. Together with its successors (The Dark Forest and Death’s End), that extraordinary novel offered one of the most rigorous visions of the human—and post-human—future ever recorded. The protean imagination behind those novels is present on every page of To Hold Up the Sky, a generous and varied collection of Liu’s exceptional short fiction. 

The twelve stories gathered here are tightly constructed narratives that address the largest possible subjects. In his introduction, Liu notes that his work concerns “the direct, tangible relationship” between humanity and the vast, unknowable universe beyond. In Liu’s hands, that disparate relationship fuels some of the most extravagant, high-concept science fiction you will ever encounter. 

The earliest story, “Contraction,” examines the moment when the universe that has been expanding for billions of years begins to contract, with stunning —and unpredictable —results. “The Time Migration” is a unique time travel story that follows a mass of displaced humans moving through a succession of possible futures toward a viable new home for the human race. “2018-04-01” posits a world in which increased longevity is possible and genuine immortality within reach – all at a very steep price. In “Ode to Joy,” the universe itself conducts a concert which leads to an unexpected moment of hope. “The Thinker” imagines a vast, universal consciousness that mirrors the consciousness of the human species. To Hold up the Sky offers all of this – and a great deal more.

Finally, the Subterranean Press edition contains a bonus short story that cannot be found anywhere else. “Moonlight” is the account of a man tasked with altering and preserving the human future three times in the course of a single night. Like the eleven other stories in this remarkable volume, it is the clear product of a master craftsman with a wild, unfettered imagination. To Hold Up the Sky is a gift to Cixin Liu’s many readers, a gift they can return to repeatedly in the years to come.

Lettered: 26 signed, specially bound copies, housed in a custom traycase

Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies 

From Publishers Weekly:

“These 11 stories, taken from the beginning of Liu’s career in the early 2000s when, per his introduction, ‘sci-fi was still a very marginal pursuit in China,’ offer an innovative and compassionate look at how knowledge shapes and changes humanity…. Liu’s gift for juxtaposing long passages of exposition with emotional moments and beautiful imagery makes this a must have for readers of hard science fiction.”

From Paul di Filippo, Locus Online:

“…underneath any flavorful cultural trappings lies the essential core of a science fiction, identical to that found in SF from the West: engagement with the universe on the universe’s own terms of harsh and unrelenting physics, math and biology, without denying the specialness of homo sapiens and the human heart.”

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword
  • The Village Teacher
  • The Time Migration
  • 2018-04-01
  • Fire in the Earth
  • Contraction
  • Mirror
  • Ode to Joy
  • Full-Spectrum Barrage Jamming
  • Sea of Dreams
  • Cloud of Poems
  • The Thinker
  • Moonlight (exclusive to the Subterranean Press edition)
David Ho
Cixin Liu
320 pages
United States
In Print