1417 – Waste Tide (2013 novel)

For All Tomorrow’s Parties. 全为明日派对。


timespace coordinates: The Waste Tide depicts a dystopian China in the post-2020 era. (2040’s -2050’s) In the Guiyu island, the large electronic recycle industries are in full control of local lineage associations. The laborers who undertake dangerous work for the profit of the Chinese and foreign businessmen who employ them are depicted not as humans, but cyborgs whose bodies and minds have been altered permanently through bio-engineering.

wastetideThe Waste Tide is a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Chen Qiufan.

The story takes place in the imaginary ”Silicon Isle”. The Chinese word ”硅屿” for Silicon Isle shares a similar pronunciation with Guiyu (Chinese: 贵屿) in Mandarin. In the real world, Guiyu is a town in the Shantou prefecture of Guangdong province in China. And it is Shantou where Chen Qiufan was born and grew up before he entered Peking University. Situated on the South China Sea coast, Guiyu got famous in the global environmentalist community for its reception of E-waste. The town held the record for being the largest E-waste site up to 2013. Though some residents got rich by electronic recycling, pollution became serious in the town. Talking about the background of writing the novel, Chen said: ”Choosing my hometown as background to write the story, is related to my thinking of China. To depict the pain of changing China, is just because I desire for she getting better gradually.’ (wiki)

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