A collection of ten short stories that reflect on contemporary society, politics, and the human condition.
The author takes us on a journey across time and space to hidden realities where we meet culture workers, astronauts, airplanes, Zen masters, and hunger artists. The title story “Dear Navigator” is a collection of letters written during a 520-day simulated space mission to Mars—to test if humans can endure travel from Earth to Mars and back again. “Whale Song” tells the story of XP, a lonely male escort, as he goes on a surreal journey to self-realization, and “The Shame of Participation” tells a tale of two thieving artists who legally steal objects from those living in a city in desperation. When the reality turns into fiction, and the science fiction becomes reality, Hu draws on the experience of everyday life, the past, and the unknown future to create stories of otherworldly melancholy and humor.
Hu Fang (born 1970 in Zhejiang, China, lives and works in Beijing and Guangzhou) is a novelist, art critic and curator. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Vitamin Creative Space, a project and gallery space dedicated to contemporary art exploration and searching for an independent working mode, specifically geared to the contemporary Chinese context.