Waste Tide is a chilling sci-fi novel about class war and trash in near-future China

In Chinese science fiction author Chen Qiufan’s debut novel Waste Tide, a young woman finds herself transformed and stuck in the midst of a vicious power struggle between factions in the polluted, fictitious Silicon Isle in Guiyu, China. It’s a near-future science fiction thriller that feels pressingly relevant in 2019, about the pressures that advanced capitalism and technology exert on the most vulnerable people on Earth.

Silicon Isle is a dump — literally. It’s where the world drops off all of its electronic waste for recycling, which is handled by generations of workers who are too poor to leave. Everything from cell phones to robots to mechanical sex toys are sorted out here, and the entire region is steeped in poisonous waste...

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