Newly translated from Chinese, this science fiction parable by Hugo winner Cixin Liu (The Three-Body Problem, Ball Lightning) imagines a world in which the children become the future much sooner than anyone anticipated.
The Earth's Common Era ends with the death of a faraway star. Its explosion turns the twilight bright as midday, makes human beings phosphoresce and leaves behind a new nebula. Despite the wonder in its wake, the Dead Star also wreaks havoc. While children under 13 will survive the effects of the widespread radiation poisoning, their elders will not. Within one year, the Earth will be a planet of children.
Around the world, governments hold various selection trials to choose Earth's new leaders. In Beijing, Specs, Huahua and Xiaomeng become the heirs apparent to China's government, even though they just graduated from middle school. Adults across the nation labor tirelessly to train their children as fighter pilots and childcare providers for the infant survivors, and they build a store of resources to sustain a new society the adults envision as identical to their own.
When the changeover of power occurs, though, the children of China are more interested in turning part of their country into a giant amusement park than in re-creating the old world order. As the three teen leaders struggle to corral a nation of first panicked and then defiant younger children, bigger trouble brews across the sea in the United States, where unlimited access to weapons has spawned deadly games of soldiers.
With Joel Martinsen's translation, Supernova Era gives speculative fiction readers food for deep thought. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads