Green Monkey Syndrome

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What to expect

Disaster, biological warfare, environmental catastrophe, and resistance to hegemony. No, it’s not a description of 2020; it’s Andrew Yeh’s science fiction collection, Green Monkey Syndrome. Originally published in 1987 and has never gone out of print, these stories reflect a dystopian future so resonant with our own, it is almost like they came out yesterday.

Set in a fictional East Asia, the four stories narrate the struggles of the tiny island nation of Buron to resist the onslaught of its much bigger neighbor, Garsia, via any means necessary. “Green Monkey Syndrome” describes the disaster of a pathogenic weapon leaked among indigenous tribespeople; “The Gaoka Case” tracks through case files a pharmaceutical offensive designed to take advantage of the enemy’s patriarchal culture; “I Love Thee Winona” and “The Lost Bird” describe campaigns to manipulate disastrous weather patterns and deliver bioweapons through migrating birds.

These stories, fortified by the author’s own extensive research, paint a picture of transnational warfare and brutal environmental imbalance that will chill the blood of anyone who has been reading this year’s news. Yeh’s surgically precise language and compelling narratives read like 1984 meets Brave New World meets the front page of the New York Times.

Critics Review

  • “The reason science fiction can transcend its era is ultimately because it is rooted in those parts of human nature that have never changed.”

    Central News Agency (Taiwan)
  • “The appearance of [Yeh’s] brand of sci-fi is a milestone in the development of Chinese science fiction.”

    Shi-Kuo Chang, professor, University of Pittsburgh

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