No Dark Magic

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Blockhain Chicken Farm And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside by Xiaowei Wang

Posted at — Jul 26, 2021

“Blockchain Chicken Farm” cover

This is a non-fiction book but it reads more like a collection of quiet fairy tales from a faraway land. I read it in January, so the memory is foggy by now.

Between the chapters there are small artsy interludes that add to the feeling of fairy tales. The chapters themselves do tell various stories of tech in China’s countryside, as promised on the cover, but in this special way…​ It’s not like an article in an encyclopedia or an essay in a newspaper, it’s more of a blog post, written softly, in first person, mentioning relatives of the author sometimes, delving into the personal.

This look from the point of view of regular people (not some glitzy CEOs) living in different places feels intimate, crisp, and deep even though it’s more about the storytelling and wondering than about numbers and abundance of facts. As a collection of short stories it can beat many tomes of night time tales, and I would recommend it first and foremost to the urban people who don’t live in China.


(248 pages, ISBN:9780374538668, Worldcat, Open Library)

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