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Gadfly Tales: Chinese Short Stories is a collection of fourteen stories covering a variety of themes, including fantasy, love, culture, revenge, assassination, terrorism, and bravery. They take place during ancient times, the eighteenth century, the nineteen eighties, or present day.

1. A Divination For Her is a modern tale of an oracle from The Book of Changes used to guide a romance.

2. It Was Easier At The Time is a tale of revenge in the mountains of Sichuan shortly after the cultural revolution.

3. Terror In Two Worlds is a fantasy of dreams and magic in ancient China.

4. His Conscience Was Eaten By A Dog is a present-day story of a Chinese gangster in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China during a heatwave and plague.

5. The Eighteenth Layer of Hell Behind the Dark Mountain is a Qing Dynasty story told by a master of dreams, divination, and stories. He tells of a young dreammaster’s visit to the eighteenth level of the Underworld to learn sorcery from a damned queen.

6. In A Small Village Somewhere describes the experience of a Westerner in a remote village after the cultural revolution.

7. The Qur’an That Binds is a story of terrorism and the current conflict between the native Uyghurs and Chinese in Xinjiang.

8. Jūnzĭ describes the encounters of an American-Chinese doctor with gangsters and terrorists during his rescue of a Muslim friend in modern Xinjiang.

9. The Dream Healer is a Qing Dynasty story of a skilled peasant’s dangerous attempt to heal an arrogant, vindictive Baroness through dreams.

10. Love With Chinese Characteristics follows the difficulties of love between a white man and Chinese woman after the cultural revolution.

11. Wakened Vengeance is a story of payback for the assassination of a prominent CIA official by Chinese security agents.

12. The Girl And The Moon Bear is a simple fantasy of a girl and her unusual companion during ancient times.

13. An Assassin’s Mace describes the tracking and killing of a right-wing sociopath hired by the Chinese Security Bureau to kill the American President.

14. The Dragon Gate Gang is a tale of a man’s attempted rescue of his wife and daughter from slavers during the Qing Dynasty.

Memories of tradition, poverty, and humiliation are

older and fresher in China than any other country.