I just finished a novel and I can’t remember the last novel I read and this one was a work of speculative (science) fiction and the last SF I read was probably Gibson’s second to the last work.
The story is somewhat near future (22nd century?), in a world where China has become the dominant world power and the United States has gone through a revolution of the proletariat. That’s all a backdrop to the stories of relationships of the various characters, loosely tied together by a main plot that follows the protagonist, Engineer China Mountain Zhang. Other characters include a couple of Martian settlers, a very ugly girl who becomes pretty, and a kite flier.
It is a very gentle book. It explores the insides of the character’s heads, always returning to the story of Zhang. Friends (and Mary, the wife) who I would not expect to like the SF genre, like this book.
So read it.