Shen isn’t science fiction. It can only apologize for the space ships and extra terrestrials that appear in the book, because these are simply conceived, even childish. Shen is not trying to impress readers with tecnological or biological invention. Shen is a myth.
It's a greedy myth, admittedly, one that sprawls across several worlds, several universes. All that's missing are the gods and goddesses. There are characters with exceptional abilities who, when taken together, might remind the reader of deity...almost.