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Science fiction’s new golden age in China, what it says about social evolution and the future, and the stories writers want world to see

By Rachel Cheung

The science-fiction genre in China was little known before Liu Cixin was honoured with the Hugo Award for best novel in 2015 for The Three-Body Problem. The first book in Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, it tells of an alien invasion during the Cultural Revolution and has sold more than a million copies in China alone. The English translation was recommended by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to members of his book club, and praised by former US president Barack Obama as “wildly imaginative, really interesting”.

Last year, Liu’s compatriot Hao Jingfang earned a Hugo Award for Folding Beijing, in which the city is divided into zones, each with a different number of hours in the day.

Liu has been nominated for another Hugo Award this year, for the final episode in his trilogy, Death’s End.

The two winning books are now being adapted for the big screen in China, marking a turning point for Chinese sci-fi and potentially expanding the genre’s exposure globally. Read more

Source: South China Morning Post

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China: 2016 works worth reading

By Mei Jia

The Paper Republic website, which promotes contemporary Chinese writing to the English-language world, has just put out its latest list. Now in its fifth year, the list offers readers a wide range of choices. “This year’s list is longer than ever, and several books have won international prizes,” says Nicky Harman, a UK-based prize-winning literary translator, who prepared the list. At a glance, there are names of writers of fiction, sci-fi writers, online works, poetry and children’s literature, all translated and published in English in 2016. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Chinese novels make waves globally

By Xing Yi & Mei Jia

With many international awards, literary works from the mainland made a mark on the international stage last year. Xing Yi and Mei Jia report.

Chinese novels came of age in 2016 bagging many international awards, as in the case of children’s literature writer Cao Wenxuan winning the Hans Christian Andersen Award, Hao Jingfang taking the Hugo Award after Liu Cixin, the first Chinese winner of the award in 2015, and Wang Anyi grabbing the 2017 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature from The University of Oklahoma in September.

Veteran literary critic Meng Fanhua says 2016 was a big year for novels and he says that the power of Chinese stories come from the rural areas, “where we have the strongest literary traditions”.

Another veteran critic Bai Ye, who is with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says that while traditional and established novel writers continue to produce works, younger writers who were born in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s are also gaining ground. Read more

Source: China Daily


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Book review: Liu Cixin wraps up a sci-fi master class

deaths-end

All eyes seem to be on China’s science-fiction writers. In August, the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette went to Folding Beijing , a dystopian work written by 32-year-old Tianjin native Hao Jingfang, beating out none other than horror master Stephen King. And in 2015, the Hugo for best novel went to The Three-Body Problem, the first volume in a mind-expanding trilogy that starts with an alien invasion threat discovered during China’s Cultural Revolution.

That novel introduced English-speaking readers to the creative mind of Liu Cixin, China’s most beloved science-fiction author and a multiple-award winner. Last month’s English-language publication of Death’s End, the final instalment in the trilogy, cements Liu’s position as a leading sci-fi mastermind not only in China, but around the globe. Read more


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Sci-Fi ‘most internationalized’ literary genre: Chinese writer Liu Cixin

Compared with other literature, science fiction is a genre best able to transcend cultural boundaries, as what it depicts is a universal crisis facing the entire human race, China’s leading sci-fi writer Liu Cixin told Xinhua.

“For instance, the doomsday portrait in a sci-fi novel is an apocalyptical scene descending onthe entire human race, rather than a single race,” he said. Continue reading


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Hit Chinese sci-fi novel nominated American Nebula Awards

Three bodyThe English version of a Chinese sci-fi novel has been nominated in the 2014 Nebula Awards, the publishers announced on Saturday.

“The Three-Body Problem” by Liu Cixin is among six novels nominated by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

The other five nominees are all works by English-speaking writers.  The Three-Body Problem is the first part of Liu’s Three Body trilogy, translated into English by Chinese-American sci-fi writer Ken Liu, a winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards himself.

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Chinese Sci-fi bestseller to be translated into English

“Ball Lightning”, one of the bestselling recent Chinese science fiction novels, is to be released in English.

The novel, first published in Chinese in 2005, was written by Liu Cixin, China’s most prolific and popular science fiction writer.

Liu said he was delighted to have reached agreement about theEnglish version of his novel, describing it as a good chance to show Chinese people’s thoughts about space and the universeto global readers.

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Hit Chinese sci-fi novel to be published in English

ThreeBodyTrilogyThe English version of a best-seller by China’s most popular science fiction writer is expected to hit shelves in the United States in October, China Educational Publications Import and Export Corporation Ltd. (CEPIT) announced Monday.

In Liu Cixin’s Three Body trilogy, the entire solar system is flattened into a two-dimensional image in an apocalyptic battle between earthlings and aliens.   Continue reading