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Is imagination too expensive for Chinese

2013-10-08 11:44:11



A week-long national holiday does not always mean traffic jam, stranded tourists and misbehavior for Chinese.

At least this is true for some 200 science fiction writers, editors, publishers, critics, and more than 1,000 amateurs who flocked to a coal exchange hall in Taiyuan, capital city of north China's Shanxi province for their annual carnival, Xingyun Awards.

The Fourth Xingyun (literally nebula) Awards were announced on October 4.

Eight Chinese science fiction writers and editors won top prizes, with the post-80s generation consolidating its place as the main drivers of this niche literary genre in China.

The annual event, the only international awards for Chinese-language sci-fi writers, has been organized by the World Chinese Science Fiction Association based in Sichuan province, southwest China, since 2010.

Only 30 years ago when today's prize winners were toddlers, a blow bruised China's science fiction as it was seen as "spiritual pollution" from the west and should be cleaned up.

Even though the so-called spiritual pollution was not rooted out eventually, Chinese science fiction writers and amateurs belong to, no doubt, a minority group in this most populous country on the earth.

While Chinese audience are fascinated by western sci-fi movies such as Avatar, Matrix, Star Wars, and Inception, they seldom imagine that one day science fiction novels by Chinese writers would be adapted for movies, too.

Liu Cixin is making this happen.

An engineer by trade, Liu wrote his path-breaking bestseller Three Body Trilogy in which the entire solar system gets flattened into a two-dimensional image in an apocalyptic battle between earthlings and aliens.

His masterpiece so far has been hailed for its astounding sweep and extraordinary artistic vision. The English version by three cherry-picked translators is scheduled to be published next year.

Though sci-fi writer Han Song believes it is only a matter of when, not if, the Trilogy will win Liu the Hugo Award, Liu hopes for the best but expects nothing.

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