As the world of science fiction once again gets Awaken by the Force, I hold my ground and remain unswayed. Yes, I did enjoy the two-hours in the cinema, but it left me feeling sad for what writing has become in the mainstream. Bad storyline, too many plot-holes, and the (bad and obvious) use of plot references from the past just to hold (and please?) the ‘true’ fans’ hearts. Are we all that lame, that bringing together the old cast to blend with the new is enough to make us ignore all that doesn’t work in the film? Or that replicating the old storylines is all it takes? Well, looking at all the reactions so far, I think the answer is a yes, and quite a big one at that.
Anyway, this post was not intended to be a film review, so I shall leave the opening paragraph as somewhat of a prologue and move on to what I intended to talk about – Chinese science fiction. Some of you would have heard of Liu Cixin and his book The Three Body Problem, which won the Hugo awards last year, as the first piece of translated fiction to do so. As you can understand, this news has turned the heads of many from the science fiction community towards science fiction that is not from the usual Western pool. Though it’s not one of my favourite books, it acted as a catalyst for me to look further into Chinese science fiction. And I’ve been fully immersed since.
I will be starting a new section in this website to share with you all the interesting stories, books, and information on Chinese science fiction, but in the meantime, I wanted to share two short stories that will whet your appetite for more.
The Three Body Problem wasn’t the only book that swayed my interest, the other book, which in my opinion is one of the best collections of science fiction stories today, is Vandana Singh’s The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet. Vandana Singh’s writings made me fall in love with cultural science fiction, and got me asking as to whether there were similar collections available from the Chinese culture or other cultures. That began my quest in search for more, a journey that has already taken me to some really exciting opportunities and discoveries, and I’ve only just skimmed the surface!
One of these opportunities, which I’m very excited to announce, is that I’ll be organising and participating in a seminar on ‘Chinese Science Fiction as a Reflection of Chinese Society Today’ at the London Book Fair this year:
Venue/Room: Gallery Suite Room 1
Date and Time: Wednesday 13th April 2016 @ 11:30-12:30
Put it in your diary and come and join us in the discussion!
I can’t wait to discover more new writings of Chinese science fiction and hope to be contributing new ideas into the genre this year. If you read/hear about any Chinese science fiction, do share by commenting below, or emailing me at yen(at)yenooi.com.