Chinese science fiction novels winning awards, growing in popularity

Global Business


China’s science fiction convention kicked off in Beijing on Thursday, bringing together sci-fi writers, researchers from China and other countries, and sci-fi fans to share their experiences and knowledge.

The best novels from the Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Awards are also getting attention.

CCTV’s Liu Li reports.

It seems that movies are the easiest way for people to get to know science fiction, but most science fiction movies are not from China, and neither are books. For general readers, the most Chinese science fiction they know about is the novel “The Three-Body Problem” that won an international award.

Liu Cixin won the 2015 Hugo Award with his novel “The Three-Body Problem” and just a year later, Hao Jingfang claimed the accolade with her story “Folding Beijing.”

The most recent award has grabbed people’s attention once again, as China’s science fiction industry continues to develop.

However, China’s science fiction market is still small in scale. There are only about 200 Chinese sci-fi novelists. And the number of those considered highly skilled at the genre comes to less than 30- far behind countries like U.S. and Japan.

Science fiction fans are normally young, including middle school and university students. Chinese sci-fi researchers say that bodes well for the future, since young readers can fuel demand for many years ahead.

Researchers also said science fiction should be more mass market-oriented. But in order to stimulate the public’s interest, it requires a steady supply of quality works.

“Developing sci-fi movies is the trend now,” Liu Cixin said. “That is highly likely to drive the public’s interest back toward sci-fi literature.”

“Chinese science fiction should adapt to this trend in the new media era,” Liu gave his own suggestion.

Science fiction is regarded as a kind of genre without borders, talking about issues common to all humanity.

In fact, more communication and exchanges between China and other countries in science fiction are starting to take place.

However, it is far from enough. More sci-fi writers will be needed to carry the genre further in Chinese market.

Neil Clarke on sci-fi market in China

For more on China’s burgeoning sci-fi market, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Neil Clarke, publisher and editor-in-chief of Clarkesworld Magazine.