Chinese author Hao Jingfang claims prestigious Hugo Award Published: 2016/8/24 11:13:19

Photos: Xinhua

Hao Jingfang, 32, won international acclaim by winning the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novelette with her Folding Beijing. She was born in 1984 in Tianjin, China, and since the age of nine had dreamed of becoming a scientist. 

In 2002 her writing talent was revealed when she was awarded first prize in the New Concept Writing Competition, yet she chose to pursue her undergraduate studies in Tsinghua University’s Department of Physics. 

In 2013 she gained her PhD in Economics and Management at the same university, and today she works as a macroeconomic analyst. 

In 2016, she became the second Chinese sci-fi writer (after Liu Cixin with his novel The Three-Body Problem) and the first female Chinese writer to win the award.

The Book

Folding Beijing is a sci-fi novelette first published in 2012. The story is set in a futuristic society home to an extreme gap between the different classes. 

By literally folding and unfolding Beijing city, time and space are divided unequally. Around 5 million powerful elites enjoy a perfect environment and half of the 48-hour period. 

25 million white-collar workers are granted only 16 hours over two days, but their living conditions are otherwise reasonable. 

50 million members of the underclass on the other hand can only step out of their sleeping capsules and take a breath of the polluted air from 10 pm to 6 am. 

The protagonist Lao Dao, a garbage picker living with the underclass, has a chance to sneak into the middle and upper-class areas to deliver a love letter. 

By describing this dystopian Beijing through the eyes of Lao Dao, Hao offers her take on the possible future of today's world. In 2016, the translation of ‘Folding Beijing’ from Ken Liu (also the translator of The Three-Body Problem) won the Hugo Award.

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