Chinese author Hao Jingfang wins Hugo Award for Best Novelette with ‘Folding Beijing’

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/21 18:28:39 Last Updated: 2016/8/22 7:00:09

Hao Jingfang Photo: IC

Chinese author Hao Jingfang's work Folding Beijing won Best Novelette at the 2016 Hugo Awards in Kansas City in the US on Sunday, the second Hugo win for China in a row after Liu Cixin won Best Novel last year.

The shortlist for Best Novelette also included renowned US writer Stephen King's Obit.

In Hao's story, China's capital has been divided into three different living spaces that spin and rotate so each can take turns on the surface every day. According to Hao, she based the story on her time living in villages near the city.

In a speech after accepting the award, Hao joked that her winning the award wasn't a complete surprise.

"Actually, just now I was thinking about what it would look like to join the Hugo 'loser's party.' Winner's party or loser's party, I don't know which one I was looking forward to more."

Ken Liu, who translated Folding Beijing into English, received the award together with Hao. Hao called Liu - who also translated The Three-Body Problem, the novel for which Liu Cixin won his Hugo - "a great contributor helping promote Chinese science fiction."

"Science fiction writers like to take all possibilities into account, good or bad, fortunate or unfortunate," said Hao at the award ceremony.

"I also put out one possibility in my Folding Beijing that tried to tackle problems brought by automation, technological progress, unemployment and economic stagnation.

"I also bring up solutions to these problems, not necessarily the best, but they are by no means the worst: People in the story don't die from hunger and many young people don't have to join the military, just like what actually happens in our real life," she added.

"But I hope my story doesn't end up becoming true in reality. I hope we will have a brighter future."

The 32-year-old writer, a Tsinghua University Economics PhD graduate, now works as a macroeconomic analyst. Hao also spent three years studying at the Tsinghua Center for Astrophysics after garnering a physics BA at Tsinghua University in 2006. She demonstrated her writing talent at a much younger age when she won China's 4th New Concept Writing Competition in 2002 at the age of 18.

"The rise of Chinese science fiction in recent years, especially the positive response sparked by the Three-Body trilogy in the US market, is sure to get more US publishers interested in this field in China," said Yao Haijun, the Chinese publisher of the Three-Body trilogy and also a deputy editor-in-chief of Science Fiction World magazine, in an interview with the West China Metropolis Daily on Sunday.

"We can expect that an increasing amount of Chinese science fiction works will be read by readers in the US in the future," Yao said.

Newspaper headline: Sci-fi streak

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