Chengdu wins 2023 Worldcon bid, demonstrates China's worldwide sci-fi influence
Published: Dec 19, 2021 10:03 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) on Saturday announced in Washington that Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province will be the host city of the 81st World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in 2023.   

Chengdu's successful bid marks the first time that a Chinese city will host the world's most impactful science fiction gala as well as the second time an Asian city has had the honor. The city of Yokohama in Japan hosted the event in 2007. 

The news was celebrated by not only creators such as the Three Body Problem writer and Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin and 'Sci-fi literati' Han Song, but also fantasy fans as well. 

"After looking forward to this for so long, Chengdu finally won the right to host Worldcon, which is a moment worth recording in the history of Chinese science fiction," Liu told media. 

Fans see the successful bid as indicating that China's great stories and unique interpretations in sci-fi have taken a position in the industry. 

"Chinese sci-fi has earned many domestic and international fans because it has very special emotional value that connects readers. Chinese people's powerful sense of life, the Chinese virtue of self-sacrifice, courage and also the deep Chinese philosophies have influenced how we tell stories about existence and oblivion, today and the future," Chang Jiang, a writer and insider in the sci-fi industry, told the Global Times. 

The remarkable Three Body Problem and the novel-turned- film the Wandering Earth have been seen as two major milestones for Chinese sci-fi. Both works have become influential IPs overseas on streaming platforms such as Netflix. 

The sci-fi scene in China had been developing for decades before such highlighted works came to light. 

Back in 1979, an influential Chinese sci-fi magazine Science Fiction World was launched to provide a platform for numerous creative Chinese sci-fi writers.

The first volume of the Three Body Problem was originally serialized in the publication in 2006. 

In June, China's first science fiction association was established in the "sci-fi metropolis" Chengdu. It's founding shows the city's cultural ambitions and its strategic goal of forming a system that merges resources such as writers and works into other fields like technological productions as well as marketing. 

"Chengdu becoming the Chinese 'sci-fi metropolis' is not only due to the development-oriented direction of the current industry, but also our local Shu culture, like the mysterious Sanxingdui Ruins and ancient myths, which have nurtured many authors, including me," Chang added.