Integrating Chinese culture into sci-fi creation vital for Chinese sci-fi to thrive: authors
Published: Oct 21, 2023 09:19 PM
Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

Chinese sci-fi greats believe it is vital to integrate domestic culture into the creation of future science fiction works as it could be the distinguishing point from other leading sci-fi works.

Han Song, a renowned Chinese sci-fi author who has won the domestic top sci-fi prizes Galaxy Award and Nebula Award multiple times, said Chinese sci-fi will only thrive by integrating the traditional culture with modern civilization.

"The strong presentation of Chinese characteristics in Chinese sci-fi lies in the fusion of the traditional culture and modern civilization," Han told reporters at the World Science Fiction Convention on October 21.

"What those popular Chinese science fiction works explore are not only China's problems, but also the universal problems , and there is a universality that must be combined with the mainstream concerns of the world."

Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

Speaking of the reason of Chinese sci-fi works being recognized internationally, Han said it is vital to develop "Chinese solutions" to global issues.

"Only when you provide the world with a valuable Chinese solution to the problems ranging from environmental to space issues will bring the world unexpected gains and surprises," Han said.

Han is among the four Chinese authors considered successful on the international stage, along with Three-Body Problem author Liu Cixin, domestic Nebula award life-time winner Wang Jinkang and multiple-time Galaxy award winner He Xi.

"I think the emerging group of Chinese sci-fi authors is for sure expanding, much greater than my generation, as now they range from officials to students," Han said.

Han's peer He believed that the young generation of Chinese sci-fi fans will accelerate China's scientific development in the future.

"The young people and children grow up in the current wave of science fiction in China. Their culture of science fiction and their heartfelt love for science and technology will enable them to make achievements far beyond those of their predecessors," He told reporters.

"I think China's future is inseparable from the development of science fiction."

Renowned Canadian sci-fi author Robert Sawyer, winner of prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, said Chinese authors should focus on developing their own story rather than imitate those of English-speaking countries.

"I always say to young Chinese writers don't try to imitate or copy American or British and Canadian science fiction," Sawyer told a conference at the WorldCon on October 21.

"Invent your own Chinese science fiction, rooted the culture of this land, the 5,000-year history of your people.

"The world is ready for your stories even more than ever because there are so many more of you. Imagine how big the impact of Chinese stories will be for the rest of the world.