In the 1950s, America's burgeoning space program goosed the science fiction writers and fans who'd already been enthusiastic and optimistic about space, sparking a frenzy of onward-and-upward-looking fiction. China's 2013 moonshot and taikonaut programs have had a similar effect on Chinese culture. Jeffrey Wasserstrom's "year in Chinese science fiction" is an eye-opening and exciting look at the way that Space Race 2.0 is creating science fictional narratives in China, and the English-language opportunities to peer in at it (like Tor Books's forthcoming translation of Liu Cixin’s bestselling "Three-Body Trilogy"):
In 2012, Renditions, the world’s leading periodical devoted to translations from Chinese into English, brought out a fascinating special double-issue that divided its attention between early sci-fi from the final years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and contemporary stories in the genre.
This spring, Pathlight, a Beijing-based periodical specializing in literary translation, devoted most of an issue to new works of Chinese SF.
Over the summer, Tor Books announced that it would be bringing out an English language edition of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Trilogy, a wildly popular series that has sold over 400,000 copies in Chinese.
Early this fall, Penguin reissued Cat Country, making use of a 1970 translation by William Lyell and including as well an excellent new introduction by Ian Johnson.
2013 was also the year that Science Fiction Studies, the leading American scholarly journal in the field, issued its first special issue on China; it includes articles by academics based in different parts of the world as well pieces by Liu Cixin and two other contemporary Chinese science fiction writers, Han Song and Yan Wu.
The Year in Chinese Science—And Science Fiction
[Jeffrey Wasserstrom/Daily Beast]
In the late 1950s, a truck carrying a cement mixer crashed on E300 Road between Talala and Winganon, Oklahoma. Apparently too heavy for anyone to deal with, the mixer sat for decades where it was occasionally graffitied or whimsically decorated. In 2011, artists Heather and Barry Thomas celebrated their wedding anniversary by transforming the drum […]
In this fun episode of Mark Frauenfelder and Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools podcast, they talk with Lux Sparks-Pescovitz, 14, about his passion for GameBoys, cassettes, DIY sushi, and his new iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. He’s quite an interesting young man; I’d like to meet his parents someday. Listen here: Cool Tools · 234: Lux Sparks-Pescovitz
When you’re ready to take a break from doomscrolling, stop and send your scream to Iceland. It will be blasted from a real speaker that has been placed in one of the country’s regions. “Scream therapy.” You’ve been through a lot this year and it looks like you need the perfect place to let your […]
Running a small business drops a lot on to the plate of just one person. And between juggling a dozen tasks that need to get handled daily, it’s no surprise that there are a dozen more equally vital tasks that can just as easily go overlooked. While posting to social channels and making web posts […]
The importance of reading is well documented. About half of America’s unemployed between 16 and 21 years old are functionally illiterate. And there’s an almost direct line between how much you read and your earning potential, with the richest Americans three times more likely to read than those with a household income below $30,000. However, […]
As the world has shifted the last few months, it’s very likely your assortment of EDC items has changed too. While you’re still looking to slim down the number of items you have to tote around every day, there’s a good chance you’re keeping an even tighter focus on how safe those items are and […]