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Chinese Science Fiction


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#1 share wix

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 07:17 PM

I am interested to know if there are any Chinese people writing science fiction. I would also like to know if there is much science fiction by authors like Isaac Asimov and Ursula Le Guin translated into Chinese and whether many people in China read these translations.
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#2 share roddy

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 07:23 PM

Try this

I haven't noticed any novels, although they are obviously out there. Sci-fi short story magazines are quite easily available.

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#3 share madizi

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:13 PM

Do you know some titels of these magazines?
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#4 share heifeng

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:37 PM

http://www.kehuan.net.cn/

http://www.kehuan.net.cn/Asimov/
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#5 share skylee

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:15 PM

Ni Kuang / Ngai Hong / 倪匡 is a renowned science-fiction writer (I have not read any of his books and I don't know if they are good). You could find his novels here -> http://www.millionbo...uang/index.html

In Taiwan there is a novel-writing award called "倪匡科幻獎".
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#6 share madizi

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:41 PM

Thank you very much!:D
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#7 share Long Pan

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:20 PM

Here is an interesting article from yesterday China Daily about SF in China; this in relation with the "2007 Beijing Science Fiction Lectureship and the 2007 International SF & Fantasy Conference in Chengdu on August 21, and on August 24-27 respectively."
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#8 share zozzen

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 05:41 PM

倪匡 is very famous for producing his over than 100 titles of science fiction since 1960s. His books are good for killing time (I'm currently re-reading his first novel , Diamond Flower 鑽石花), but he's notorious for adopting pesudo-science theories and failing to make a proper explanation in many stories. Among all his books, the most famous one I think is 藍血人 (A blue blood man) which is listed in the "Top 100 novels of the Greatest books in 20 century" complied by Yazhou Zhouhan (Asian weekly). Don't expect he can compete with Isacc Asimov but if you take it as an adventure novel, you may enjoy it.

張系國 is a REAL science novelist who is best known for his first science novel 星雲組曲﹐ a book of series of short stories. The book has inspired many young science novelist (like 譚劍) and quite match the quality of Asimov's I, Robot. Instead of showing off a lot of future gadgets, he attempted to study the behaviour of human beings in different backgrounds and different constraints. His best known story is 銅像城 (The city of bronze sculpture), you can read it in 星雲組曲..

Among many renowed Western novelists, Issac Asimov and Arthur Clarke are very famous for readers. Their books are vastly discussed and keep inspiring many writers-wannabe.
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#9 share fireball9261

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 06:28 AM

I think 張系國 is very good. Personally, I think he is at the level of Issac Asimov and Arthur Clarke.

I prefer Martian Chronicles (火星紀事) by Ray Bradbury or Brave New World (美麗新世界) by Aldous Huxley. They were published in Taiwan. I don't know whether you can find they in China or not.

I spend a lot of time on the Web. Nowadays, there are a lot of Chinese writing Science Fiction as well as Science Fantasy. However, I rarely saw any good pure Science Fiction stories. I did see one fairly good pure science fiction story about a race of people who are part lizard and part fish. It was published in Taiwan, but I don't remember the name of it. It was one of those multi-books series, and I only saw two of them. The author seemed to be an biologist and it was very well written and completely according to the details of Biology..

倪匡 is good in stories between Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, and zozzen's accessment of him is correct. However, he is very knowledgeable in many aspects of the Chinese society and cultures. It's a side benefit of reading his books.
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#10 share fireball9261

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 06:30 AM

I want to add that there are many Science Fantasies being translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan, I am not sure about the newer pure Science Fictions.
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#11 share LiYuanXi

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:31 AM

Ni Kuang / Ngai Hong / 倪匡 is a renowned science-fiction writer (I have not read any of his books and I don't know if they are good).


I have read alot of his books but they are getting harder and harder to find in singapore.

張系國 is a REAL science novelist who is best known for his first science novel 星雲組曲﹐ a book of series of short stories.


Is there any online version I can read from? Thanks!
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#12 share zhwj

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 01:52 PM

S. K. Chang's City trilogy has been translated into English. I haven't read the translation, but the original is pretty good. The author's got a great sense of humor, there's lots of linguistic play, and the stories are pretty good. It's not as epic as one would hope, at least given the backdrop of an epic galactic war, but it's still worth looking at.

He's got a home page at his university which links to a few online versions of his stories. {EDIT: the story links appear to be dead, but you can probably find copies at the Internet Archive.}
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#13 share roddy

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 08:50 PM

NB: Click links at your own risk, the site seems able to kill browsers stone dead . . .

Read the first fifth or so of 倪匡's 蓝血人, and while I think Zozzen probably gave me ample hints up above, I was surprised by how pulpy it was. I can handle mindless nonsense quite well, but I feel it needs to be mindless nonsense written with a vague sense of respect for the reader. Lines like "He hit me over the back of the head with a shoe. It would have knocked out a normal man, but it just made me mad.“ and "I hid over the road from the embassy. I clutched a half-empty bottle of booze and sang drunkenly. I was acting like a drunk so nobody would notice me." were sapping my will to live. Plus the thing about referring to the US as 某国 irritated me. It's science fiction, invent a country.

That said, if you want a pile of pulp to read, this is a pile of pulp. I got six chapters in though and it was more detective pulp than science fiction up till then. But if the 20th century really claims this as one of its premier novels, then thank God it's over.

I'm going to have a look at 张系国 next - I've also just clicked that 张系国 and S. K. Chang are the same person. After a quick search there doesn't seem to be that much of his stuff online - 未来的孩子, 玩偶之家 ,超人列传, 白山黑水话情桥, which all look like short stories, are here. If anyone wants to recommend one, or point to something else online, that'd be great, otherwise I'll probably start with . . . the shortest one.
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#14 share zhwj

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:09 PM

It's good to have read one Wesley novel - they're influential, which is why there's one on that top-100 list - but they're not really all that fun to read (unless you're furtively reading pirated editions at the back of the classroom while some high school teacher is droning on about ancient poetry up front, which is probably where most mainlanders readers experience the books and why they have so many fans). The pulpy "Ghost blows out the light" grave-robbing series that's all the rage this year is practically the same thing (Ni Kuang did the cryptozoology/treasure hunting thing when his bogeymen weren't aliens), only better written, and with substantially more attitude.

It's too bad more of Chang's stuff isn't on line. 超人列传 is one that he's well-known for, but I have to warn you
Spoiler
(I don't reveal anything in that spoiler, but don't read it if you're a good guesser.)

One more suggestion: 《球状闪电》 by 刘慈欣. A kid watches his parents get burnt to a crisp by ball lightning and becomes obsessed with figuring out how to predict it. He ends up working with a secret military research institute and partnering with a woman who has a fetish for danger. Liu has imaginative physics that generally hang together.

Liu Cixin is one of the top Chinese SF writers working today. Hs latest novel 三体 was serialized last year and mixes a virtual reality simulator, death cults, the Cultural Revolution, nanotechnology, and a guy who suddenly starts seeing a countdown clock wherever he looks. It's pretty creative, but Ball Lightning is better paced.
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#15 share roddy

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:21 PM

I'll need to read 超人列传 then, just so I can peek under that spoiler. I'm an amazingly good guesser, you see.

三体 I've heard of, if only because there's an advert for it in the 科幻世界(译文) I picked up earlier. Will put 求状闪电 and 超人列传 on my reading list, thanks for the recommendations.
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#16 share roddy

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 10:58 AM

Read a bit of 超人列传 and quite enjoyed it for the mid-20th century view of the future - brains being transplanted into clunky robots, still photography complete with flash, etc. Got a chunk of the way in and am currently planning to return to it, but I got more into 求状闪电, which I'm pressing on with at the moment. Currently it's panning out like more of a high-tech thriller than science fiction as such, but I'm not that far into it yet and there's a chapter called SETI@home coming up which I assume will introduce aliens :twisted:

Going to see if I can get a print copy today though, as the online version seems to have been typed up via pinyin at some point and has a fair number of distracting errors. Although thinking about it, maybe they're in the print version too. If anyone else is reading, there's a chaptered version, which might be easier to handle than the all-in-one edition linked above.
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#17 share imron

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 11:51 AM

If anyone else is reading, there's a chaptered version

Sounds like a candidate for BOTM January 2008 :mrgreen:
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#18 share roddy

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 12:29 PM

Might not be a bad choice if you want something science fictiony. If you look at douban's 科幻 listings (not sure how these are generated, btw) then in the top ten only that and 天意 are original Chinese works, everything else is in translation.
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#19 share roddy

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 03:27 PM

Finished 求状闪电, quite impressed with myself as I barely manage to finish newspaper articles these days.

Enjoyed the story, it's by no means full-on action all the time but it keeps ticking along at a decent pace and there was only one part - a chapter near the end in which basically the plot stops dead and we learn about the female lead's motivation - where I felt the urge to skip to the next chapter. No aliens as it turns out, but a fair amount of intriguing exotic physics. There's a war going on in the background but the story very much focuses on weapons researchers behind the lines.

Will probably finish 超人列传 and then decide what to read next. Tempted to have a read of some more of 刘慈欣's stuff, probably 三体 as it's current, but 科幻世界译文's next issue is all translations of George R R Martin's work. I'm a big fan of his stuff in English and I think at least a few of the ones 科幻世界译文 I won't have read previously. So that might jump the queue if it's out in time.

Has anyone read 天意? The blurb (see Douban link above) looks promising, but blurb always does.
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#20 share zhwj

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:30 PM

Yeah, that sentimental chapter is what I dislike about some of Liu Cixin's short stories.

天意 is pretty good. There are a couple of pretty well-drawn characters - Han Xin and Xiang Yu, in particular, and it's interesting to see how the author reworks some of the historical anecdotes about the events of the time.

It's light on the SF, though - more of a historical adventure with fantastic elements that turn out to have explanations that are more rational than "magic." Back in 2004 I wrote up a spoiler-filled review of that and the "Step into the Past" TV show (it's now available here, though the site seems to be blocked right now)

EDIT: well, it's not blocked now. Anyway, if you're not up for spoilers, here's some more about that book: It concerns events in the aftermath of the fall of the Qin Dynasty, and follows the career of general Han Xin, a genius of military tactics (check out Wikipedia for the basic background). There's a mysterious stranger who passes through the land every so often dealing Faustian bargains to the leaders of the land - the Qin Emperor consulted with him for some unknown purpose, and he visits Han Xin several times, offering to give him power in exchange for something he'll ask in the future. The Nine Ding are involved, as is the Book of Changes. The author ties it all together in a pretty satisfactory ending.
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