Liu Cixin Wins Hugo for Best Science Fiction Novel

Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem won best novel at the Hugo Awards this year.

Caixin interviews him here: Liu Cixin on Fantastic Fiction
The Three-Body Problem unfolds at the start of the Cultural Revolution and is as much about the gravitational pull of planets as it is about personal ideologies. The author Liu Cixin has worked as a computer engineer at a state-owned power generation company in Shanxi Province for 30 years. His reign in Chinese science fiction started in 1999 with an article that won him the Galaxy Award, the highest award for sci-fi in China. He continued to receive the award for another seven straight years and again received the honor in 2010.

Now the winner of this year's 2015 Hugo Award, Liu's reputation as a master of­ the genre has been thrust into international prominence. The first in a trilogy, the Three-Body Problem depicts a mysterious alien civilization that wants to colonize the earth to save itself from being destroyed by the unpredictable suns in their galaxy, and the epic war humans wage to fight their invasion, which unfolds in full detail in the second book, The Dark Forest, of which the English-language translation was published in August.

With wit and candor, Liu offers a view into creating visions of the future and addresses how he feels about being a pioneer in the development of science fiction in China.

A translated excerpt of an interview he recently gave to Caixin follows.

Caixin: The Three-Body trilogy is both an ambitious and intelligent trilogy. Could you take us through the writing process of the books, and whether the narrative structure followed the initial idea?

Liu Cixin: Of course, as an amateurish author, I start writing a book only after I have the whole story outlined in mind. However, the story underwent many changes, and there were some unexpected divergences in its exposition. I can't say that it ended up being completely different. There were several changes, but it's hard to say by just how much. The story's central points evolved through a long process which involved many changes.

In what ways is Chinese sci-fi distinct to sci-fi written in the West?

That's a very big question and a few words on the subject would not suffice. One aspect is that Western sci-fi stories are often embedded with elements of Judeo-Christian thought and tend to focus on belief systems, concerning itself with moral issues such as cloning or artificial intelligence. Chinese sci-fi has emerged from its own cultural background and this accounts for many differences in how the genre has been uniquely interpreted.

No comments:

Post a Comment