Science Fiction from China: Eight Stories

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Despite periods of heavy censorship and political opposition, science fiction has emerged in the People's Republic of China as a popular literary genre. This anthology of stories by six major Chinese science fiction writers is the first such collection to be published in English. The stories are enriched by China's ancient tradition of fantastic literature as well as that nation's fascination with futuristic science and technology, and they provide illuminating glimpses of Chinese attitudes, values, and daily life. Wu provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of Chinese science fiction together with a chronological bibliography of stories, novels, and related critical works. This fine anthology of eight stories by six authors shows that, while years behind the west in terms of maturity of the genre, China is catching up as fast as the state will allow. Editor Dingbo Wu's excellent introduction gives a historical overview of SF in China, while detailing the fluctuations of political acceptibility during the past decade. Publishers Weekly Despite periods of heavy censorship and political opposition, science fiction has emerged in the People's Republic of China as a popular literary genre. This anthology of stories by six major Chinese science fiction writers is the first such collection to be published in English. The stories are enriched by China's ancient tradition of fantastic literature as well as that nation's fascination with futuristic science and technology, and they provide illuminating glimpses of Chinese attitudes, values, and daily life. Like most Chinese science fiction writers, the authors represented in this volume are engaged in scientific research or the popularization of science. Their work reflects the critical dictum that scientific fiction must be scientifically factual or based on reasonable extrapolations of known fact. Among the themes treated in these stories are people's use of and relationship to robots and clones; peaceful versus military application of technology; futuristic detection and intelligence operations; space exploration and warfare; and personal heroism, patriotism, and responsibility. The stories typically incorporate an optimistic view of science's contribution to the future of humankind. Wu provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of Chinese science fiction together with a chronological bibliography of stories, novels, and related critical works. This collection offers a unique perspective on modern China and a welcome opportunity to explore the Chinese contribution to one of the most popular forms of contemporary fiction.