Science Fiction From China

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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 acceptability during the past decade. If the plots are generally familiar, the stories convey the freshness with which the authors approached them, making each one more than just another variation on an old theme. Wei Yahua's ``Conjugal Happiness in the Arms of Morpheus'' finds a new way to bring a robot to life. ``The Mysterious Wave'' by Wang Xiaoda and ``Death Ray on a Coral Island'' by Tong Enzheng are both classic gadget stories. Conversely, Ye Yonglie's ``Corrosion'' is mostly concerned with the moral dilemma of desired fame vs. livable self-image. The chronological bibliography of Chinese SF is a valuable resource. (Oct.)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DINGBO WU has taught in the English Department at Shanghai International Studies University since 1964.

PATRICK D. MURPHY is Professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Science Fiction and China by Frederik Pohl

Looking Backward: An Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction by Dingbo Wu

Robots and Clones

The Death of the World's First Robot

Conjugal Happiness in the Arms of Morpheus

Reap as You Have Sown

Spies and Technology

The Mysterious Wave

Death Ray on a Coral Island

In and Out of Space

The Mirror Image of the Earth

Corrosion

Boundless Love

Chronological Bibliography of Chinese Science Fiction

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