When a Body Meets a Body (and Another Body)
By Eric Abrahamsen, published November 7, 2012, 7:09a.m.
...you get Liu Cixin's science fiction masterpiece, The Three Body Trilogy. This afternoon was the translators' signing ceremony/press conference for the trilogy, where Ken Liu (present in spirit only), Joel Martinsen and I signed up to translate volumes one, two and three, respectively. Expect volume one to be announced at next year's BEA.
So who's publishing it? That's complicated.
The English translation is being "operated" by the China Educational Publications Import Export Company (CEPIEC), one of the handful of Chinese government-owned companies licensed to import and export physical books into and out of China.
Sound odd? That's what we thought, at first, but over the course of discussions we were gradually convinced that those in charge, in addition to being pretty die-hard sci-fi fans themselves, are also determined to do right by the book. Producing English translations of Chinese literature, though not part of their original mandate, is an experiment they seem to be taking very seriously. Whether that means finding a western publisher to take on the translations once they're done, or publishing it themselves and hiring out the work of marketing and promotion, we're confident the books will end up in the appropriate hands -- those of English-speaking sci-fi fans.