When a Body Meets a Body (and Another Body)

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

...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.


# 1.   

Congratulations! But how will this work in practice - with three different people translating the three volumes of the trilogy?

Helen Wang, November 7, 2012, 8:10p.m.

# 2.   

刘慈欣《三体》将出英文版 粉丝期待好莱坞改编

" 现在,《三体》开始进军世界英文版3位译者确定——新鲜出炉的2012年美国科幻双奖雨果奖、星云奖得主刘宇昆,将承担《三体1》的翻译工作。《三体2:黑暗森林》的译者是埃里克·亚伯拉罕森,《三体3:死神永生》的译者是乔尔·马丁森。"

Always fun to see how one will be "translated" into Chinese. But I'm disappointed to note that they didn't use the orthography that my ex-girlfriend preferred when referring to Eric: 爱立刻, apparently a popular brand of, uh, prophylactic...

Bruce, November 7, 2012, 9:20p.m.

# 3.   

The same news, as reported in China Daily, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2012-11/08/content_15894954.htm

Helen Wang, November 8, 2012, 8:04a.m.

# 4.   

Helen: Through careful coordination! We've got our common vocabulary list underway, and will be keeping close tabs on each other's progress as the drafts come along. I imagine there will also be a substantial editing process at the end as well.

Bruce: I've always wanted to see my name printed on shiny foil packets. But isn't there a erectile aid with an or an character in it? Couldn't I be that instead?

Eric Abrahamsen, November 8, 2012, 9:59a.m.

# 5.   

Erectile aid? You must mean 万艾可,Viagra. How's the translation going? I'm so looking forward to the publication of Three Body Triology in the English-speaking world.

Clivia, June 12, 2013, 10:49a.m.


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