Science Fiction in People's Literature

By Helen Wang, published


Science fiction – four stories published in the March edition of People’s Literature

Chinese sci-fi bestsellers in country's flagship magazine
BEIJING, March 14 -- Four short stories written by China's top sci-fi writer have been published in the March edition of People's Literature, China's flagship literature magazine, indicating that sci-fi literature was becoming mainstream again. One of the four Liu Cixin stories named Micro Era tells of nature creating small-sized people in order to preserve energy after a global catastrophe occurs. Li Jingze, chief editor of People's Literature, said in an interview with the Beijing News that he found the sci-fi works are "good for Chinese readers to read" so he let the four short stories appear in this month's edition. People's Magazine first published the sci-fi story "Death Ray in Coral Island" at the beginning of China's reform and opening up in 1978, starting a new period of science fiction developing without many of the previous restrictions. But in 1983, the Chinese government came up with the slogan "resisting spiritual pollution," and after that science fiction was publicly scorned. Recently though China has been more lenient towards science fiction and the publishing of the four sci-fi stories in People's Literature indicated that sci-fi literature was becoming mainstream, Liu said. The author appealed for sci-fi writers to create works for the general public not the elites. Liu started to publish his Three-Body trilogy in 2008, namely "Three-Body," "Dark Forest" and "Dead End," attracting much attention in the Chinese mainland. His Dark Forest theory suggests that humans should not attempt to contact extraterrestrials, also something that the famous theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has raised. In November, 2011, the trilogy won best saga novel at second Xingyun Awards, the only international award for Chinese-language science fictions.


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