How China Became a Sci-Fi Powerhouse (Foreign Policy)
In its early days, Chinese sci-fi was merely the side project of a cohort of internet-based writers and fans. Today, China’s twist on the genre is hovering up international awards and attracting serious commercial interest from Chinese production companies. It is an astonishing transformation that tracks the coming of age of the genre’s most decorated writers — and of the Chinese internet.
Most of us have read books in which our gender, or race, or orientation is grossly misrepresented, and it’s not cute (I’m looking at you, every boy in my freshman year writing workshop). Inclusive writing is not about adding token characters to earn diversity points. It’s about trying to understand life experiences outside of your own before you put pen to paper. And it’s not always easy.
Earlier this week, NASA announced that its scientists had discovered a seven-planet solar system orbiting a star named TRAPPIST-1. While “Earth-sized” doesn’t necessarily mean “able to support life,” it’s a good indicator that there are other systems out there that host multiple planets that may be habitable.
For science fiction authors, this is affirmation of a long-standing trope. For decades, authors have imagined solar systems with multiple Earth-like planets that allow for human settlement, providing plenty of space for stories in television and literature.
No doubt, the publishing industry today faces tough competition from television and the internet. During the 1700s and the 1800s, writers had the luxury of commanding a completely loyal audience whereas today, literature is silenced by notification pings. That said, there is no excuse for not having a story to read. Self-published or backed by a literary giant, non-fiction or fabrication, there are multiple options for every age group in every genre. The power dynamic may change between publishing houses and authors but the reader will always have the last word.
Science Fiction Pulls in Young Readers (The Daily Star)
The tree of literature has many branches, and science fiction remains one of the strongest. Like all other forms of fiction, a good science fiction is about people, which focuses and examines the human condition, may be in a new landscape, or from an “alien” perspective.
This “literature of ideas” not only proposes a futuristic vision but also asks readers questions about themselves and their destinations dissolving the boundaries of past, present and beyond.