With the Chinese launching recently 天眼, the World’s biggest telescope, alien life & science-fiction have been on our minds a lot. So today, we wanted to talk about science-fiction in China and in Chinese. More specifically, we wanted to introduce to you one of China’s biggest and most well-known Science-fiction writers: Cixin Liu. Read on to learn more about the Science-fiction genre in China, how to say Science-fiction in Chinese and to discover Cixin Liu’s must-read novel.
Cixin Liu, China’s Most Well-Known Sci-fi writer
These last few months, I fell in love with 刘慈欣, Cixin Liu, a Chinese writer specialized in Science-Fiction.
Science Fiction is not an old genre in China and Chinese science-fiction hasn’t been explored much yet by the Western world despite gaining in popularity these past few years. The most well-known, and best-selling Sci-fi writer in China is 刘慈欣, Cixin Liu. He’s a prolific writer, having written 13 books. His latest trilogy, Remembrance of Earth’s Past, is the first of his works to have been translated in English.
To learn more about Cixiu Liu, we recommend this excellent article on him by the New Yorker.
The Three-body Problem
If you like Sci-Fi, I really recommend you read these three books. Cixin Liu’s trilogy is excellent, and to show you how good, let’s just say: he was the first Chinese, actually Asian, ever to win the International Hugo award for Sci-fi, and was on Barack Obama’s winter reading list a couple years back.
The first book in the Trilogy is 三本, the Three-body Problem. It takes you from the Cultural Revolution to modern technology like Virtual Reality to contact with the Trisolaran, a more advanced alien species in the Galaxy. Throw in gravitational physics and you’ve got yourself a book that is thrilling and intense from beginning to end.
The English translation of the third and last installment of Cixin Liu’s trilogy, called “Death’s End”, just came out a few days ago. If you read the two previous books, you’ll be as excited as I am to know that!
And if you’re a Sci-fi fan who hasn’t discovered Cixin Liu yet, we highly recommend you give Cixin Liu’s trilogy a try. It’s fascinating and introduces to you a type of Science-Fiction that is very different from American Sci-fi.
How to Say Science-Fiction in Chinese
The first form is the shortened version, like Sci-Fi in English:
(it literally means scientific fantasy)
科幻 is actually an abbreviation for Science Fiction:
(trad : 科學幻想)
kē xué huàn xiǎng
Have you read the Three Body Problem? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments!
Have a good day!
Jean-Rémi, a meowsome member of
The Nincha Team