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Liu Cixin is China’s most popular science fiction writer, his many works, not only by the rain fruit award, also won eight times the Chinese Galaxy Award, is also the Chinese science fiction nebula winners. Before becoming a writer, he was an engineer at the power plant. Interviewer: Salik Shah, translation: Hu Shaoyan.

In the distant future described by “eternal life”, the language of the Rosetta stone is a mixture of English and Chinese. English is a global language. What do you think of this? In the novel, does English still dominate to describe the concepts of science and culture? Do other languages ​​have the opportunity to rise or even succeed?

The current dominance of English should be formed as the United Kingdom became a global power, and later the birth and rise of the United States strengthened this position, because the United Kingdom and the United States has become the main source of development of science and technology and the driving force, English It is also a matter of course to express the language of science and technology. Since the twentieth century, American culture has occupied the strong position of world culture, so the language of expression is also mainly English. I think this situation will continue for quite a long time, even if the decline of the English world as well. Historically, Latin has remained the dominant language in the academic world after a long historical period (up to a thousand years) after the fall of the Roman Empire, and today, this ancient and complex language in medicine and botany Still has a significant influence.

In the “three body” trilogy, the role from China to save the world. American science fiction self-contained, but also the center of science fiction culture. If the writer’s own cultural characteristics determine the core of the novel, how can science fiction really become a global literature? Whether human beings can escape and overcome this “narcissism” – this innate demand for nationality, dominance and market orientation?

I think this is a very natural phenomenon, the author tends to let their country and national characters become the protagonist of the work, because the country’s readers are most familiar with such a character, which is mostly from the creation of convenience and consideration of the reader group, And nationalism, nationalism and cultural narcissism is not too much. Specific to science fiction, because the United States is the most powerful technology and military power of the country, the United States to become the protagonist of science fiction is also a very natural thing, it does not affect the science fiction became one of the most worldwide literature, because Regardless of the nationality of the protagonist, in science fiction, most of the human beings appear in a whole, and science fiction described in the crisis and hope, but also the common face of all mankind. In the “three body” in the Chinese people to become the power to save the world, in the past readers are not used to this, with the development of China in recent years and the strengthening of national power, this setting is no longer so strong violation Feeling, at least not heard the reader in this regard feel wrong. In fact, compared with the past, today’s Chinese people, especially the younger generation of China, see themselves as a member of the human race, not just a member of China, more stand in all mankind Angle to consider the issue, which is science fiction in recent years in China to obtain a large number of readers one of the reasons.

China is developing relations with Africa and India. South Africa and Africa “unfamiliar” peoples and cultures – they are not within the scope of your readers’ direct understanding and consideration – in the “Earth Past” series, as well as in contemporary Chinese science fiction literature is what kind of gesture?

Science fiction is a kind of science and technology as the background of the literary genre, because of its attributes, of course, will focus and description of the focus on science and technology developed countries and regions, such as South Asia and Africa, such as the development of the mainstream Sci-fi fiction rarely makes a major description of the object. Like the “bright king” to Hinduism as the background of science fiction, which is also the Western character. But in recent years this situation has changed, in the United States science fiction literature, the culture outside the West more and more attention, there have been like Hugo Award for “winding girl” such works. I believe that with the development of the process of globalization, science fiction will be more and more showing the diversity of culture.

The female lead plays an important role in your novel. What is the difference between female critics (and readers) about this series of works and men? Your work at home and abroad to obtain great success, do you think this is the relationship with the choice of women as a protagonist?

In my science fiction, the characters do not occupy the core position, more as a storytelling tool, most of them gender characteristics are not obvious, women become an important role is only a more casual choice, more Taking into account the gender balance of the characters in the story. For both readers and critics, both men and women have not paid much attention to the gender of the characters in my novels, and I believe that women are not the reason for the success of this novel.

“Study of Science Fiction” ( 2013 Nian 3 Hao March) published a brilliant paper you, where it says, as a writer, you get into the “social experiment” stage. In the “eternal life”, the process of shaping the heart is entirely based on the superior maternal instinct and responsibility. In the past, your attention to science is greater than the character itself, so now, as a writer or as an individual, do you feel that you have any responsibility for human beings? Has your work been successful and popular in foreign countries, and after that, have you changed your view of your work and readers?

My view of human civilization has not changed, whether it is as an author or an ordinary individual is the case, I think that both human nature, or universal moral system and values, are constantly changing with time to To adapt to the environment in which human beings do not exist, there is no eternal human nature and morality. In the “three body” trilogy, I have been trying to express this idea. As a science fiction writer, I have once created their own science and technology imagination as the core of science fiction lack of confidence that this traditional style of science fiction is now out of date, but this book in China and Europe and the United States The success made me change this view, which reminds me of Asimov ‘s words: “When the new wave of the bubble recede, the hard – tech solid coast will be revealed again.

Cixin Liu
Cixin Liu is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People's Republic of China. Liu is a winner of the Hugo Award, an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo), and a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked as an engineer in a power plant.
Salik Shah
Salik Shah is the founding editor of Mithila Review. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s Science Fiction and Juggernaut, among other publications. You can find him on Twitter: @Salik Website:
Shaoyan Hu
Shaoyan Hu is a writer/translator for speculative fictions, born in China and currently living in Singapore. He has a number of short fictions published in China and won the Best New Writer of Chinese Nebula Award in 2016. As a translator, he has translated several English novels into Chinese language, including A Song of Ice and Fire series (by George R.R. Martin), The Southern Reach Trilogy (by Jeff VanderMeer), The City & The City and The Scar (by China Miéville) and Marooned in Realtime (by Vernor Vinge). Along with Regina, he also keeps a blog on Amazing Stories Magazine website, maundering about Chinese science fiction and Chinese fandoms.