The Changing Horizon: A Brief Summary of Chinese SF in Year 2015

In August 2015, the Hugo Award was presented to a science fiction novel by Liu Cixin and Liu became the first Chinese author to receive such a prize. Chinese SF fans were very enthusiastic about this outcome. In the meantime, year 2015 has also seen a lot of other activities related to SF going on in China, which deserved a summary here.

  • Publishing

For a start, the following table shows the number of SF books published in China from 2010 to 2015, not including books in the public domain, fantasy books, children’s books and reprinted books with the original ISBN.

Year Original Works Imported Works Related Works Total
2010 59 33 4 96
2011 35 32 10 77
2012 105 62 10 177
2013 68 72 12 152
2014 66 75 11 152
2015 69 76 33 178


Of the 69 original books in 2015, there are about 20 new novels, which might not seem like a large number, but compared to earlier years, it is an improvement. In fact, a few of them are debut novels by young writers, such as Xiao Xinghan and Zhou Jingzhi.xakfbu4dzzvzk3bsmfjvzwowzc68yz8c

The imported books showed a variety of strains. From classics by Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein to the latest Nebula Award winner, Jeff VanDemeer’s dark supernatural fiction, Annihilation, all these books were translated and published under the operation of a group of publishers who had an eye on the SF market.


Suffering from continuous sliding of printing numbers, New Science Fiction Magazine ceased publication in 2015, which made Science Fiction World the only paper print SF magazine in China. On the other hand, online publication/magazines, such as Little SF APP, Comet SF, Bu Zhou became a more profound existence, contributing many new short fictions for the year.

Another notable source for new fictions is webserials. There are a few matured web fiction sites in China and some of the novels on those sites are science fiction, or at least comprised of SF elements.

  • Awards & Contests

The two official SF awards, the Galaxy Award and the Nebula Award, continued to exist and are still the most important prizes for Chinese SF. However, in 2015, the best novel for Galaxy Award and the golden award for novels for Nebula Award were vacant. Meanwhile, a few enthusiasts managed to create a new award, the Coordinates Award, which for the time being focuses on short fiction).

Apart from the award systems, there were several writing contests in 2015. These contests attracted a large number of fresh writers and many of them have shown potential. The organizers of the contests came from a variety of sections. There were content publishing sites, such as Fannova( and Kedo. There were social media sites, such as Douban. There were government sponsored organizations like China Science Writer’s Association. And there were fanzines like SF Wen Hui (SF Compilation).

Moreover, the Science & Fantasy Growth Foundation was established to organize a special yearly contest: Morning Star & Jinkang Award. Writers who distinguished themselves in this contest received cash prizes from the Foundation. There was even an awarding ceremony at the conclusion of the contest.

  • Franchises

Some of the writing contests were attempts to create something similar to the Star Wars franchise, with authorized sales of toys, games, graphical novels and so on.

However, neither the contests nor any other forms of endeavour have got very far on that frontier. The closest thing so far is still The Three-Body Problem trilogy, which has a number of official and unofficial derivative works.

But that does not mean it is a dead end. On the contrary, people in various media industries have become aware of the opportunities represented by science fiction. For example, the copyright authorization fee for film adaption is generally more than ten times of that five years ago.

  • Research & Academy

In 2015, Prof. Wu Yan of Beijing Normal University became the mentor of China’s first ever doctoral candidate majored in science fiction literature. Considering the other graduates in this area, such as Li Guangyi, Wang Yao(Xia Jia), Jia Liyuan(Fei Dao), Guo Kai and Ren Dongmei, the academic study for science fiction is well on its way for growth.

  • Fandoms

There were more than 70 college SF clubs in China in year 2015. Compared to 120 clubs in 2012, the number was reduced. However, two independent fandoms, Future Affairs Administration in Beijing and SF AppleCore in Shanghai, were still very active.

SF AppleCore is the most important fandom in Eastern China. Last year, in addition to orchestrating the annual Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, SF AppleCore continued to operate on a regular base to bring about the public SF events such as AppleCore Party (speeches and gatherings of fans) and AppleCore Reading Group.

Future Affairs Administration was the backbone behind the 2016 Worldcon bid for Beijing. Although the bid was not successful, they organized the Chinese Nebula Award ceremony in 2014. Last year, this fandom was consolidated into a media platform for SF and technology related information, although the function for fan events still remained.

  • Appendix 1: SF Works by Chinese Writers Translated to English in 2015
Author Title Translator Publisher
A, Que Mrs. Griffin Prepares to Commit Suicide Tonight John Chu Clarkesworld, May 2015
Bao, Shu Preserve Her Memory Ken Liu Clarkesworld, September 2015
Chen, Qiufan Coming of the Light Ken Liu Clarkesworld, March 2015
Chen, Qiufan The Smog Society Ken Liu & Carmen Yiling Yan Lightspeed, Aug 2015
Chi, Hui The Cold Nicolas Richards The World of Chinese
Fei, Dao The Story-Telling Robot Alec Ash the Anthill
Fei, Dao An End of Days Story Alec Ash the Anthill
Han, Song Security Check Ken Liu Clarkesworld, Aug 2015
Hao, Jingfang Summer at Grandma’s House Carmen Yiling Yan Clarkesworld, Oct 2015
Hao, Jingfang Folding Beijing Ken Liu Uncanny, January/February 2015
Li, Tian Tempus omnia revelat Li, Tian Nature, Vol. 521
Liu, Cixin Mountain Holger Nahm Apex #76, September 2015
Liu, Cixin Yuanyuan’s Bubbles Carmen Yiling Yan Clarkesworld, December 2015
Pan, Haitian Hunger Tower Ken Liu Clarkesworld, July 2015
Tang, Fei A Universal Elegy John Chu Clarkesworld, January 2015
Wu, Anna The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge Carmen Yiling Yan & Ken Liu Galaxy’s Edge, No. 14
Xia, Jia If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler Ken Liu Clarkesworld, Nov 2015
Xia, Jia Let’s Have a Talk Xia, Jia Nature, Vol. 522, pp. 122
Xia, Jia Heat Island Ken Liu Pathlight, Spring 2015
Xia, Jia Valentine’s Day Ken Liu Terraform
Zhang, Ran Ether Carmen Yiling Yan & Ken Liu Clarkesworld, January 2015
Bao, Shu What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear Ken Liu The Magazine of F & SF, March/April 2015
Liu, Cixin The Dark Forest Joel Martinsen Tor Books
Tang, Fei Broken Stars Ken Liu SQ Magazine, Edition 24


  • Appendix 2: SF Works by Chinese Writers Translated to Other Languages in 2015
Language Author Title Translator Publisher
Russian Лю Цысинь Забота о Боге Ilya Sukhanov Мир Фантастики, Март 2015
Turkish Cixin Liu Üç Cisim Problemi Zeynep Özmeral İthaki Yayınları (ISBN: 9786053754992)
Italian Xia Jia Stanotte sfilano cento fantasmi Gabriella Goria Festa di Primavera (Future Fiction Vol. 22)
Italian Xia Jia Festa di primavera Gabriella Goria Festa di Primavera (Future Fiction Vol. 22)
Italian Xia Jia L’estate di Tongtong Gabriella Goria Festa di Primavera (Future Fiction Vol. 22)
Czech Sia Ť’ia Tchung-tchungino léto Daniela Orlando XB-1 11/2015
Czech Čchen Čchiou-fan Rok krysy Ľudovít Plata XB-1 11/2015
Czech Liou Cch‘-Sin Kruh Karel Makovský XB-1 11/2015




Profile photo of Shaoyan Hu

Shaoyan Hu is a part-time translator for speculative fictions. He has worked together with other translators to render A Song of Ice and Fire series into Chinese language. His other translation works in Chinese language include Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, The Scar by China Miéville, and The City & the City by China Miéville. There are also a number of short stories, novelettes and novellas translated by Shaoyan that appeared in various SF&F magazines in China.