The Stories of Their Lives: The SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

As you may know, in China, there are quite a number of college Science Fiction and Fantasy associations. The SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University is one of them. As it is the 120th anniversary of the university this year and I received my undergraduate degree there exactly 20 years ago, I took the opportunity to visit the campus again and collect some information about the SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The Association was established in May 2002, which makes it the second oldest college SF association in Shanghai (the oldest is the SF Association of Fudan University, founded in 1999). In 2006, the SF association created a ‘haunted house’ in Min Hang Campus with recycled materials, such as used paper, water bottles, etc.

A ghost mask created for the haunted house

A ghost mask created for the “haunted house”

In 2007, the members of the association translated a few English SF/F short fictions into Chinese, which were then sold for charity — the next year happened to be the year of the Wenchuan earthquake, where 69,197 were dead, 374,176 injured and 18,222 listed as missing.

In 2013, the only bookshop on Min Hang Campus was closed down due to a decline in profit. Yu Cheng, one of the ex-presidents of the SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, posted an article on the campus Bulletin Board System, grieving over the unfortunate event and petitioning for a new bookstore. The post was widely spread and caught the eyes of an alumnus, Zhao Yijia, who then came back from Beijing immediately and took over the bookselling business. Since Yijia was a member of the SF Association when she studied at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the new bookshop, Sea Sheer, has maintained storage room for the collection of books owned by the SF association. On campus members of the association can borrow those books for free.

The collection of books owned by the SF association

The collection of books owned by the SF association

In the past few years, as an affiliate of SF AppleCore, the largest fan group in Eastern China, the SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University has helped to host various events for the Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival, which is a series of activities organized by SF AppleCore every year.

The closing ceremony of Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival in 2014

The closing ceremony of the Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival in 2014

 

Writers visiting Sea Sheer Bookstore during The closing ceremony of Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival in 2014

Writers visiting Sea Sheer Bookstore during the Shanghai Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival in 2014

Some members of the SF Association have become writers or translators of SF stories. For example, the current president, Wu Yue, is an excellent new writer, who has published a number of fictions in Science Fiction World Magazine, and won a prize in a country-wide writing competition. Another ex-member, Cao Liu, is a well-known translator, who has joined the effort of translating a large collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury into the Chinese language.

Wu Yue, writer, current president of the SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Wu Yue, writer, current president of the SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

 

The Chinese edition of the short story collection by Ray Bradbury

The Chinese edition of a short story collection by Ray Bradbury

The SF Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been awarded twice by the university for its contribution to campus culture. Reading groups, speeches, street murals, board games, whatever the activity, the members are full of enthusiasm because they are young and energetic. Such is the case for most of the SF&F associations in colleges and universities. In fact, in China, SF&F associations in colleges and universities play a very important role in fandom as the students live in a relatively close environment (the campus), which makes it easier for members to get together.

Street murals in the campus

Street murals in the campus

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.

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