Chinese writers shine at world's prestigious sci-fi awards

(Xinhua) 09:12, October 23, 2023

Actors perform during the award ceremony for the 2023 Hugo Awards during the 81st World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Oct. 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)

CHENGDU, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese sci-fi writers and artists enjoyed a rewarding night on Saturday at this year's Hugo Awards.

Hai Ya took away the Best Novelette award for "The Space-Time Painter" while well-known computer graphics artist Zhao Enzhe won the Best Professional Artist award.

"I'm pleasantly surprised and very lucky, it's like my dream come into reality," said Hai Ya, who started writing science fiction when he was a university student.

Noting that he is very grateful to be recognized by the Hugo Awards, Hai Ya also said he believes that science fiction is an inspiring literary form and hopes that his works can inspire more people to think about technology, time and art.

Zhao, meanwhile, has been engaged in the gaming industry for over 20 years and has developed a strong interest in sci-fi-themed creation. He is a longtime cover artist for Science Fiction World magazine, which has a bigger circulation than any other sci-fi publication in the world.

"Of course, I'm very happy to have such an opportunity and a platform to show myself, but I think it is the step-by-step promotion of the predecessors of Chinese science fiction that gives me such an opportunity," Zhao said in an interview after the ceremony. "In the future, I will work harder to promote the progress of science fiction art in China."

The results were announced at a formal ceremony at the 81st World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) that runs from Oct. 18 to 22 in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

In addition to the two winners, many other categories at this year's Hugo Awards also featured Chinese authors and artists.

Four works by Chinese writers were shortlisted in the Best Short Stories category, while "Chinese Science Fiction, An Oral History, Volume 1" was shortlisted for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. In addition, Yao Haijun, the interviewee of "Chinese Science Fiction, An Oral History, Volume 1" and Yang Feng, the editor-in-chief of the book, were shortlisted in the Best Editor (Long Form) category.

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953 and presented annually since 1955, are science fiction's prestigious awards. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention, which is also responsible for administering them.

This year, a total of 1,847 valid nominating ballots were received and counted from members of the 2022 and 2023 World Science Fiction Conventions for the 2023 Hugo Awards.

The World Science Fiction Convention has taken place annually since 1939 (except during WWII from 1942 to 1945). It is the first time for the world's largest and longest-running sci-fi gathering to come to China.

Chinese writers winning awards and being nominated for awards not only underlines the considerable abilities of Chinese science fiction writers, but also mirrors the rise of Chinese sci-fi literature on the international stage.

Over the past decade, a galaxy of Chinese sci-fi works have been translated into English, Japanese, Italian and other languages, and sci-fi with Chinese cultural elements has accumulated a growing number of overseas readers, noted Ji Shaoting, head of the Future Affairs Administration, a sci-fi cultural company.

"At last night's ceremony, 3,000 science fiction fans gave equally deafening cheers for Chinese and foreign winners, which made us feel that science fiction is really writing the future story of the whole mankind," Ji added.

Yi Xiaoheng, a sci-fi fan, made a special trip from Beijing to attend the WorldCon, and was more than thrilled by the prominence of Chinese writers in the awards and nominations lists.

"We can see that the weight and influence of Chinese science fiction is growing, and Chinese science fiction authors, translators and other content creators are gaining more and more international attention," he said.

"At the same time, I also hope that more and better Chinese works will be seen on a larger stage, securing even more heavyweight sci-fi awards," he added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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