Sci-Fi for the World

Anjie Zheng reviews Touchable Unreality

Lu Xun, the father of modern Chinese literature, predicted in 1903 that science fiction would play a major role in the advancement of China. It took a century, but that moment has arrived. While science fiction in China was restricted mainly to political purposes after 1949, it has achieved a literary life of its own in recent years.

A new bilingual anthology makes this genre even more available to global readers, thanks to the sparse, expressive translations of Ken Liu, Carmen Yiling Yan, Nick Stember, and John Chu. Touchable Unreality features some of China’s most beloved contemporary science fiction authors, including Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang, the only Chinese authors to have won the Hugo Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy writing.