Chinese Science Fiction as World Literature: 21 Oct, 2-4pm

You are warmly invited to the next Asian Studies seminar, a roundtable discussion on the topic of “Chinese Science Fiction as World Literature.” The event will be taking place via Zoom on Wednesday 21 Oct, 2-4 pm (UK time). All are warmly welcome to join a discussion with the acclaimed authors and leading scholars in the field!


Following the global success of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, contemporary Chinese science fiction has attracted much attention internationally, emerging as a cultural phenomenon in World Literature. 21st century Chinese science fiction authors are not only writing for their domestic readership, but also navigating a global cultural market and a transnational fan network. The fantastical, imaginative worlds of Chinese science fiction open up a unique window for understanding contemporary Chinese society, its past and future, as well as its position in the global world and even the universe.

This roundtable brings together acclaimed writers and prominent scholars for an engaging dialogue on the production and reception of Chinese science fiction, its historical dimensions, and the ways in which Chinese sci-fi informs debates on political, social, and cultural change around the globe.


Chen Qiufan 陈楸帆 is a science fiction writer, screenwriter, and columnist. He is the recipient of many literary awards, including the Gold Award for Best Novel at the 2013 Chinese Nebula Awards competition for his novel Waste Tide. English versions of his works have appeared in Clarkesworld, Pathlight, Lightspeed, as well as in anthologies of Chinese speculative fiction such as Invisible Planets and Broken Stars.

Gu Shi 顾适 is a science fiction writer and an urban planner. She won a Gold Award for Best Novella at the Chinese Nebula Awards competition in 2016, and her short story “Möbius Continuum” won a Galaxy Award for Best Short Story in 2017. Her works have been translated into English and feature in Clarkesworld, Broken Stars, and an anthology of Chinese speculative fiction edited by Ken Liu.

Dr Heather Inwood is University Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge. Her research has focused on interactions between media, literature and culture in contemporary China. She is the author of Verse Going Viral: China’s New Media Scenes (2014) and many academic essays. She has written Chinese-language columns for newspapers, websites and magazines in the UK and China.

Dr Nathaniel Isaacson is an Associate Professor of Modern Chinese literature and cultural studies at North Carolina State University. He is the author of Celestial Empire: the Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction (2017), and his essays on Chinese Science Fiction have appeared in Science Fiction Studies, and other journals and volumes. He is also the translator of Chinese science fiction by Hao Jingfang, Han Song, and others.


Professor Aaron Moore is Handa Chair of Japanese-Chinese Relations at the University of Edinburgh. He is a transnational and comparative social historian, and he is also conducting research on the long history of science writing and speculative fiction. He is the author of Bombing the City: Civilian Accounts of the Air War in Britain and Japan, 1939–1945 (2018), Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire (2013), and many other essays.

Please pre-register here:

(Registration will close at 12 noon, 21 Oct.)