A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments—ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China’s rise to deconstructions of the myth of national development.
This anthology showcases the best of contemporary science fiction from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China. In fifteen short stories and novel excerpts, The Reincarnated Giant opens a doorway into imaginary realms alongside our own world and the history of the future. Authors such as Lo Yi-chin, Dung Kai-cheung, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, and the Hugo winner Liu Cixin—some alive during the Cultural Revolution, others born in the 1980s—blur the boundaries between realism and surrealism, between politics and technology. They tell tales of intergalactic war; decoding the last message sent from an extinct human race; the use of dreams as tools to differentiate cyborgs and humans; poets’ strange afterlife inside a supercomputer; cannibalism aboard an airplane; and unchecked development that leads to uncontrollable catastrophe. At a time when the Chinese government promotes the “Chinese dream,” the dark side of the new wave shows a nightmarish unconscious. The Reincarnated Giant is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of the genre.
About the Author
Mingwei Song is associate professor of Chinese at Wellesley College. He is the author of Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959 (2015).
Theodore Huters is professor emeritus in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include Bringing the World Home: Appropriating the West in Late Qing and Early Republican China (2005).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Does Science Fiction Dream of a Chinese New Wave?, by Mingwei Song
Part I: Other Realities
1. Regenerated Bricks, by Han Song (translated by Theodore Huters)
2. The Village Schoolteacher, by Liu Cixin (translated by Christopher Elford and Jiang Chenxin)
3. Histories of Time: The Luster of Mute Porcelain (excerpts), by Dung Kai-cheung (translated and introduced by Carlos Rojas)
4. The Dream Devourer (chapters 5–7), by Egoyan Zheng (translated by Cara Healey)
5. The Demon-Enslaving Flask, by Xia Jia (translated by Linda Rui Feng)
Part II: Other Us
6. The Poetry Cloud, by Liu Cixin (translated by Chi-yin Ip and Cheuk Wong)
7. “Science Fiction”: A Chapter of Daughter, by Lo Yi-chin (translated by Thomas Moran and Jingling Chen)
8. Balin, by Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu)
9. The Radio Waves That Never Die, by La La (translated by Petula Parris-Huang)
10. 1923: A Fantasy, by Zhao Haihong (translated by Nicky Harman and Pang Zhaoxia)
Part III: Other Futures
11. The Passengers and the Creator, by Han Song (translated by Nathaniel Isaacson)
12. The Reincarnated Giant, by Wang Jinkang (translated by Carlos Rojas)
13. The Rain Forest, by Chi Hui (translated by Jie Li)
14. The Demon’s Head, by Fei Dao (translated by David Hull)
15. Songs of Ancient Earth, by Bao Shu (translated by Adrian Thieret)