Sinopticon: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction

We’re utterly delighted that Sinopticon: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction, translated and edited by Xueting Christine Ni, is out now! This incredible anthology features thirteen stories from award-winners, bestsellers, screenwriters and philosophers, all translated for the first time into English, representing an exploration of the nation’s speculative fiction from the late 20th century onwards, curated and translated by critically acclaimed writer and essayist Xueting Christine Ni. A stunning collection of the best in Chinese Science Fiction, from Award-Winning legends to up-and-coming talent, all translated here into English for the first time. 

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I’m honoured to be part of SFRA Review’s 51 special issue on Chinese science fiction, in which it published its first piece of fiction 1761, a slow-burn queer cyberpunk romance by Tang Fei, and translated by myself.

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Introduction to Chinese Animation with Screenings (Amecon 2008, Leceister)

Donghua (Chinese for animation) has spread its wings internationally over the last decade, so impressive have been the currents it’s generated that even big Western studios like Disney, are capitalising on the trend. But its history of donghua goes all the way back to the early twentieth century. This is a talk I delivered for at Amecon in 2008, at the UK premier of Storm Rider: Clash of Evils. Having discovered that certain ageing white academics have helped themselves to my talk for ‘research’ without crediting me, I removed it from Myspace. Today, I’m making it available, in honour of the release of Domee Shi’s Turning Red. If you do use it for whatever project, put my name in the sources, and in return, put a little towards my research materials, or, buy me a cup of tea. 

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Net Novels and the She Era: How Internet Novels Opened the Door for Readers and Writers in China

It’s International Women’s Day and also the publication day of Tordotcom’s The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation (ed. Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang). As a collection that spotlights contemporary SFF by women and non-binary writers, I thought it would be appropriate to contribute an essay on the story of the amazing growth and diversification of China’s female web literature output.

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A Touch of Sin: Talk Taster

As China began exporting its movies in the 70s and 80s, a cult of fandom grew around the kungfu and action films. From “36 Chambers of Shaolin” to “City on fire”, these films made a deep impression on young American filmmakers-to-be, most obviously Quentin Taratino, who took heavy Inspiration from these films for “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill”. However, inspiration between vibrant creative cultures becomes a conversation, and those elements Tarantino borrowed, were absorbed by a new generation of filmmakers in China, including Jia Zhangke. Jia has had an interesting career. Starting off making mockumentary-style films about petty criminals and China’s disaffected youth, and now having reached such critical acclaim that he has over 100 international awards and nominations. His films still deal with how ordinary people’s lives were affected by China’s rapid social change, and “A Touch of Sin” brings many of his themes together, to tell stories about outcasts and misfits, in a manner more akin to traditional Chinese storytelling. (First delivered for the Spring Festival screening at Genesis, London, 2019).

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Introductory Talk to Big Fish & Begonia: A Taster

This screening is part of the April Anime season. Anime is faux-French term predominantly used to refer to Japanese animation. Chinese animation is called Dong Hua.

That animation you’ve just seen, “Where is Mama” is a product of the first golden age of Chinese animation. The director, Te Wei,broke a lot of the established rules of the time, and instead of just imitating western animators like Disney, he attempted to create a very eastern style. 

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From Kuan Yin to Chairman Mao: an Essential Guide to Chinese Deities

My first book of non-fiction published in 2018, containing no less than 60 different Chinese deities, discussed from a cultural perspective.

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Science Fiction!

I have always been a geek, and around 2014, thanks to Con or Bust, I began attending conventions that catered for wider interests than anime. This led to some new beginnings.

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Sculpture Masterclass at Asia House 2014

In 2014, Singaporean artist Chua Boon Kee won the Chinatown Art Space Award (with the theme of “sustain”) with his gorgeous sculpture “FLOW”.

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China Underground 2014-15

A few years after my Peking into Punk talk, I was recommended by some musicians in Beijing to Chicago journalist John Yingling, who was about to embark on his mammoth project of documenting the world’s underground music scene. He decided to go in at the deep end, to China, for the first episode.

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