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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1761

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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Delivery Drivers: Stuck In the System

Over the pandemic and lockdown measures, online orders, couriers and delivery drivers have been a lifeline around the world for life to have a semblance of normality, nowhere is this more so than in China, where quarantine procedures have been one of the strictest.  One of the articles that went viral this autumn is a People (renwu) magazine coverage of the condition of takeaway delivery driver and the extraordinary pressures they’ve having to face. This article is, of course, written in Chinese, but it’s a piece that the world needs to read. So I present a quick translation in instalments. It’s the end of the year now, but as the virus rages on, we’re still having to rely on these unsung heroes. So I hope that after reading this article in translation, you’ll think about these people over Christmas, while enjoying the festive treats that have been delivered to your door, and opening gifts that were bought at the click of a button, and perhaps hold back from sending that complaint on the app, the next time your goods are a day or two late. Thank you to Radii for their coverage. 


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The Path to Freedom

Tang Fei is a writer of speculative fiction born in Shanghai and currently living in Beijing.

In modern Chinese, “story” (故事) and “fiction” (小说) are not exact equivalents. A story is more rooted in the folk and oral traditions, and thus possesses more resilience and vitality. This is why I’ve always called myself a storyteller. Story, for me, is a word infused with magic. Every time I say it, I feel a joy in my spirit and pleasure in my senses.

—Tang Fei 


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Vision of the Other Side, 2006

My first published translation of Chinese fiction.


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Manuscript of a Century: an Extract

From the father of Pinyin, Zhou Youguang. Because I liked his introduction.


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The Path to Freedom

written by Tang Fei, translated by Xueting Christine Ni

“Imagining the worst tomorrow makes me happy.
The gloom of the future lights my path.”


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Flow by Chua Boon Kee: Master Class at Asia House

I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Chinatown Arts Space and Asia House, to interpret for renown Singaporean artist and winner of the SUSTAIN award, Chua Boon Kee in his sculptor master class, which took place earlier this week, during the auspicious time of Mid-Autumn Festival. His commissioned sculpture, FLOW, has been installed on the corner of Gerrard Place and Shaftsbury Avenue, and was unveiled this afternoon.


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China Underground – A Translated Sample

An interview with the band Vagabond Street, by John YingLing, for his upcoming documentary, China Underground.
I’ve translated about 3 hours of interviews for this project, which is now heavily into post production (but could still do with more funding). This will be one of the video programe available to accompany my talk “Peking Into Punk”.


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The Corpse Flower – A Candle in the Tomb Sample

Chunk and Hu, ex-military and diehard, are accompanying an archaeological expedition near the Kunlun Mountains to discover the lost ancient city of Jingjue. With their aid, Professor Chen, his students, and their overseas sponsor, Shirley Yang, have managed to make her way into the secret city of the Taklamakan. In the final resting chamber of the Queen, they have found her coffin. A magnificently carved Kunlun Wood casket, but growing from the lid, is a large, scarlet, sickly smelling blossom.


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