Posts Tagged 'Melon Festival'

There’s something of the Asian continent in the air around Sci-Fi at the moment, and we’re not just talking about the space station currently hurtling towards the planet.

Chinese artist and disident, Aie Weiwei plays a central role in the short film The Sand Storm which was kickstarted and filmed under the official radar in Beijing. First aired in 2014, you can watch it now on Vimeo here. (Note that there’s also a deeper Asian genre link between Aie Weiwei’s costume and that worn by James Hong, playing Hannibal Chew in the original Blade Runner.) Elsewhere, Benedict Wong, although admittedly a native Manchunain, seems to be constantly on our screens in one Sci-Fi role or another. He has most recently appeared in Impossible Planet as part of Channel 4’s Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, and as Lomax in Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018). Maybe a couple of tenuous links for the sake of building out a topic, but there’s a wide selection of new written work to back this up.

We’ve mentioned Luci Cixin’s book, The Three Body Problem, in other posts on the site, but now Amazon are reportedly paying one billion dollars for the television and production rights. The tale depicts an alien invasion set across the historical backdrop of the Cultural Revolution, which seems like a bold investment in darker, more cerebral science fiction – away from the capes, codpieces and proliferation of super powers.

Hong Kong is about to host its second genre conference as well. The bizarrely titled Melon: Sci-Fi and Beyond, created by venture capitalist Fritz Demopoulous, will begin on the 19th April and will provide a platform for emerging and established writers. Among them we can expect to see Chen Qiufan who has earned the title ‘China’s William Gibson’ by fans of his work, plus Tang Fei whose short story collections are beginning to find an audience here in the west, and Bao Shu who has already been published in English through Clarksworld. Talking of translations, while they’re still sketchy, an increasing number are appearing for all the above authors – however, with mixed results. Regardless, with the ever mutable landscape of science fiction looking towards China for fresh input, perhaps now is the time to sample some of this growing Eastern promise.

Tags: , , , , ,