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An Interview with Wu Yan

In case you've missed it when it first came out - Lavie Tidhar interviews Chinese writer and editor Wu Yan over at the Internet Review of Science Fiction (also available online, brand new, in a Hebrew translation).

Chinese science fiction 2008

A recent article on Chinese science fiction over at Concatenation, by Jenny Bai and Cecilia Qin of SF World, partly talking about the well-attended Chengdu conference that took place just before the Japanese Worldcon.

Nowadays Chinese SF & fantasy is still in the process of development. SF/fantasy readers in China are mostly teenagers with a low purchasing power: this is quite different to western countries that have a greater share of older readers. To balance the market, SFW put massive effort in the introduction of foreign SF works to Chinese readers. - Read the rest of the article.


Kung Fu Hustle

Been asked recently about Asian films and, well, you can't go wrong with watching Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle [IMDB] [Wikipedia].

Kung Fu Hustle is a wonderful remaking of classic wuxia stories - but rather than take place in one of the dynasty periods, it takes place in 1930s Shanghai, its shanties and criminal underworld. All the Chow regulars appear, but unlike his previous films, this one is seriously high-budget (a whopping 20 million US) - and it shows. Chow plays the wannabe gangster who sets off the battle between the Axe Gang and the residents of Pig Sty Alley - five of whom just happen to be kung-fu masters. Visually, the film is stunning, and unlike other wuxia films, it doesn't take itself too seriously, combining Chow's regular comedy into the superbly-choreographed fight scenes. The film is an absolute joy, combining fantasy, romance, action and comedy to create "the highest grossing film in the history of Hong Kong".

Chow went on to make CJ7, a science fiction film for kids.

An excellent, two-part article over at Danwei - A Brief History of Shanghai's Future by historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom, the author of the recently published Global Shanghai, 1850-2010

Part Two - Sci-Fi Fantasies from Late Qing Times to the Diamond Age - looks at perceptions of a futuristic Shanghai from both American (Gibson, Sterling, Stephenson) and Chinese (Liang Qichao) perspectives, and is well worth reading.

Part One: Looking Backward and Looking Forward from 1850 to 1950 looks at portraits of Shanghai from a historical perspective.

New Article on Chinese SF

 A new and very in-depth article on Chinese SF - Hesitant Journey to the West: SF’s Changing Fortunes in Mainland China, by Mikael Huss - is now available online at the Sina Blog. Well worth checking out and, of course, we'll be posting more on Chinese SF.

Two Chinese writers contribute to the Apex Book of World SF: Han Song (mentioned in the above article) and Yang Ping, one with a mix of Buddhism, fantasy and hard science fiction in "The Wheel of Samsara", the other with a great detective/cyberpunk story, "Wizard World"  about virtual reality and how it contrasts with reality itself.

Welcome to the World SF blog!

Hi and welcome to the World SF blog - an experiment where, in the lead up to publication of The Apex Book of World SF (volume 1) from Apex Books, I will be trying to post news and links relating to all aspects of international speculative fiction.

Here I'll also be talking about the anthology (but maybe closer to the time) and about the contributors. I hope the blog gets some interest - please do friend us! - and if nothing else serves as a useful repository of relevant information.

I'll start with a link to something I only came across today - the very interesting A Summary of France's Comics Market and the Future of China's Comics Market from

Coming up in future posts: Chinese science fiction, Israeli conventions, Lebanese comics, Polish fantasy, Malaysian horror and much more. Stay with us - and I'd welcome guest bloggers, so if you have something you want to say, just drop me a line! And of course, comments are welcome...


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