Chinese sci-fi authors can rival Western writers, says Hugo Award winner

Updated 2017-08-15 14:31:10 CGTN
Hao Jingfang, winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette.

Hao Jingfang, winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette.

"Everybody has imagination, but a lot of people don't have the habit of putting their imagination down on paper," says Hao Jingfang, winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette -- science fiction's most prestigious award.

Hao became made the first female Chinese writer to win the award for her work "Folding Beijing." In the story, China's capital has been divided into three different living spaces that spin and rotate so each can take turns on the surface of the planet every day. The novel addresses two future challenges: income inequality and the possibility of AI replacing workers.

"These two challenges intertwine with each other," Hao told CGTN's "The Point with Liu Xin". "AI takes our jobs; people can't find proper work, while for those in the AI sectors and for other creative people, they may gain much more in the future."

On top of writing sci-fi, Hao is also a macroeconomics researcher and works with social programs for children. These multiple identities gave her the inspiration for her creation, she says. "New things happen when you just cross the border of knowledge, and then you just link different things together."

Last week, the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2017 was awarded to US writer Nora K. Jemisin for her work "The Obelisk Gate." Her main rival for the prize was another Chinese science fiction writer, Liu Cixin, who already won the Hugo for Best Novel in 2015 for "The Three Body Problem".

"We are writing as well as those Western writers," Hao said of Chinese writers. "I don't think there is a large gap between Eastern and Western writers."

She is now preparing to publish a new book related to Artificial Intelligence in October.

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