Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin on Wednesday expressed his grief over the death of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking.
"There are people who can only flicker their eyelids, but their thoughts may travel far into space. There are those whose bodies are robust and strong, but their minds are weak, and they are destined to live their entire lives dependent on others," the science-fiction writer said.
The British physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, a family spokesperson said Wednesday.
Hawking, a towering figure in the modern history of physics, authored several best-sellers in science, including "A Brief History of Time," despite being bound to wheelchair after contracting a motor neurone disease in 1963.
In the end of one of Liu's short stories, Hawking, on behalf of humankind, asks the ultimate question to an alien: "What is the purpose of the Universe?"
No answer appears in the sky. The smile on the alien's face disappears, and a flash of unnoticeable panic occurs in his eyes.
Liu, author of "The Three-Body Problem," was the first Chinese author to receive the Hugo Award for Best Novel, in 2015.
(Ji Shaoting and Qiu Mengyang contribute to the story)