Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw
The late 1970s to the mid-1980s, a period commonly referred to as the post-Mao cultural thaw, was a key transitional phase in the evolution of Chinese science fiction. This period served as a bridge between science-popularization science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s and New Wave Chinese science fiction from the 1990s into the twenty-first century. Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw surveys the field of Chinese science fiction and its multimedia practice, analysing and assessing science fiction works by well-known writers such as Ye Yonglie, Zheng Wenguang, Tong Enzheng, and Xiao Jianheng, as well as the often-overlooked tech–science fiction writers of the post-Mao thaw.
Exploring the socio-political and cultural dynamics of science-related Chinese literature during this period, Hua Li combines close readings of original Chinese literary texts with literary analysis informed by scholarship on science fiction as a genre, Chinese literary history, and media studies. Li argues that this science fiction of the post-Mao thaw began its rise as a type of government-backed literature, yet it often stirred up controversy and received pushback as a contentious and boundary-breaking genre. Topically structured and interdisciplinary in scope, Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw will appeal to both scholars and fans of science fiction.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 248 pages
- Illustrations: 16
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
"Before Chinese science fiction gained international recognition in the twenty-first century, the genre had first flourished splendidly during the post-Mao thaw. No other scholar has offered such a powerful and sober reflection on this old golden age of Chinese science fiction as Hua Li has in this masterful study of the genre’s history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in modern China and its science fiction culture!"
Mingwei Song, Associate Professor of Chinese, Wellesley College
"In Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw, Hua Li reminds us of the wonders of Chinese science fiction beyond the confines of the ‘boom’ years, tracing the rise and fall of Chinese science fiction production and consumption in the interregnal period between the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the 1983 campaign to eliminate ‘spiritual pollution.’"
Nathaniel Isaacson, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Cultural Studies, North Carolina State University
"Hua Li has filled a lacuna in book-length English-language studies of a turning point in the historical development of Chinese science fiction. By probing representative works of several key science fiction writers and multimedia artists who achieved prominence around 1980, this book reveals that many of the characteristics associated with present-day Chinese science fiction actually appeared in as early as the post-Mao thaw era."
Wu Yan, Professor of Chinese Science Fiction Studies, Southern University of Science and Technology
"After the Cultural Revolution, science fiction and its offshoots enjoyed an astonishing but short-lived resurgence in the People’s Republic of China as both a popular genre and an instrument of the nation-state. Hua Li’s groundbreaking study is an elegantly organized and critically astute cultural history of this moment, demonstrating how it laid the foundations for the twenty-first-century New Wave of Chinese science fiction that has captured the global imagination."
Veronica Hollinger, Co-editor of Science Fiction Studies
Author InformationHua Li is an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures at Montana State University.
Table of contents
1. The Field of Chinese Science Fiction, 1976–1983
2. A Study of Zheng Wenguang’s Mars Series
3. A Scientific Holmes in Post-Mao China: Ye Yonglie and His Science Fiction Thrillers
4. Tong Enzheng and the Motif of Alien Invasions
5. Posthuman Conditions in Xiao Jianheng’s Science Fiction Narratives
6. Tech-Science Fiction and the Four Modernizations
7. Fledgling Media Convergence: PRC Science Fiction from Print to Electronic Media
8. Blooming, Contending, and Boundary-Breaking in a Genre of Government-Backed Literature
Chinese Character Glossary
Subjects and Courses