Confucius Institute at University of Torino Holds Lecture on Science Fiction in China

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Turin [Time]    2019-11-19 16:42:34 

On November 13th, local time, Chinese contemporary science fiction writers Wang Jinkang and Xia Jia gave a lecture on “Reality and Future in Science Fiction” in Turin, Italy. The lecture was jointly organized by the Confucius institute at the University of Turin and Future Fiction Publishing. This event was attended by Francesco Verso, a famous Italian science fiction writer and publisher, Stefania Stafutti, Foreign Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Turin, and Liu Yunqiu, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Turin.

Recent years have seen Chinese science fiction writers’ claiming of the Hugo Award and other international awards for science fiction, attracting attention from Italian people to China’s science fiction industry and its strength. Stefania Stafutti introduced the development of Chinese science fiction from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, and introduced the works of the two writers to Italian readers.

The lecture

Wang Jinkang and Xia Jia shared audience with characteristics of Chinese science fiction in different periods and its current situation. From the perspective of literary history and his own experience, Wang Jinkang vividly tells the story of his own growth together with Chinese science fiction in past decades. Xia Jia gave an introduction of the changes and new development of Chinese science fiction since the 1990s from the perspective of science fiction market and science fiction fan culture in China.

Wang Jinkang speaking at the lecture

During the free question time, the two writers interacted with the audience and some of them raised questions about the meaning of science fiction to history, reality and future. Wang Jinkang said that the imagination of science fiction to the future is based on the understanding of history and reality. Science fiction can be regarded as reality because they are closely related with each other. When it comes to the impact of the development of science and technology on human society, Xia Jia said that new technologies can usher a brighter future. Wang Jinkang gave further explanation on the issue of artificial intelligence development, adding that he believed that the world could be a place in which artificial intelligence and human intelligence coexist in the future, and the science fiction works could exactly show the different prospects of artificial intelligence for the world.

Audience asking questions

Future Fiction Publishing would like to introduce more China's finest science fiction works to Italian readers and promote further exchanges in this field between the two countries by translating them into Italian, said Francesco Verso.

In this lecture, Wang Jinkang and Xia Jia offered the audience a wonderful glimpse of Chinese science fiction with their simple but insightful and humorous introduction and explanation, through which Italian readers can also develop a comprehensive understanding of Chinese science fiction. After the lecture, many readers became so interested in Chinese science fiction that they bought books and asked the two writers for signatures.

As a contemporary Chinese science fiction writer, Wang Jinkang has published 87 short fictions and over 10 novels so far. His well-known works include Nightmare in Sinai, Seven Layers, The Last Love, Interpreting Life and We, Together. He has been awarded China’s Milky Way Award by World Science Fiction Convention and Xingyun Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction.

Xia Jia, pen name for Wang Yao, is a contemporary Chinese science fiction writer. Her notable works include The Demon-Enslaving Flask, Carmen, Nightingale and On the Road: Odyssey of China Fantasy. Her work The Demon-Enslaving Flask has won Milky Way Award for Chinese Science Fiction in 2004, which is the highest award for science fiction writers in the country

Story by Zheng Yulin; photo by Zheng Yulin and Pu Ruoyi