The Reincarnated Giant

An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction

Edited by Mingwei Song and Theodore Huters

Columbia University Press

The Reincarnated Giant

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Pub Date: September 2018

ISBN: 9780231180238

448 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.00

Pub Date: September 2018

ISBN: 9780231180221

448 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£81.00

Pub Date: September 2018

ISBN: 9780231542548

448 Pages

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List Price: $34.99£27.00

The Reincarnated Giant

An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction

Edited by Mingwei Song and Theodore Huters

Columbia University Press

A new wave of Chinese science fiction is here. This golden age has not only resurrected the genre but also subverted its own conventions. Going beyond political utopianism and technological optimism, contemporary Chinese writers conjure glittering visions and subversive experiments—ranging from space opera to cyberpunk, utopianism to the posthuman, and parodies of China’s rise to deconstructions of the myth of national development.

This anthology showcases the best of contemporary science fiction from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China. In fifteen short stories and novel excerpts, The Reincarnated Giant opens a doorway into imaginary realms alongside our own world and the history of the future. Authors such as Lo Yi-chin, Dung Kai-cheung, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, and the Hugo winner Liu Cixin—some alive during the Cultural Revolution, others born in the 1980s—blur the boundaries between realism and surrealism, between politics and technology. They tell tales of intergalactic war; decoding the last message sent from an extinct human race; the use of dreams as tools to differentiate cyborgs and humans; poets’ strange afterlife inside a supercomputer; cannibalism aboard an airplane; and unchecked development that leads to uncontrollable catastrophe. At a time when the Chinese government promotes the “Chinese dream,” the dark side of the new wave shows a nightmarish unconscious. The Reincarnated Giant is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of the genre.
A definitive tour of some of the most influential landmarks of contemporary Chinese sf. Highly recommended.Ken Liu, author of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Grace of Kings
Science fiction is the most important literary phenomenon in twenty-first-century China. In a culture dominated by realism of various brands throughout the twentieth century, the surge of science fiction in the new millennium bespeaks not only a literary renovation but also the changing political ethos and intellectual visions of China. From star wars to spacy odysseys, extraterrestrial encounters to cybernetic adventures, contemporary Chinese science fiction projects utopian dreams and dystopian nightmares, unspeakable taboos and undreamed-of marvels. The Reincarnated Giant features fifteen masterpieces from both China and the Sinophone world. It is a must read for anyone curious about the intriguing mythology of a rising China.David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University
The Reincarnated Giant is a unique contribution to the field of global science fiction, making available to English-language readers some of the most exciting and accomplished twenty-first-century sf by writers from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. From the grotesque aesthetics of the title story to the sublime aesthetics of stories such as Liu’s “The Poetry Cloud,” this anthology provides a broad perspective on an increasingly significant body of sf story-telling for the twenty-first century.Veronica Hollinger, professor emerita, Trent University, and editor, Science Fiction Studies
The volume is timely for the field of Chinese science fiction studies. The editors’ selection of specific texts for inclusion and Mingwei Song’s comprehensive introduction are an accurate survey of contemporary Chinese sf writing. These beautifully written and translated stories will capture the imagination of most readers.Hua Li, Montana State University
In showcasing representative works of science fiction by authors from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China, The Reincarnated Giant provides readers with a fascinating and multifaceted glimpse into China’s near (and not-so-near?) future(s). Thank you to the writers, translators, and editors for the existence of this work of scholarship and art. It is timely and timeless. It is stunning. It is necessary.Seo-young Chu, Queens College
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Does Science Fiction Dream of a Chinese New Wave?, by Mingwei Song
Part I: Other Realities
1. Regenerated Bricks, by Han Song (translated by Theodore Huters)
2. The Village Schoolteacher, by Liu Cixin (translated by Christopher Elford and Jiang Chenxin)
3. Histories of Time: The Luster of Mute Porcelain (excerpts), by Dung Kai-cheung (translated and introduced by Carlos Rojas)
4. The Dream Devourer (chapters 5–7), by Egoyan Zheng (translated by Cara Healey)
5. The Demon-Enslaving Flask, by Xia Jia (translated by Linda Rui Feng)
Part II: Other Us
6. The Poetry Cloud, by Liu Cixin (translated by Chi-yin Ip and Cheuk Wong)
7. “Science Fiction”: A Chapter of Daughter, by Lo Yi-chin (translated by Thomas Moran and Jingling Chen)
8. Balin, by Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu)
9. The Radio Waves That Never Die, by La La (translated by Petula Parris-Huang)
10. 1923: A Fantasy, by Zhao Haihong (translated by Nicky Harman and Pang Zhaoxia)
Part III: Other Futures
11. The Passengers and the Creator, by Han Song (translated by Nathaniel Isaacson)
12. The Reincarnated Giant, by Wang Jinkang (translated by Carlos Rojas)
13. The Rain Forest, by Chi Hui (translated by Jie Li)
14. The Demon’s Head, by Fei Dao (translated by David Hull)
15. Songs of Ancient Earth, by Bao Shu (translated by Adrian Thieret)
Notes
Recommended Reading
Contributors

About the Author

Mingwei Song is associate professor of Chinese at Wellesley College. He is the author of Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959 (2015).

Theodore Huters is professor emeritus in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include Bringing the World Home: Appropriating the West in Late Qing and Early Republican China (2005).