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London Chinese Sci-fi Group


We are a monthly meet-up that read, share and discuss Chinese language sci-fi and speculative fiction in translation - from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the diaspora
🚀 Based in London (UCL) and online 🛸

Here is a summary of our last session, news about our next one, and links to our growing Chinese SF bibliography! 

Remember to follow our social media and WeChat accounts linked in this newsletter.
Catch up on the previous newsletter with our 1st birthday round-up here.


Previously: April session

'Poems and Distant Lands'《为了生命的诗和远方》by Gu Shi / 顾适 
Video call with the author Gu Shi and London Chinese Science Fiction Group
Online, Sunday 26th April 
Last month, our group discussed 'Poems and Distant Lands'《为了生命的诗和远方》with the story's author Gu Shi / 顾适.

In this story, a team of engineers proposes a solution to ocean plastic pollution and crude oil spills. But they are in for a surprise when decades after the innovation's incomplete delivery, their radar reveals something quite alien in the deep ocean.

We had an active and abundant session that covered many themes and questions. These include, biomimicry, civilisations and economic behaviour, ocean pollution control, character development and Gu Shi's varied writing styles. Guangzhao has produced a write-up of the Q+A on our WeChat account here. We also heard from Gu Shi on her new anthology of short stories. Thank you to all our readers who attended online and Gu Shi for your participation! 

'Poems and Distant Lands' /《为了生命的诗和远方》by Gu Shi / 顾适 can be found in its English translation by Ken Liu for XPrize's 2019 'Current Futures: A Sci-fi Ocean Anthology' here, and in its original Chinese in Gu Shi's new short story collection《莫比乌斯时空》which can be found here

Gu Shi is an speculative fiction writer and a senior urban planner. She has been working as a researcher at China Academy of Urban Planning and Design since 2012. Her short fiction works have won two Galaxy Awards for Chinese Science Fiction and three Chinese Nebula (Xingyun) Awards. Her stories have been translated in English and published in Clarkesworld and Xprize's Sci-fi Ocean Anthology.


Upcoming: May session

'The Language Sheath' / 《语膜》(2020) by Regina Kanyu Wang / 王侃瑜
Translated by Emily Jin and Regina Kanyu Wang 
Video call meeting with the author Regina Kanyu Wang, translator Emily Jin and the London Chinese Science Fiction Group
Sunday 31st May - London: 14:30 = Beijing 21:30 (the event will last around 1:15hr)
Online: Zoom - reply to this email with "Count me in for LCSFG's May meeting!" and we'll send you a video call link and password a day before the session. 

"Thinking about the monotonous world after his mother’s “revolution” terrified him. With the new language sheath and the voice synthesizer, everyone in Kemor would be speaking in Mother’s language, the graceful and noble language of sterile perfection."
'The Language Sheath' takes the starting point of an in-ear automatic translation system built to dissolve language barriers, and even nurture minority languages on the brink of extinction. When a teacher becomes the sole language localisation model for the Kemorean language, she hopes to dispel her teenager's reluctance to speak his mother tongue. However, linguistic precision turns into obsessive perfectionism, as unsettling trauma defines a wholly different understanding of the term 'mother tongue'.

Regina Kanyu Wang compounds globalised language supremacy with a compelling narrative, that shows how deeply frustrating and isolating misinterpretation can be. 

Here are some themes that may guide your reading for our discussion: 
  • language and expression
  • mother tongues and identity
  • cultural fluency and autocorrect
'The Language Sheath' can be found in its English translation in Clarkesworld issue 164, published on May 1, 2020 here. (CW: self-harm, alcoholism). Please read ahead for this month's London Science Fiction Group online video call session, but if you don't get a chance to do so, you are still warmly welcome to join in. Share your thoughts and questions, engage with others, and hear from Regina and Emily themselves on the story in the upcoming session!

Regina Kanyu Wang is a bilingual writer from Shanghai who writes both in Chinese and English, graduate of Fudan University's MFA program, member of Shanghai Writers' Association, Shanghai Popular Science Writers' Association, World Chinese Science Fiction Association, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America. She has won SF Comet international short story competition and multiple Xingyun Awards for Global Chinese SF.

Her stories can be found in Harvest, Mengya, Shanghai Literature, Hong Kong Literature, West Late, Flower City, Fiction World, Science Fiction World, Southern People Weekly, Galaxy's Edge, and various anthologies in China, UK, US and Canada. Her stories have also been translated into English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Finnish. Her work has been collected in Of Cloud and Mist 2.2 and second volume of stories, The Seafood Restaurant, is forthcoming.


Regina Kanyu Wang for the exhibition Climate Knowledges

Regina and LCSFG co-founder Angela Chan recently collaborated on the current exhibition Climate Knowledges at MAMA in Rotterdam, as part of Angela's curatorial work focusing on climate change, Worm: art + ecology

The exhibition explores the knowledge systems of climate change through colonial history, myths, SF and futures. Regina's contribution, a short queer ecology piece 'The Story of Dǎo' (2019) has been adapted as an audio piece, narrated by musician Tessa Qiu. 

Dǎo is an island, who discovers that sea level rise caused by climate change will jeopardise their survival, as well as the many different animals, plants and rocks that live on its back. They journey through peace, confusion, frustration and understanding, to reach a solution that minimises the damage of the climate impacts. The author explores communication methods between different species, that gently remind us of how collective actions are important at this critical time. The story was first published in 'An Invite to Eternity - Tales of Nature Disrupted' (2019) edited by Gary Budden and Marian Womack. 

Although the exhibition closed a week after a lively opening event, due to the outbreak, it is now available for 2 more months to 'visit and walk through' virtually by desktop, thanks to MAMA's partnership with two game designers Noemi and Louisa.

Feel free to have a wander around and listen to Regina's wonderful piece! Quick link to the virtual space or for more information click here.


Image: ‘Beyond Borders conference art’ – Sinjin Li (2020)


CFP: Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions 

We are thrilled to partner with London Science Fiction Research Community for their next conference Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions.  

The conference will be held on 11th-12th September 2020 and the keynote speakers are Dr Nadine El-Enany (School of Law - Birkbeck, University of London) and Florence Okoye (UX designer, AfroFutures_UK)
For our 2020 conference, the LSFRC invites papers exploring borders in SF. We understand this theme broadly but are particularly interested in papers which address borders as politicised tools used to uphold empires, divide communities and police the bodies of those most marginalised. Our understanding of SF is likewise broad, and we in no way intend to use the traditionally acknowledged borders to the genre to exclude those whose work cannot be neatly defined by the term ‘science fiction.’ We welcome proposals considering SF across all media, as well as papers which frame the efforts of those working to dismantle borders – whether as activists, community organisers or migrants themselves – in terms of their relationship to science fiction. 
Please send abstracts of 300 words + 50 word bios, or any general enquiries to by 15th June 2020.
We are delighted to partner with the London Chinese Science Fiction Group and Science Fiction Beyond the West for this event. If you want your paper to be considered for one of their streams please indicate this in your submission.  

                                                  - London Science Fiction Research Community

We're very excited for this timely and necessary gathering, and hope you may join us! 

Image: ‘Beyond Borders conference art’ – Sinjin Li (2020)


We are gathering our primary titles together with collectively suggested ones on an online database here

If you mentioned a reference like a book, article, film or podcast during our session, please navigate the tabs at the bottom of the link page to add your suggestion to the relevant month's reading.

You may add to this at any time to enhance our engagement with the stories' themes and the wider literary and cultural analyses. 

Alternatively, if you cannot make our meetings, you are also welcome to add your recommendations and catch up with the reading offered. 

We hope for this to be a useful and informative documentation of our activity, as well as a resource for everyone involved! 



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London Chinese Sci-fi Group · 1 · A Street · London, London SE14 6DN · United Kingdom

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