This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.
The IROSF has a new issue out (yes, they want you to register, but it’s free) with a column on Australian speculative fiction (loads of carnivorous marsupials, apparently) and an interview on the state of Chinese SF with Professor Wu Yan, author, critic and instructor of China’s only university course on science fiction. Among the topics are the damage wrought by the Cultural Revolution, and a second, later wave of cultural purging that attacked SF in particular:
I know criticism is not a bad word in the West. But in China, it contains a bad idea. If someone gets a criticism, especially these articles that come from government authorities, it can be a more serious issue. At the beginning, the criticism only viewed our SF as “far away from science,” “full of scientific mistakes.” Suddenly, they changed their directions to the political side. Your works had already “lost hope of a Socialist future!” Wow, it is a big issue now. Not stopping there, they made a remark of our SF as “Spiritual Pollution,” polluting not only science but also society. The worse thing happened then. The government made an announcement and pushed publishing houses to stop publishing SF. As the same time, the government expropriated earnings from Ocean Press and Geology Press, two publishing houses who had a series of science fiction books with a very good market.