Another year, another Hugo Award-winning Chinese sci-fi writer.
Last year, celebrated Chinese author Liu Cixin won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, becoming not just the first Chinese author to do so, but the first non-white author to win best novel. His Three Body Problem also became the first translated novel to win.
This year, it was Hao Jingfang’s turn. The 32-year-old Chinese sci-fi writer won for Best Novelette (short works between 7,500 and 17,500 words), beating out no less than Stephen King with her work “Folding Beijing.”
Hao’s novelette is set in a futuristic version of Beijing that folds up every 24 hours and emerges on the other side of the plane. The city is divided up into different spaces based on social classes, and the three different social classes live not only separated by space, but by time. Hao says that the story was inspired by what she witnessed around her every day in Beijing, particularly one Beijing taxi driver who complained to her about how hard it was for him to get his kids into kindergarten.
Folding Beijing was translated into English by noted Chinese American science fiction writer and translator Ken Liu (who also translated Three Body Problem). It was published in Uncanny Magazine (where you can read it online for free) and you can also read it in Chinese here.
Hao started writing sci-fi stories after graduating with a degree in physics from Tsinghua University in 2006. Since 2013, she has worked at the China Development Research Foundation. She has already published two full-length novels, Wandering Maearth and Return to Charon, as well as a short story collection, Star Travellers.
Watch Hao’s remarks after winning the Hugo below: