Sci-fi to inspire next generation of Chinese scientists

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Like other Chinese sci-fi conventions and fan gatherings that began to attract more attentions from the general public and the industry, the Another Planet Science Fiction Convention was packed with young aficionados, reporters and venture capitalists.

The groundswell of public interest in sci-fi has been partly attributed to the recent stream of scientific breakthroughs achieved by China amid a tech boom, including sending the first probe and rover to the far side of the moon earlier this year.

At the convention, there were discussions whether the sci-fi "Golden Age," which saw the rise of many sci-fi heavyweights like Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke between the 1940s and the 1960s, may take place again in China.

If history is any guide, the bloom of sci-fi literature and industry has accompanied the modernization of countries like Britain and the United States, said Liu, who predicted a similar boom in China.

"In today's China, the future denotes vast changes of the present. This strong sense of future is a fertile land for the growth of sci-fi," said the author of "The Three-Body Problem" at the conference.

"It is now an ideal era for pondering on the relations between man and technology, but we should also guard against the dangerous trend as fast changes make people numb about technology," said Ji Shaoting, founder of Future Affairs Administration, an incubator for sci-fi writers and organizer of the conference.

The two-day Another Planet Science Fiction Convention that concluded Sunday has attracted China's leading sci-fi writers including Han Song, Wang Jinkang and Chen Qiufan, as well as an international line-up including Michael Swanwick and Allen Steele from the United States, Kelly Robson from Canada, and Taiyo Fujii from Japan. 

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