China inaugurates first children's sci-fi award

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 24, 2021
Adjust font size:

China has established the world's first independent children's science fiction award to further boost the country's sci-fi industry and children's literature. Dozens of writers were honored at a ceremony held on Friday in Chongqing.

Sci-fi writer Ma Chuansi receives the best children's sci-fi novel award for "The City of Ants" from prominent sci-fi writer Liu Cixin at the ceremony of the 2021 Children Science Fiction Nebula Awards held in Chongqing on Oct. 22, 2021. [Photo courtesy of EV/SFM]

The organizers said it is the first time for China and even for the world to set up awards for children's science fiction.

The first annual Children Science Fiction Nebula Awards were originally planned in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed to this year. The organizers didn't want to push back the second edition of the awards planned for this year, so the first and second editions of the award were held together on Oct. 22.

"The City of Ants" by sci-fi writer Ma Chuansi, which tells a story about ant evolving and gaining sufficient intelligence to form a civilization vying against humans, won the best children's sci-fi novel at the inaugural edition of the awards. Sci-fi scholar and writer Wu Yan's "China Orbit," which tells about how a child gets involved in a thrilling manned space flight project, won the best children's sci-fi novel for the second edition.

The jury praised the creativity of the setting of "The City of Ants." They said it was novel and clear, reflecting the author's scrutiny of human civilization and caring for reality. Meanwhile," China Orbit," is partly a personal memoir and partly a science fiction. The judges said such an innovative approach not only provides new ideas for the creation of science fictions for children, but also for the adult science fiction.

Dozens of writers were honored for other categories of the first and second editions of the awards, including best short fiction, best essays, best popular science-oriented sci-fi books, best science fiction for teenagers, and best science fiction for young children. The organizers hoped the awards can attract more outstanding writers to devote themselves to the creation of children's science fiction, promote the development of children's science fiction, publications and theoretical research, and lay the foundation for the overall development of science fiction literature.

"As children grow older, the fairy tales will burst and fade, but sci-fi is the opposite. Science fiction will become more real as they grow up and as the time progresses. It will have a more profound impact on the future of young readers. Children's science fiction is a literary category full of vitality, and its position in science fiction literature and children's literature is irreplaceable," said Liu Cixin, China's most prominent sci-fi writer who's known for his hugely popular "The Three-Body Problem." He serves as the chair of the organizing committee of the Children Science Fiction Nebula Awards.

He noted China's domestic children's sci-fi has made great progress in recent years, which has become an important part of children's reading and has also received increasing attention from the education sector. But it is still a far cry from being enough for the needs of the current time, and there is still a huge potential readership and development space to be explored.

Dong Renwei, one of the founders of the awards and China's sci-fi mogul, added, "Science fiction sprinkles the poetic sunshine on childhood and has special value for children's imagination, curiosity and exploration spirit. We believe that as long as there are readers and a market, as long as it is beneficial to children, we should encourage diversified children's sci-fi creation and promote its prosperity."

Organizers for the Children Science Fiction Nebula Awards, Lu Yang, Yin Chao, Yao Haijun, Dong Renwei, Ma Chuansi, and Dong Jing, pose for a photo on stage at the award ceremony held in Chongqing on Oct. 22, 2021. [Photo courtesy of EV/SFM]

Before the awards were handed out, the 2021 Children Science Fiction Convention was held in the city, with forums joined by writers, experts, and publishers promoting new books, and major book deals signed. More than 300 sci-fi writers, scholars, experts, industry representatives as well as guests and representatives from education, publishing, film and television and other related sectors and industries, attended the convention.

As part of two-day annual sci-fi event, it had preceded the 12th Chinese Nebula Awards held on Saturday.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from