​'Crossing Saturn's Rings' wins China's top sci-fi award

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 25, 2021
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Chinese writer Xie Yunning has scooped the top award for his novel "Crossing Saturn's Rings" at the 12th Chinese Nebula Awards held Saturday in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Xie Yunning (C), winner of the gold award for best sci-fi novel at the 12th Chinese Nebula Awards, poses for a photo with Liu Miao (L), chairman of event sponsor Luzhou Laojiao, and Liu Cixin (R), prominent Chinese sci-fi writer, at a gala in Chongqing, Oct. 23, 2021. [Photo courtesy of EV/SFM]

"Crossing Saturn's Rings," published by Sichuan Science and Technology Press in 2020, won the gold award for best sci-fi novel. It tells the story of a young tycoon who is ejected from his spaceship when it encounters an accident and is left drifting in the rings of Saturn alone, trying to find a way to survive in space.

The seven-member jury headed by Dai Jinhua, a renowned cultural critic and professor of Chinese literature and culture at Peking University, praised the work in a statement: "The author combines a variety of technologies, and with the support of new technologies, explores the possibility of the space sci-fi genre."

Left to right: Best sci-fi novella award winner Cheng Jingbo, best short story winner Gu Shi and best new writer Duan Ziqi deliver acceptance speeches at the 12th Chinese Nebula Awards gala in Chongqing, Oct. 23, 2021. [Photo courtesy of EV/SFM]

In addition, the gold award for best sci-fi novella went to Cheng Jingbo's "To the End of His Time," while Gu Shi picked up the best short story award for "Preface to the Reprint Edition of 'An Overture to 2181'." Jiang Qian, whose translation of "Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction" by American author James Gunn, received the gold award for best translated work. The best new writer award was handed to Duan Ziqi. 

The Chinese Nebula Awards, an international award for science fiction writers in the Chinese language, are organized by Eternal Vision Science Fiction & Media Co., Hainan (EV/SFM), Time Vision, Chongqing Daily News Media Co., Ltd., and the Chongqing Science Writers Association. The awards were founded by Chinese sci-fi heavyweights Dong Renwei, Yao Haijun and Wu Yan in 2010. 

The event is held annually touring various Chinese cities, with the exception of last year when the ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic. As such, the 11th edition was eventually held this April in Lingshui, Hainan province, while the 12th edition was held on Oct. 23. 

Gan Weikang, president of EV/SFM and co-organizer of the Chinese Nebula Awards, admitted it was huge challenge to hold the awards twice in one year.

"After 12 years of development and growing with the Chinese science fiction industry, the Chinese Nebula Awards have become an authoritative and high-level industry award," noted Gan, who is working with peers in the industry to help Chinese science fiction reach a higher peak, and help the industry explore more business models.

The presidium members for the Chinese Nebula Awards pose for a photo on stage at the awards ceremony in Chongqing, Oct. 23, 2021. [Photo courtesy of EV/SFM]

Dong Renwei, sci-fi mogul and one of the founders of the awards, said that Chinese sci-fi literature had not received sufficient recognition when the awards were inaugurated. "We urgently needed a flag for everyone to gather around and help them develop together. I think the awards are still a banner and a benchmark in the Chinese science fiction world. More global Chinese-speaking sci-fi writers and professionals will gather to form a community of shared future, then continue to promote Chinese sci-fi and the rise of the industry."

More than 300 sci-fi writers, scholars, experts, publishers, industry representatives as well as guests and representatives from education, film and television, online games and other related sectors and industries attended the event, which was preceded by the Children Science Fiction Nebula Awards and the 2021 Children Science Fiction Convention a day earlier.

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