The Year the Hugo Awards Graced China

The ballots for the Hugo Awards are in. The 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel was awarded to Cixin Liu for his novel, The Three-Body Problem.

This year’s Hugo Awards were controversial. Although the controversy didn’t involve Liu — not in the slightest — it does threaten to overshadow his victory.

Cixin Liu is the first Chinese writer to win this award. As near as I can tell he’s the first non-Western writer to claim it.

That’s a big deal. It signals that the literary landscape is shifting. It shows that China is starting to flex not only its industrial muscle, but its creative muscle as well.

Maybe I feel particularly passionate about this issue because I live in Taiwan, just a few hours swim from China. But I think there’s more to it than that.

I think ten or fifteen years from now the puppies will be long forgotten. Ten years from now when we see Cixin Liu on the list of Hugo winners, we won’t see his name as an anomaly, but rather as the beginning of a larger trend — a trend of internationalization in not only the field of literature, but in all creative fields.

This trend means more voices. More ideas. More variety. And more amazing stories.

Congratulations to Cixin Liu for his big victory.

Maybe now I’ll finally muster up the motivation to start reading his novel ;-)Three-Body Problem

Henry Olsen

Writer, adventurer, and humble servant of the universe since 1986.