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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The marginalized genre of science fiction has experienced an unprecedented boom in China in recent years, a “new wave” of writing that reinvents the genre by infusing it with a new literary self-consciousness and a new social awareness and by representing the complex realities and fantasies of a changing China and a changing world. The discussion of Chinese science fiction in this chapter, with a focus on works by Han Song and Liu Cixin, centers on the representation of the invisible: science fiction as an invisible genre, the new wave’s representation of the “invisible” reality of China, and tropes of invisibility in the texts themselves. By working with and through invisibility, these texts transgress mainstream literary realism and official political discourse. The chapter ends with a coda featuring a brief discussion of the invisible “posthumans” among China’s migrant workers as featured in Chen Qiufan’s novel The Waste Tide.

Keywords: science fiction, new wave, Liu Cixin, Han Song, Chen Qiufan, invisibility

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