2017: SF Hugo Winner Liu Cixin: Tough Road Ahead for Traditional Science Fiction

Liu Cixin, author of the Hugo SF award winning novel The “Three Body Problem” on SF today by the Chinese agency Xinhua in Helsinki in an August 2017 interview.

Liu says that news of cutting edge scientific achievements is commonplace today so it is hard for SF to impress.   This was already seen as a problem in the 1970s so many SF stories became more about the inner space of people rather than about outer space.  The role of S&T faded into the background and SF stories become more like other literary genres.  Social changes and dilemma connected to science and technology and socio-psychological issues  such as the interactions of different races and different genders and their acceptance in society became part of SF.   Often the stories are set on some other planet by the problems are those of very earthly societies.

In the golden age of SF, the top writers were in their twenties as were their readers. What does it say about the future of a literary genre when you go to an SF convention and see it is mostly pot-bellied older guys standing around? He said there are some proposals to film his novel but he is pessimistic about it — the novels and movies are very different media, and people are often disappointed when a novel is translated into a movie story.

刘慈欣:传统科幻小说难觅出路

 

中国科幻作家刘慈欣凭借《三体》系列作品两度入围世界科幻小说最高荣誉雨果奖最终提名,一次获得雨果奖最佳长篇小说奖。然而,他却认为自己的风格已经过时,世界科幻潮流正在呈现另一种面貌。
与刘慈欣所代表的传统科幻路数不同,近年来热卖的美国奇幻小说《冰与火之歌》系列采取了“弱奇幻”的创作手法。“之所以称其为‘弱奇幻’,是因为作品中的幻想因素不太明显,而且很节制超自然力的运用。”刘慈欣日前在芬兰赫尔辛基接受新华社记者专访时说。
从这些年雨果奖入围作品来看,现在美国很多科幻、奇幻类小说更关心现实问题,如种族歧视、性别歧视、人工智能对社会的影响、生物学对社会伦理的影响等等,并围绕这些主题,采取了不同于以往的叙事结构和写作风格。
当然,仍有一些坚持传统风格的科幻小说,比如美国系列作品《苍穹浩瀚:利维坦觉醒》。“可惜的是,这部作品既没有得过星云奖也没有得过雨果奖,今年拿了个雨果奖最佳短剧奖,但那不是小说原著,而是改编后的电视剧。”刘慈欣对记者说。
刘慈欣认为,之所以呈现这种局面,是因为科学高度发展的今天,科技已经深入到人们日常生活的方方面面,科学在读者心中越来越缺少神秘感。“这是科幻文学创作如今面临的最致命打击,而且几乎看不到出路。”
为了挽救科幻,美国人早在20世纪70年代就尝试各种努力,希望让科幻作品离科学远一些,让它更文学化,从描写外太空转为描写人的内心,从描写外星人转为描写人类不同种族、不同性别之间的关系。比如8月11日获得雨果奖最佳长篇小说奖的《方尖碑门》就是如此。虽然作品设定在某个神秘的星球,但很多内容实际上是在描写地球上的阶级压迫。
“他们往这个方向努力,试图增加科幻的受众、影响力,但现在看来做得并不成功。”刘慈欣说。在他的记忆中,科幻小说的黄金时代充满朝气,作家都是20多岁的年轻人,读者也是年轻人。“你再看看如今科幻大会上的科幻迷都多大岁数了?当一种文学所吸引的都是大腹便便的上了岁数的人,这个文学还有什么希望?”
对于国内外各式各样的奇幻小说被改编成电影、电视剧大行其道,而传统科幻类作品几乎无人问津的现状,刘慈欣显得有些无可奈何。他表示,电影的传播规律比文学、小说要复杂得多,拍电影比写小说取得成功的难度更大。
目前,包括《三体》在内的几部刘慈欣作品已经授权拍摄电影,但是他对这些电影的最终效果没有表现出很强的信心。他说:“美国科幻电影和科幻小说差不多都发展了一个世纪,我们才三四年,就想拍出那么好的电影不太现实。电影和小说是两种不同的表现方式,拍摄的时候有所取舍,读者对电影表现方式不如对原著满意也是很正常的。”
文章转载于求是网 原文链接:http://www.qstheory.cn/books/2017-08/22/c_1121518120.htm

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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