Global Challenges

Chinese Climate Fiction: Meet Author Chen Qiufan

How do science-fiction authors in China envision our future in the era of climate change?

Person sitting on the ground in a forest with VR glasses on
Dmitry Ganin

Main content

China has pledged to peak its carbon emissions by 2030, and to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. International media have reported extensively about these goals and the challenges related to them. Xi Jinping’s grand vision of a socio-ecological sustainability, an ecological civilization, has also sparked wide curiosity.

With all eyes on the government, few people outside China know the (alternative) future visions created by Chinese artists and fictional writers.

This panel brings Chinese climate fiction to Norway. Our three guests will discuss the role of science fiction in Chinese climate change discourses, its reception in Chinese society, and its potential impact on global visions of climate change.

The event is organised as part of a master seminar in Chinese on Intercultural Competences at the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen. Håvard Kristiansen and Regine Xia Sylta Paulsen, currently master students of Chinese, will lead through the event.

Panel (hybrid):

Chen Qiufan, also known as Stanley Chen, is a Chinese science-fiction author. His debut novel “The Waste Tide” transports the town Guiyu’s disturbing reality into a dystopian future. It has been translated into several language including English, German, and Italian. In addition, Stanley has written a series of short stories and his most recent book Net Zero China is a science fiction novel for adolescents. Its protagonist travels through time to the year 2060, the year when Xi Jinping’s pledge should come to fruition. 

Emily Jin is PhD Candidate in East Asian Languages and Literature at Yale and a fantasy and climate fiction translator. She has translated several of Chen Qiufan’s works.

Jessica Imbach works as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich University of Zurich. In her research she focuses on Chinese science fiction. 

Julia Marinaccio is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen. Her previous research focused on environmental governance in China.