Chinese Science Fiction: A Genre of Adversity

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Yen Ooi. "Chinese Science Fiction: A Genre of Adversity." SFRA Review 50.2-3 (Spring-Summer 2020).[1][2]

Starts with the inference, assumption, or conclusion that Chinese SF scholars will agree that SF in China goes back (only) to 1989 and "that the science fiction genre is originally a Western genre, in that “Science, technology, and modernization are not characteristic of Chinese culture” ([Song] Han [SFS, 40.1 (March 2013): 20).

Joseph Needham et al. disagree on the lack of science and cutting-edge technology in Chinese history: Science and Civilisation in China (Cambridge, UK: CUP, 1954–present),[3] and Frederike Schneider-Vielsäcker gives an older range of dates.[4] In any event, Yen Ooi notes that

since most Chinese science fiction writers and scholars agree with the fact that science fiction, at least, is a Western genre, it can be argued that Chinese science fiction, in struggling with techno-Orientalist developments in the (Western) science fiction genre, begins to develop techno-Occidentalist tendencies to compensate. In this scenario techno-Occidentalism becomes Chinese science fiction’s strategy to decolonise its use of the Western genre and concepts. While techno-Orientalism “serve to both express and assuage Western anxieties about Asia’s growing cultural influence and economic dominance” (Roh et al. Summary), techno-Occidentalism is Asia’s response to these anxieties through demonstrating a rich diversity in its membership.

Where, "Techno-Orientalism investigates the phenomenon of imagining Asia and Asians in hypo- or hyper-technological terms in literary, cinematic, and new media representations, while critically examining the stereotype of Asians as both technologically advanced and intellectually primitive [...]."[5] And Rob et al. is

Roh, David S., Huang, Betsy, and Niu, Greta A. Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media. Rutgers University Press, 2015.

RDE, finishing, 27Oct21