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At Chinese Literature Today: An Interview with Liu Cixin

On the Chinese Literature Today website, find an interview with Liu Cixin by Okuma Yuichiro translated by John Broach. In this interview, the two discuss Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem trilogy and how it connects to China’s past as well as the present day approach to COVID-19.

Okuma Yuichiro: Isn’t humanity being threatened by an unknown virus similar to aliens using communication as an attempt to invade Earth?

Liu Cixin: [ . . . ] From a broader perspective, the pandemic has revealed a non-linear historical model: history can change directions at any moment. This unpredictable state of the future gives sci-fi fiction a vast imaginary space and many potential narratives.

We should anticipate possible crises, for example, what would happen if there is a breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence that makes AI smarter than humans? How do we deal with a situation in which medical advancements allow people to escape their limited lifespan and live forever? The problem is that no one person or country is truly thinking through these issues. Only sci-fi fiction sometimes mulls over these potential crises.

The interview ends with a message, Cixin saying, “But again, if we want to survive we have to change, this is, I hope, what readers can get from my work.” Stop by CLT‘s website to check out the full interview.

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