China has up­per hand in de­vel­op­ment of genre

China Daily European Weekly - - Cover Story - Star Wars The au­thor is a part­ner of the com­pany Fu­ture Af­fairs Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The views do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect those of China Daily.

Cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances and re­search is among fac­tors feed­ing the lat­est surge in cre­ativ­ity

and pos­si­bly en­hanc­ing de­mand for sci-fi cre­ation.

In con­trast, sci-fi cre­ation in Europe and the United States in the new cen­tury has shifted sig­nif­i­cantly to en­ter­tain­ment, sen­ti­ment and spec­u­la­tion. This un­doubt­edly stems from di­min­ished ex­pec­ta­tions for the fu­ture and no longer seek­ing tech­no­log­i­cal progress.

This trend shows the ad­van­tage of China’s sci-fi cre­ation. It pro­vides Chi­nese au­thors with a chance to be ex­cel­lent in­ter­na­tional sci­ence fic­tion writ­ers. Those au­thors who can see and grasp this ad­van­tage will succeed.

The Western sci­ence fic­tion world has de­vel­oped to be a highly spe­cial­ized and com­mu­nity-based world. The val­ues of the new gen­er­a­tion can­not be sat­is­fied by the fo­cus on tech­nol­ogy and look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture, which was the fo­cus of the past era. The Apollo pro­gram, cos­mic dis­cov­ery and can no longer in­spire the new gen­er­a­tion. They write and hope their own voice can be heard by the world, but they do not write to help politi­cians, cor­po­rate chiefs or Wall Street elites to think about or fore­cast how the fu­ture world will be.

The post-Cold War Western world has be­come a mul­ti­po­lar world. Western coun­tries, no mat­ter ac­tive or pas­sive, have to ac­cept this change.

The ex­port of Chi­nese cul­ture is in­evitable. A re­gion that has main­tained pro­duc­tiv­ity growth of sev­eral times the world av­er­age for sev­eral decades will in­evitably be­come a pow­er­ful source of cul­tural out­put.

Only cre­ation is the foun­da­tion of the sci-fi in­dus­try, the driv­ing force for the in­dus­try’s de­vel­op­ment. The off­line sci­ence fic­tion cre­ation work­shops and on­line writ­ing camp of the com­pany Fu­ture Af­fairs Ad­min­is­tra­tion have at­tracted sci­ence fic­tion cre­ators and tech­nol­ogy ex­perts from all fields. The in­tro­duc­tion of for­eign fic­tion and ex­change pro­grams with sci­ence fic­tion mag­a­zines in South Korea fur­ther stim­u­lated Chi­nese writ­ers’ in­ter­ests in the genre. Com­pared with funds in­vest­ment or pol­icy sup­port, the strength is weaker, but it can last for a longer pe­riod of time. The value of cul­tural in­dus­tries comes from peo­ple, and from peo­ple’s love and in­vest­ment in cul­ture. Peo­ple’s power also needs time to be nur­tured.

The dif­fer­ence in the sci-fi in­dus­try’s com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­ity is the ma­jor gap of the in­dus­try’s de­vel­op­ment in China and the United States. Sci­ence fic­tion cul­ture has the pos­si­bil­ity of un­lim­ited ex­ten­sion — a com­plete chain up­stream and down­stream. It should be re­garded as an in­de­pen­dent in­dus­try. In ad­di­tion to ex­plor­ing mar­ket de­mand and sup­ply, the pros­per­ity of an in­dus­try also re­quires huge in­vest­ment in re­search. So far, what Chi­nese peo­ple need to do is to col­lect and ac­cu­mu­late in­dus­trial data and build in­dus­trial stan­dards.

We fore­cast that the Chi­nese sci­ence fic­tion in­dus­try will be­come an im­por­tant part of the global sci-fi in­dus­try in the next 10 to 15 years. Chi­nese sci-fi works, in­clud­ing Chi­nese sto­ries, films and games, will be­come a key source of cul­tural out­put con­tent.

Chi­nese peo­ple should learn lessons from the US and try to build an eco­log­i­cal sys­tem that can pro­vide proper de­vel­op­ment space for dif­fer­ent kinds of sci-fi writ­ers and cre­ators. In ad­di­tion, we should pro­mote in­dus­trial spe­cial­iza­tion, using our pa­tience and pro­fes­sion to cre­ate a bet­ter in­dus­trial fu­ture.

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