The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 65 - Ge Fei and The Invisibility Cloak with Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio

Ep 65 - Ge Fei and The Invisibility Cloak with Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio

January 5, 2022

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The best attributes of anyone or anything usually reside on the surface, which is where, in fact, all of us live out our lives

In the sixty fifth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are swathing ourselves in The Invisibility Cloak (隐身衣 / Yǐnshēn Yī). Languishing with me in the peace and pain of relative obscurity are Giray Fidan and Rauno Sainio, two translators of the book’s author: Ge Fei, an imperceptible fabulist and three-time subject of this very show. I still haven’t figured him out, and I’m sure he’d be glad of it.

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// PHRASES OF THE DAY //

(太阳还好端端的在天上挂着呢! - Tàiyáng hái hǎoduānduān dì zài tiānshàng guà zhene - And the sun is still hanging right up there in the sky!)

(安居乐业 - Ānjūlèyè - To live in peace, and work happily)

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Ep 64 - Chen Qiufan and Coming of the Light with Francesco Verso

Ep 64 - Chen Qiufan and Coming of the Light with Francesco Verso

December 14, 2021

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‘Suppose the universe is a program. Everything that we can observe is the result of the machine-executable code. But the cosmic microwave background can be understood as the record of some earlier version of the source code.’

In the sixty forth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we bear witness to the Coming of the Light (开光 / Kāiguāng), penned by the shaman-consulting Google graduate himself; it’s Stan, it’s the man, it’s Chen Qiufan. And hark – what’s this? Waves and photons in the shape of noted publisher Francesco Verso surge from the underscreen to puncture my cybernetic solipsism, but will our agile enterprise decode the universe before its unravelling, or are all digital startups nought but the initiation of the end?

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(云 - yún - cloud)

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Ep 63 - Murong Xuecun and Dancing Through Red Dust with Harvey Tomlinson

Ep 63 - Murong Xuecun and Dancing Through Red Dust with Harvey Tomlinson

November 23, 2021

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In my innocent youth, I was a paragon of virtue, but after wandering for so long in the red dust of this world I had joined the forces of evil

In the sixty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction we are Dancing Through Red Dust (原谅我红尘颠倒 / Yuánliàng Wǒ Hóngchén Diāndǎo), a nightmarish lurch through the PRC (il)legal system dreamed up by the Shandong webnovelist-turned-dissident Murong Xuecun. Presiding over the court with me is Murong’s esteemed translator, editor, publisher, and friend: Harvey Tomlinson. What have judges to do with the Jinpingmei? What has loss to do with licentiousness? How does Buddhism end up parceled in with backhand business? You shut up and listen. We’ll deliver the verdict.

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(晚 & 碗 - wǎn & wǎn - ‘evening’ and ‘bowl’)

(色 - - here meaning ‘carnality’)

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Ep 62 - Liu Cixin and The Wandering Earth with Jairo Morales

Ep 62 - Liu Cixin and The Wandering Earth with Jairo Morales

November 1, 2021

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Before us stood the long abandoned skyscrapers of Manhattan, the Sun's weak light casting their long shadows across the quiet ice of the New York Harbor. In my tipsy haze, tears began to gush down my cheeks. 

In the sixty second episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are setting sail on The Wandering Earth (流浪地球 / Liúlàng Dìqiú), drawn up and captained by Liu Cixin himself. Calling into the show from the Peruvian Engine Bunker is Jairo Morales. We get deep into postnationalism, censorship, cultural transmission, and the sublime spectacle of the utter annihilation of our planet’s fragile surface. Goodbye solarpunk, hello solardoom.

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(短暂的 - Duǎnzànde - ephemeral/efimero)

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Ep 61 - Chen Xiwo and The Book of Sins with Nicky Harman

Ep 61 - Chen Xiwo and The Book of Sins with Nicky Harman

October 10, 2021

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I loathe reason. Reason is the sort of rubbish you can indulge in when life is sweet, like love and honour. I totally reject it.

In the sixty first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction we are opening The Book of Sins (冒犯书 / Màofàn Shū), by edgelord-with-a-conscience Chen Xiwo. Playing common-sense counterpoint to my doom-laden interpretations of the text is its translator, Nicky Harman. Here’s what we deal with: pain, incest, and the political uses of shock, horror, and offensiveness. Are you sure about this? You can delete this episode now. Do you choose to hit play?

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(痛 - tòng - pain)

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Ep 60 - Chan Ho-kei and Second Sister with Michelle Deeter

Ep 60 - Chan Ho-kei and Second Sister with Michelle Deeter

September 26, 2021

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Just as Nga-Yee thought everything was going back to normal, Siu-Man stepped from the window of their twenty-second-story flat

In the sixtieth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are solving the case of Second Sister (網內人 / Wǎng Nèi Rén), penned by crime connoisseur Chan Ho-kei. Logged on with guest-level access and ready to follow the trail wherever it leads is 3-time visitor to the show Michelle Deeter. In the events that follow we hack into moral frameworks, digital archives, memory glitches, and urban navigation. Switch off your VPN (we’re in Hong Kong this time), take a quick glance over your shoulder, and enjoy!

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(人肉搜索引擎 - rénròu sōusuǒ yǐnqíng - human flesh search engine)

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Ep 59 - More Than One Child with Shen Yang and Nicky Harman

Ep 59 - More Than One Child with Shen Yang and Nicky Harman

August 29, 2021

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It is a long and painful process to see oneself clearly, as is the process of returning to one’s childhood.

In the fifty ninth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are talking with someone who is More Than One Child (隐形小孩 / Yǐnxíng Xiǎohái), a woman as friendly as she is fearless: Shen Yang. She’s here on this episode, and so is her translator, friend-of-the-pod, and returnee guest Nicky Harman. The book is forthcoming from the excellent publisher Balestier Press.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(葳蕤 - wēi ruí - lush, burgeoning foliage)

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Ep 58 - A Que and Flower of the Other Shore with Xueting Ni

Ep 58 - A Que and Flower of the Other Shore with Xueting Ni

August 14, 2021

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The moment I was bitten, I died and became another thing. Now I am loitering on the other shore of the Styx, listening to the past from beyond its waves.

In the fifty eighth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are picking Flower of the Other Shore (彼岸花 / Bǐ'àn Huā), a romantic(!) zombie short story by A Que. Here to help me find sympathy for the undead is the tale’s translator, Xueting Ni. The story will feature in her anthology of translated Chinese sci-fi: Sinopticon.

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(丧尸 - sàngshī - zombie)

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Ep 57 - Chih-Ying Lay and Home Sickness with Darryl Sterk

Ep 57 - Chih-Ying Lay and Home Sickness with Darryl Sterk

July 18, 2021

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‘Chopin always reminds me of being lovelorn in Penang’

[ this is episode 5 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty seventh episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are suffering from Home Sickness (匿逃者 / Nì Táo Zhě), a short story collection by Chih-ying Lay. Here to ease this terrible affliction is the book’s translator: reformed Buddhist and agile herper Darryl Sterk.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(亲源关系 - qīnyuán guānxì - phylogenetic relationship)

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Ep 56 - Pai Hsien-yung and Taipei People with Nadia Ho

Ep 56 - Pai Hsien-yung and Taipei People with Nadia Ho

June 10, 2021

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‘According to the ancient precepts, grief supersedes all formalities’

[ this is episode 4 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty sixth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are introducing ourselves to the Taipei People (台北人 / Táiběi Rén), as written by Pai Hsien-yung. Joining me to question the merits of nostalgia and muse aimlessly on umbrellas and the like is a genuine Taibei ren; the effortlessly hip Nadia Ho.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(夢 - màng - dream)

pls note I’ve used the character’s traditional form and local Taiwanese pronunciation here!

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