The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast
Ep 55 - Wu Ming-yi and The Man with the Compound Eyes with Cara Healey

Ep 55 - Wu Ming-yi and The Man with the Compound Eyes with Cara Healey

May 18, 2021

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‘Only if you go to places nobody’s ever been can you see the colours nobody’s ever seen’

[ this is episode 3 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty fifth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are meeting The Man with the Compound Eyes (复眼人 / Fùyǎn Rén). Brace yourself for the impact of an ecological, apocalyptic, and internationalist vortex of literary weirdness. Joining me to weather this storm at the limits of anthropoid cognition is Sinophone-sci-fi-studier Cara Healey.

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(涡流 - wōliú - vortex, whirlpool)

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Ep 53 - The Membranes with Chi Ta-wei and Ari Larissa Heinrich

Ep 53 - The Membranes with Chi Ta-wei and Ari Larissa Heinrich

April 28, 2021

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‘Two peach trees, two entirely different universes.’

[ this is episode 1 of our Taiwan Season ]

In the fifty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast we are peeling back The Membranes (膜 / Mó). Joining me at their respective computer terminals in the ocean floor biodome are its author Chi Ta-wei and translator Ari Larissa Heinrich. 

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// NEWS ITEMS //

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// WORDS OF THE DAY //

(赞 - zàn - ‘like’, as in Facebook, Wechat etc)

(情 - qíng - emotion, affection, sentiment)

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Buy Paul French’s Destination Peking here:

https://www.blacksmithbooks.com/books/destination-peking/

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Ep 49 - The TrChFic Megacrossover Part 2: Moderns

Ep 49 - The TrChFic Megacrossover Part 2: Moderns

March 3, 2021

Moderns.jpg

'One morning, Salinger was woken from sleep by deafening noises. Dazed, he gazed outside the window and saw a row of gleaming Baekdu bulldozers, which had been modified from Chonma-ho battle tanks, bearing down on his cabin.'

In the forty ninth episode we continue our megacrossover, this time tackling modern literature. Once more unto the jazz hall, dear friends, once more, as we tackle: lamppost sexuality, mantou typography, disposable(?) wuxia, and the philosophy of chicken nuggets. No, really. I'm not joking. Wait, come back!!!

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// PODCASTERS & THEIR CHOSEN STORIES //

Rob and Lee of The Chinese Literature Podcast chose Sealed Off by Eileen Chang

William and Kevin of Rereading the Stone chose Shanghai Foxtrot by Mu Shiying

Yifan of 文化土豆 Culture Potato chose A Bond Undone, Chapter 1 by Jin Yong

and your host Angus chose Salinger and the Koreans by Han Song

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Buy Jeremy Bai AKA Deathblade's The Heretic Peacekeeper here:

Amazon: http://mybook.to/9h10eTHP

Kobo, Nook, etc: https://books2read.com/u/mgzxxx

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Ep 41 - Lao She and Cat Country with Molly Silk

Ep 41 - Lao She and Cat Country with Molly Silk

October 27, 2020

Art for Episode 41. It has Lao She, surrounded by insane cats.

It is not often that one has the opportunity to observe the extinction of an entire civilisation

In the forty first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are venturing into Cat Country (猫城记 / Māo Chéng Jì), a science fiction oddity of the Republic of China. Helping me save the nation and stay off the damned reverie leaves is Molly Silk, a doctoral researcher of Chinese Space Policy.

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(迷叶 / Mí Yè / reverie leaves)

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Ep 40 - Liu Cixin and Death’s End with Keith Justice Hayward

Ep 40 - Liu Cixin and Death’s End with Keith Justice Hayward

October 20, 2020

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The ultimate fate of all intelligent beings has always been to become as grand as their thoughts.

Episode 40 is no ordinary episode! This time TrChFic is crossing over with Couch Command and its esteemed host Keith Hayward to jump right down the Chinese sci-fi wormhole of Liu Cixin's haymaker-punch ending to his Three Body Problem trilogy, Death's End (死神永生 / Sǐshén Yǒngshēng). Hell yes.

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// NEWS ITEMS //

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(警告 / Jǐnggào / warning)

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Ep 36 - Gujian with Emily Jin

Ep 36 - Gujian with Emily Jin

July 30, 2020

'I think there is no brother in this world as strange as you'

In the thirty sixth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at a video game(!) series called Gujian (古剑/ Gǔ Jiàn). Helping me level up and face my shadow self is Emily Jin, a highly active Chinese science fiction translator, and better yet: a hardcore Gujian fan!

Gujian isn't a Western Tolkeinesque RPG, nor is it a JRPG Final Fantasy-style affair. It's made in China, set in China, and played (mostly) by Chinese gamers. You may not be shocked to learn that it's a Wuxia RPG, with a little Xianxia magic thrown in for good measure.

 

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// WORD OF THE DAY //

(剑 / Jiàn / a straight, double-edged Chinese sword)

 

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Ep 26 - Hao Jingfang and Vagabonds with Ken Liu

Ep 26 - Hao Jingfang and Vagabonds with Ken Liu

March 7, 2020

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"A person from one civilisation looks at their surroundings as distinct objects and events and considers them separately. But when a person from another civilisation looks in as an outsider, they prefer to view everything through the lens of political power and try to explain everything based on that perspective."

In the twenty sixth episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Hao Jingfang's Vagabonds (流浪玛厄斯 / Liúlàng Mǎèsī)

It would be tempting to say that Vagabonds is a Chinese science fiction rewrite of Ursula K le Guin’s The Dispossessed. My guest Ken Liu would be the first to stress that while there’s some truth to this, readers would be much better off treating the book as thing unto itself. He’s right- this is a book with no shortage of ideas or interpretations. Storywise, here’s what you need to know: it’s a red socialist planet ‘versus’ a green and blue corpocracy. Sit down, get comfy, and pick a side. Or don’t. Not picking a side may be the point.

Publishers: EN - Simon & Schuster - Head of Zeus  // CN - New Star Press

Hao Jingfang on Paper Republic

Ken Liu on Paper Republic 

 

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Ep 23 - Baoshu and What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear

Ep 23 - Baoshu and What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear

January 12, 2020

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"Later, I kept on hoping China would host the Olympics again, but it never happened. After I became a father, I told my son about that night, and he refused to believe China had once been so prosperous."

this is episode 7 of 7 in our Chinese Science Fiction Season

In the twenty third episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Baoshu's What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear (大时代 / dà shídài), available to read in the Broken Stars anthology, edited and translated by Ken Liu.

Baoshu reverses time, sending his protagonist through a life that begins with the Beijing Olympics and ends before the communist revolution. I go it alone on this episode, and maybe it’s for the best because this story made me cry. It’s beautiful.

 

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Ep 22 - A Summer Beyond Your Reach with Xia Jia

Ep 22 - A Summer Beyond Your Reach with Xia Jia

December 18, 2019

Ep 22 art

'The summer isn’t over yet. There are so many fun things to do.'

this is episode 6 of 7 in our Chinese Science Fiction Season

In the twenty second episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Xia Jia's A Summer Beyond Your Reach (你无法抵达的夏天/nǐ wúfǎ dǐdá de xiàtiān)

Xia Jia herself joins me via Skype from California to talk about her stories. French culture comes up three times in this episode. I really didn’t see that coming. Xia Jia’s stories do fuse deep thought with deep feeling, which I suppose does sound a bit French. Anyway! It’s a very fun episode, so have a listen.

Translators: Emily Jin, Carmen Yiling Yan, Ken Liu

Publisher: Clarkesworld

 

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Ep 21 - Han Song and the Fundamental Nature of the Universe with Nathaniel Isaacson

Ep 21 - Han Song and the Fundamental Nature of the Universe with Nathaniel Isaacson

December 11, 2019

Ep 21 art

'Everything is going to descend into chaos and disorder. Entropy will accelerate rapidly...'

this is episode 5 of 7 in our Chinese Science Fiction Season

In the twenty first episode of The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, we are looking at Han Song's The Fundamental Nature of the Universe (宇宙的本性/yǔzhòu de běnxìng)

A tale of artificial intelligence and ennui. Or should it be angst? Or simply just yanjuan? Musing darkly with me on this episode is its translator Nathaniel Isaacson, author of Celestial Empire: The Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction. He translated this story, so he ought to know a thing or two about it!

FULL TEXT - academic access required 

Han Song on Paper Republic

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