Chinese fiction and reaching a global audience

I was reading Tobias Buckell’s blog the other day and something he said started some buzzing inside my head:

“At panels I sometimes point out that the largest SF magazine in the world is SF World, with a 300,000 print run (and an estimated pass along that puts it in a million readers), compared with largest SF circulating magazine in the English speaking world being under 30,000.”

I’m hoping that some of you can help me follow-up on the three big things that have come to me:

1. I’m realizing that I am completely ignorant when it comes to Chinese science fiction and fantasy authors.  Since I can’t read Chinese, I’m particularly interested in learning more about short fiction that has been translated to English.  Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?

2. What is the current state of online magazines in China?  I think it would be very interesting to compare notes with them.

3. I want to figure out how to make Clarkesworld Magazine more globally accessible.  It seems that two big problems are promotion and language, both of which will require significant assistance from people outside our current staff.  This seems like an interesting opportunity and if there are people who have had experience with such things, I’d love to chat with you.  (books(at)clarkesworld.com)

8 thoughts on “Chinese fiction and reaching a global audience

  1. j_cheney says:

    I have a friend who writes specifically for the Chinese market. Their demands seem to be comparatively simple in plot and language (especially since the stories will have to be translated). In English, his stories read more like Aesop’s fables than modern stories, but they certainly sell over there…

      • j_cheney says:

        I think they’re print markets. I’ll e-mail him and ask….(but the last time I e-mailed him, he never got back to me, which hints that I have a bad addy for him.)

          • j_cheney says:

            I heard from my freind, but his answer wasn’t helpful….
            He said:
            I e-mail my stories (in English) to a friend in Shanghi and he acts as my translator, agent, sometimes editor, etc. I really don’t know much about the Chinese market for SF. My stories have appreared in several Chinese magazines, but I really have nothing to do with it. I send them to Yunsheng and he does everything else.

            Sorry, I wish I could tell you more…

  2. cybermonklives says:

    You can start by reading my article on the subject (originally from Foundation). The only anthology of translated Chinese SF was published in 1986, and doesn’t have much relevance (or so I am told) to today’s Chinese SF&F fiction. The best person to speak to in China is probably Wu Yan, who teaches SF as an MA suject, edits, and writers (mainly YA). There will be Chinese stories in the new reincarnation of InterNova, the magazine of international SF, when it launches (as a web site). Wu Yan has one story there. Notable writers include Xing He and Yang Ping, there are quite a few ladies writing fantasy, and the former editor of SF World wrote a book called Red Poppies (not SF) which you can get in an American edition – it was a bestseller in China. The people of SF World, of course, are well worth talking to, though I’m not sure who is editing what at the moment. They do an SF magazine, a fantasy magazine, and comics. Chinese comics is closer to Japanese than Western styles. Anything more, drop me a line.

    Oh, online magazines? Big in China, yes. I should have a few links somewhere, but they’re in, well, Chinese…

    🙂

    • wyrmadmin says:

      Very interesting article. When was this originally published? I had noticed that a lot of the English works translated to Chinese were 50’s novels and it’s good to have an understanding of why that is probably the case.

      It sounds like what we publish would never be published there, though I do wonder how much of that would be political vs. cultural.

      If you have some links handy, that would be great. I may not be able to read them, but it would be interesting to get a sense of style and what they are doing. I should at least be able to get contact email addresses out of it.

      InterNova is coming back? Huh. Never managed to get my hands on an issue despite all my efforts, but I would definitely be interested in checking them out.

      Thanks!

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