Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#2

splattenburgers Wrote: I'm interested in studying the cultural differences between Western and Asian literature. I don't care much for fantasy or anime stuff but I do like science fiction. Can anybody recommend Asian science fiction that has been translated into English?


You may check out the famous Ni Kuang's Wisely Series. Not sure if there are English translation or not, but for sci-fi genre, he is the classic famous author and numerous works had been adapted into Hong Kong movies.  

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#8
It's been mentioned a couple of times but The Three Body Problem is one of the most popular.

Murakami was also mentioned. I quite liked 1Q84, but it's also quite literary and isn't so much Sci fi as it is super weird? And more magical realism/parallel worlds kinda deal. Idk.

I read and hated Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhou but that one got massively popular recently. It's a lot more,,, "anime as a book" but not like a light novel if that makes sense. I can get the appeal but I had a lot of issues. Idk. 

As for one's I haven't read, I did a quick Google and got:

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#9

DracoNako Wrote: It's been mentioned a couple of times but The Three Body Problem is one of the most popular.

Murakami was also mentioned. I quite liked 1Q84, but it's also quite literary and isn't so much Sci fi as it is super weird? And more magical realism/parallel worlds kinda deal. Idk.

I read and hated Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhou but that one got massively popular recently. It's a lot more,,, "anime as a book" but not like a light novel if that makes sense. I can get the appeal but I had a lot of issues. Idk. 

As for one's I haven't read, I did a quick Google and got:

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Skyhunter by Marie Lu



Marie Lu and SL Huang write some very readable stuff.

Liu Cixin I could never get into, but it's very popular, so others may enjoy it.



Does Yoon Ha Lee count?  HIs stories are more science fantasy/space opera types, I guess?  But I really enjoyed them.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#13

Brian Wrote: No, this thread doesn't feel racist at all. (sarc)
But it doesn't? The topic is about being curious and reading books from a specific culture and seeing how it compares. A person's culture usually has a huge impact on how an author writes, and it can be pretty enlightening reading books from different cultures. Or you might just enjoy a certain culture's style of writing more than your own. And you can be any race and still be part of a culture's writing.


Personally, I have an aversion to translated Russian books or books with Russian authors. They frequently have blatant misogyny, homophobia, the MC acts as a self insert for the author and rants for pages about how awful "the woke agenda" is, and other weirdly specific tropes. Obviously not every book written by a Russian author will have this, but it pops up so frequently that it's noticeable and off-putting.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#14

Ziggy Wrote:
Brian Wrote: No, this thread doesn't feel racist at all. (sarc)
But it doesn't? The topic is about being curious and reading books from a specific culture and seeing how it compares. A person's culture usually has a huge impact on how an author writes, and it can be pretty enlightening reading books from different cultures. Or you might just enjoy a certain culture's style of writing more than your own. And you can be any race and still be part of a culture's writing.


Personally, I have an aversion to translated Russian books or books with Russian authors. They frequently have blatant misogyny, homophobia, the MC acts as a self insert for the author and rants for pages about how awful "the woke agenda" is, and other weirdly specific tropes. Obviously not every book written by a Russian author will have this, but it pops up so frequently that it's noticeable and off-putting.

They must hunt for jade beauties more, consume the national tv less.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#15

Ziggy Wrote: But it doesn't? The topic is about being curious and reading books from a specific culture and seeing how it compares.
No, it is not.

"Asian" is not a specific culture.
Chinese fiction and Japanese fiction are as different as French art vs. Swahili art. Korean entertainment has an entirely diffderent cast from Stuff written in Laos, and Taiwanese writers work their butt off to be SPECIFICALLY different from Greater Chinese writings. Heck, Even things written in South China are very different stories from those written by Han students in Bangkok.

The ONLY thing they have in common is that "Well, they all look the same to us weebs!"

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#16

Ziggy Wrote:
Brian Wrote: No, this thread doesn't feel racist at all. (sarc)
But it doesn't? The topic is about being curious and reading books from a specific culture and seeing how it compares. A person's culture usually has a huge impact on how an author writes, and it can be pretty enlightening reading books from different cultures. Or you might just enjoy a certain culture's style of writing more than your own. And you can be any race and still be part of a culture's writing.
The thread isn't racist.  No worries.  Although it's true that it's not about reading books from a specific culture or cultural group, but rather from a geographical area different from the one many of the site members reside in.

It's also good to take notice that in many Western countries, people with origins in Asia often group themselves together despite obvious cultural boundaries because representation for any specific asian culture is so tiny compared to Western Europe.


Similar to how people from the south american diaspora, especially say in the US and sometimes Canada group themselves together, despite non-disapora South Americans or first-generation immigrants to the US and Canada finding this somewhat odd.

A similar thing also happens with African and African American authors.


There's nothing wrong with looking for books from Asian authors in general, as long as you aren't conflating them all as some sort of Chinese/Japanese/Korean super-culture. This is a thing that can happen as those are perhaps the most well-represented of the East Asian cultures, which are the most well-represented of all Asian cultures in most Western media consciousness.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#17
Yeah and instead of immediately assuming the poster is being racist, I'm going to assume they just weren't specific enough in what they were looking for or wanted a wide selection from various Asian cultures like I would any good faith discussion. If we assume bad faith, there's no point in engaging in any discussion at all.

Throwing in a vague comment with accusations of racism won't constructively contribute much to the conversation either way. A comment asking if the poster meant any specific Asian culture or just all of them would be constructive. Or even a comment illustrating how many different Asian cultures there are. Lots of easy comments that are helpful and informative.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#18
Yeah no instead of touching on,,, that (there was a very good point made but it’s done under the guise of stirring shit) I’m just gonna highlight the authors that have been mentioned and see about mentioning more. Because, YES, they’re all from different cultures and will look different, and the OP could have specified, but still got rather diverse suggestions regardless. Anyway:

-Ni Kuang (Wisely Series) is a Hong Kong-American
-Liu Cixin (Three-Body Problem) is Chinese
-Haruki Murakami (1Q84) is Japanese
-Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell) in Japanese
-RoyalRoad user Yoshiki Tanaka did not specify and a cursory glance didn’t tell me… didn’t want to speculate
-Xiran Jay Zhao (Iron Widow) is a Chinese writer who is also a first-gen Canadian immigrant
-Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe) is an American writer from Taiwanese diaspora
-Angela Mi Young Hur (Folkorn) is a Korean-American writer (who lives in Sweden)
-S. L. Huang (Zero Sum Game) doesn’t specify and just says American in the sources I did find. Also they’re pretty badass.
-Marie Lu (Skyhunter) is Chinese-American
-Yoon Ha Lee is an American writer, possibly of Korean heritage
-Qi Peijia (The Legendary Mechanic) doesn’t have that much info available from the brief look I took, but looks like they might have Chinese heritage.

More recs:
-Hal Jingfang is a Chinese science fiction writer and wrote Folding Beijing.
-Ken Liu is an American writer who writes both science fiction and fantasy and has a lot of works available.
-Chen Quifan is a Chinese science fiction writer who wrote The Waste Tide
-Malinda Lo is an American writer, says she writes both sci-fi and fantasy.

…and after that I get a bunch of fantasy recs so. Obviously, they’re all going to have differing perspectives from each other. I think that can be said about any generalized demographic (if you ask for “books from queer authors” for example, or “books by African authors” there’s going to be plenty of differing perspectives. Still, taking into account their background helps put their works into perspective.

Anyway hope the (expanded) list and new recs helps.

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#19

DracoNako Wrote: Yeah no instead of touching on,,, that (there was a very good point made but it’s done under the guise of stirring shit) I’m just gonna highlight the authors that have been mentioned and see about mentioning more. Because, YES, they’re all from different cultures and will look different, and the OP could have specified, but still got rather diverse suggestions regardless. Anyway:

-Ni Kuang (Wisely Series) is a Hong Kong-American
-Liu Cixin (Three-Body Problem) is Chinese
-Haruki Murakami (1Q84) is Japanese
-Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell) in Japanese
-RoyalRoad user Yoshiki Tanaka did not specify and a cursory glance didn’t tell me… didn’t want to speculate
-Xiran Jay Zhao (Iron Widow) is a Chinese writer who is also a first-gen Canadian immigrant
-Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe) is an American writer from Taiwanese diaspora
-Angela Mi Young Hur (Folkorn) is a Korean-American writer (who lives in Sweden)
-S. L. Huang (Zero Sum Game) doesn’t specify and just says American in the sources I did find. Also they’re pretty badass.
-Marie Lu (Skyhunter) is Chinese-American
-Yoon Ha Lee is an American writer, possibly of Korean heritage
-Qi Peijia (The Legendary Mechanic) doesn’t have that much info available from the brief look I took, but looks like they might have Chinese heritage.

More recs:
-Hal Jingfang is a Chinese science fiction writer and wrote Folding Beijing.
-Ken Liu is an American writer who writes both science fiction and fantasy and has a lot of works available.
-Chen Quifan is a Chinese science fiction writer who wrote The Waste Tide
-Malinda Lo is an American writer, says she writes both sci-fi and fantasy.

…and after that I get a bunch of fantasy recs so. Obviously, they’re all going to have differing perspectives from each other. I think that can be said about any generalized demographic (if you ask for “books from queer authors” for example, or “books by African authors” there’s going to be plenty of differing perspectives. Still, taking into account their background helps put their works into perspective.

Anyway hope the (expanded) list and new recs helps.



Can't believe I forgot Ken Liu and Malindo Lo.  Thanks for adding some great recs to the list!

Re: Best sci-fi books written by Asian authors?

#20

DracoNako Wrote: More recs:
-Hal Jingfang is a Chinese science fiction writer and wrote Folding Beijing.
-Ken Liu is an American writer who writes both science fiction and fantasy and has a lot of works available.
-Chen Quifan is a Chinese science fiction writer who wrote The Waste Tide
-Malinda Lo is an American writer, says she writes both sci-fi and fantasy.


I was also going to point out Ken Liu, not so much for his writing (which is supposed to be really good) but more for his prolific work in translating Chinese science fiction into English. If you want well translated Chinese science fiction, I'd suggest looking for his name.