Chinese government releases new guidelines for science fiction

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/24/chinese-government-releases-ne.html

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When I saw Wandering Earth the subtitles were really bad so I might have missed something, but what about all the plants and animals?

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It all sounds weird and totalitarian; but the alternative, from Hollywood, is to turn science into magic, and blame it for everything.

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This includes creating films that “highlight Chinese American values, inherit Chinese American culture and aesthetics, cultivate contemporary Chinese American innovation” as well as “disseminate scientific thought” and “raise the spirit of scientists.” Chinese American sci-fi films should thus portray China USA in a positive light as a technologically advanced nation.

For a foreigner this doesn’t sound much different to the ethos of Hollywood inspired sci-fi/military films (often sponsored by the US military/government).

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The No One Will Find Your Body, Comrade, Problem

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Or you know, it could be that a more collectivist communitarian mindset that stresses working together to solve seemingly intractable problems is what the world needs right now.

It really sucks that our large percentage of xenophobic assholes will virtually ensure that the US is left behind.

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Even Soviet Union was less restrictive about their Sci-Fi:


I also wholeheartedly recommend novels by Strugatsky brothers, like The Roadside Picnic:

In my free time I’m working on sci-fi computer game like that, but with a good dose of anarchism :slight_smile:

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Nothing makes for boffo boxoffice and innovative SF movies like “Xi Jinping Thought.”

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I wonder if any of this is in response to the lackluster nationalism of Liu Cixin’s books.

The events in The Three Body Problem are set off when (minor spoiler) a woman disillusioned and disenfranchised by Mao’s Cultural Revolution finds a way to send a message into space, essentially telling aliens that humanity is fucked and someone ought to come along to end it.

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What’s more, highlighting Countrylandian values, inheriting Countrylandian culture and aesthetics, cultivating contemporary Countrylandian innovation and portraying Countryland in a positive light as a technologically advanced nation etc doesn’t at all get in the way of coming up with a really dark and thoughtful story about the total humiliation and subjugation of Countryland by a superior Alienworldish force from Outer Space.

When China’s leadership wants Starship Troopers the novel, give them Starship Troopers the movie.

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I would like to see if Little Brother or anything written by Issac Asimov would pass muster on these “Nationalized” requirements.

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Indeed that is a possibility.

But China is not a collectivist communitarian state and Xi has no such mindset. Any appearance to the contrary is merely lip-service to something beneath which Xi is cementing his power base.

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1984 was not intended as an instruction manual, people!

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That you think China is operating under a collectivist communitarian mindset is a testament to the success of China’s soft power disinformation campaigns.

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If science fiction isn’t questioning power and authority that is firmly relatable to the present, it’s doing it wrong.

ETA: whoops, major grammatical typo corrected.

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Neither was A Handmaid’s Tale or The Prince. Irony is lost on autocrats.

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True science fiction is about naval battles in service of space feudalism.

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