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Celestial Empire
The Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction
Nathaniel Isaacson

Early Classics of Science Fiction

2017 • 240 pp. 8 illus. 6 x 9"
Literary Criticism - Science Fiction / Chinese Literature / Comparative Literature

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7668-2
$80.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7667-5

$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7669-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)

“[T]he first substantial English-language study of the beginnings of this genre [Science Fiction] in China.”—Will Peyton, Science Fiction Studies

How colonialism profoundly influenced the emergence of Chinese science fiction

Challenging assumptions about science fiction’s Western origins, Nathaniel Isaacson traces the development of the genre in China, from the late Qing Dynasty through the New Culture Movement. Through careful examination of a wide range of visual and print media—including historical accounts of the institutionalization of science, pictorial representations of technological innovations, and a number of novels and short stories—Isaacson makes a case for understanding Chinese science fiction as a product of colonial modernity. By situating the genre’s emergence in the transnational traffic of ideas and material culture engendered by the presence of colonial powers in China’s economic and political centers, Celestial Empires explores the relationship between science fiction and Orientalist discourse. In doing so it offers an innovative approach to the study of both vernacular writing in twentieth-century China and science fiction in a global context.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Isaacson’s book is a landmark in science fiction studies. It presents new interpretations on the emergence of Chinese science fiction in the context of colonial modernities, and reexamines some key cultural concepts such as empire, science, and fiction.” —Mingwei Song, associate professor of modern Chinese literature at Wellesley College and author of Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959

“This fascinating study provides important insights into the roots of the Chinese science fiction tradition and its role in the creation of modern China. A major resource for China scholars and for scholars of science fiction studies, post-colonial studies, and the history of science.” —Rachel Haywood Ferreira, author of The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction

“Nathaniel Isaacson’s theoretically sophisticated historical study of Chinese science fiction in the late Qing and Republic periods provides a vital, and long-awaited, link in the global history of the genre and its role in transnational modernization.”—Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, co-editor of Science Fiction Studies

NATHANIEL ISAACSON is an assistant professor of modern Chinese literature at North Carolina State University. A translator and author, his essays on Chinese SF have appeared in Science Fiction Studies, Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures, and Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:39:46 -0500