In May, John and Pu interviewed SF superstar Cixin Liu (you will want to listen to that episode before this one). In August they entered the studio again to work on the final edits for that interview in both its Chinese and English versions. While they were there, they took some time to reflect on the most significant things that Liu had said, and to ponder the political situation for contemporary Chinese writers who come to the West to discuss their work.
They consider whether our world is like a cabinet in a basement, and what kind of optimism or pessimism might be available to science fiction writers, and extend the conversation from their interview about world building, realism, and film. They compare the interview to a recent profile of Liu in The New Yorker, and ponder the advantages and disadvantages of pressing writers to weigh in on the hot-button topics of the day (hint: RTB made the right choice!).
Discussed in this episode:
Jiayang Fan, “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds” (New Yorker interview/profile)
Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution
Isaac Asimov, The End of Eternity
George Melies (dir.), A Voyage to the Moon
Fritz Lang (dir.), Metropolis
Frant Gwo (dir.), The Wandering Earth
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Listen to the episode here:
Transcript available here: