Our first August rebroadcast was John and Pu’s 2019 interview with SF superstar Cixin Liu (you may want to re-listen to that episode before this one!). Here, they 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:
Cixin Liu, The Three Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End
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