Log-in to the Future – A Report on the 2015 Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival

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A Poster for the 2015 Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival
A Poster for the 2015 Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival

The 2015 Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival (SSFFF), code named “Log-in to the Future,” was held from Apr 15th to May 17th. Organized by SF AppleCore, the largest SFF fandom in Eastern China, the Festival consisted of a series of events for SFF fans, including speeches, reading groups, games, workshops, and so on. During this period, interwoven with other fan activities, there was a competition for story building based on SF themes. The final stage of the competition was carried out in the closing ceremony of SSFFF. Below is a list of occurrences during the Festival, ordered by dates.

 

Apr 15, Shanghai Maritime University

Undertaken by Shanghai Maritime University Fantasy Star SFA

Science fiction writers Zhang Ran (张冉) and Bao Shu (宝树) were invited to a panel discussion at SF writing in Shanghai Maritime University. Both of them have stories translated and published in the English language. Ether, by Zhan Ran was published in Clarkesworld Magazine, while What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear by Bao Shu was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Bao Shu
Bao Shu

 

Zhang Ran
Zhang Ran

 

The Reading Group
The Reading Group

Apr 19, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Undertaken by Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Club of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Regina Wang Kanyu (王侃瑜), science fiction writer, founding member of SF AppleCore, attended the reading group in Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as guest of honour.  The Shape of Thought by Ken Liu, and The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester were the two books discussed among the attendees.

 

Chen Yilu
Chen Yilu

Apr 26, Tongji University

Undertaken by The Ally of Sun-chasers – SF Club of Tongji University

Science fiction writer Chen Yilu (陈奕潞) gave a speech on imagination and creativity in writing. Stage games for SF fans were carried out during the day’s event, with attractive prizes for the winners.

 

Chen Qian
Chen Qian

Apr 26, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Undertaken by Science Fiction Association of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Two famous Shanghai-based writers, Chen Qian (陈茜) and Zhou Huaming (dhew) talked about how to write SF & F stories. For the fans coming to this event, there were interesting games as well, which involved creating a mixed timeline of events from various SF works. Afterwards, there was a workshop for science fiction writing based on this imaginary timeline.

 

Zhou Huaming (dhew)
Zhou Huaming (dhew)

 

Players of the Live Game
Players of the Live Game

Apr 26, Donghua University

Undertaken by Parallel Universe Science Fiction Club of Donghua University

The SFF fans from Donghua University teamed up with each other to play “running man” games, a modified version of the Korean variety show, in their campus. The theme of the game is called “The Future Engine”.

 

Xia Jia (left) and Wu Shuang (right)
Xia Jia (left) and Wu Shuang (right)

May 3, Shanghai University

Undertaken by Shanghai University Science Fiction Society

Xia Jia (夏笳, a well-established author; several of her works have already been translated into English, such as A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight and Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy) and Wu Shuang (吴霜, a.k.a. Anna Wu, another distinguished author, whose short story, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Laba Porridge, was published in Galaxy’s Edge) were the guests of honour here. Shanghai University Science Fiction Society organized indoor LARP for this event and encouraged fans to join the excitement.

 

Wang Weijian (left), Gong Li (middle) and Chen Yilu (right)
Wang Weijian (left), Gong Li (middle) and Chen Yilu (right)

May 9, Fudan University

Undertaken by Science Fiction Association of Fudan University

The guests for the activities in Fudan University formed a more diverse pallet. Apart from science fiction writer Chen Yilu (陈奕潞), there were Wang Weijian (王维剑), an editor from Science Fiction World Magazine, and Gong Li (网络流), who was a science fiction fan for years and had contributed plenty of his time to coordinate regular fandom gatherings since he joined SF AppleCore.

 

Chi Hui
Chi Hui

May 9, Donghua University

Undertaken by Parallel Universe Science Fiction Club of Donghua University

Chi Hui (迟卉), a science fiction & fantasy writer who had won multiple awards, made a speech, sharing her own experiences on writing and computer gaming, and how they eventually converged in more than one way. It was an interesting topic because many SFF fans liked to play electronic games, too.

 

A Fan Table for Game
A Fan Table for Game

May 17, Shanghai Science Hall

Combined efforts by SF AppleCore and Shanghai Popular Science Writers’ Association

The Closing Ceremony of the 2015 Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival was conducted through the collaboration of several university SFF clubs. A number of guests of honour appeared at the event, including highly-spoken science fiction writers such as Wang Jinkang (王晋康), Jiang Yunsheng (姜云生), Chen Qian (陈茜), Chen Yilu (陈奕潞) and so on. Exhibition booths and fan tables were set up at the venue to allow more interactions among the fans and the organizers.

 

slime
A Fan Table for Foods (The readings on the cardboard: Slime Jelly, P.S. The Eyes Are Edible!)

 

Additional observations: The average number of attendees for each separate gathering, exclusive of the closing ceremony, was around 40. This was the first time that SSFFF adopted a closing ceremony outside of university campus, and it attracted about 150 to 200 fans. So the total number of visits during the entire Festival added up to around 500.

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Shaoyan Hu is a part-time translator for speculative fictions. He has worked together with other translators to render A Song of Ice and Fire series into Chinese language. His other translation works in Chinese language include Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge, The Scar by China Miéville, and The City & the City by China Miéville. There are also a number of short stories, novelettes and novellas translated by Shaoyan that appeared in various SF&F magazines in China.

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