Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I’d like to express my thanks to Brandeis University for giving me this honorary degree. For someone who writes science fiction in China like me, this honor becomes even more special.
In ancient times, Chinese literature was never short of imagination. We had a great deal of splendid myths. But in modern times, the life full of suffering and turmoil made realism the mainstream of literature. As a result, reality and history occupied all the attention of Chinese literature. In recent years, however, Chinese writers have started to create their own myths. These myths appear in the form of science fiction. They are different from the ancient ones. They are no longer all fictional. Among the many possibilities described through imagination in the new myths, one or a few of them may become reality in the future.
Sci-fi is now becoming widespread in China. The ancient civilization is starting to imagine the distant stars, which is fascinating.
In my sci-fi stories, I try to depict the relationship between the humankind and the universe, try to describe our trivial yet valuable existence in the vastness of the universe.
Just suppose, if the universe is this big city, then the galaxy is no the building we live in, then the solar system is only the basement of the building, and then the earth will just be a small and narrow cabinet in the basement. Unfortunately, we are going to live in the cabinet throughout our lives, never to get out.
I always try hard to write sci-fi that make people aware of the existence of the building, and of the big city, above us. I understand that, in the huge society where we live and among all human activities, sci-fi may be like nothing. But I will feel all my efforts rewarded, if my stories could make readers stop their busy footsteps one night, and do something they’ve never done before——as simple as raise their heads and look at the stars, then I can say my efforts have paid off to a great extent.
Thank you very much!