Liu Cixin

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Liu Cixin
Liu in 2015
Liu in 2015
Native name
Born (1963-06-23) 23 June 1963 (age 57)
Yangquan, Shanxi, China
OccupationScience fiction writer, computer engineer
GenreScience fiction
Notable worksRemembrance of Earth's Past trilogy (a.k.a. The Three-Body Problem trilogy)
Liu Cixin
Traditional Chinese劉慈欣
Simplified Chinese刘慈欣

Liu Cixin (Chinese: 刘慈欣 l'yoh tsih-shin; born 23 June 1963)[1] is a prominent Chinese science fiction writer.[2] He is a nine-time winner of China's Galaxy Award and has also received the 2015 Hugo Award for his novel The Three-Body Problem as well as the 2017 Locus Award for Death's End. He has also been nominated for the Nebula Award.[3] In English translations of his works, his name is given as Cixin Liu.

Life and career[edit]

Liu Cixin was born on 23 June 1963 in Yangquan, Shanxi. Liu's parents worked in a mine in Shanxi. Due to the violence of the Cultural Revolution he was sent to live in his ancestral home in Luoshan County, Henan.[4]

Liu graduated from the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power in 1988. He then worked as a computer engineer at a power plant in Shanxi province.[5]


Liu cites British authors George Orwell and Arthur C. Clarke as important literary influences.[6] He was labeled the first cyberpunk Chinese author after his novel, China 2185, was published in 1989.[7]

Liu's most famous work, The Three-Body Problem, was published in 2007 (it is the first novel in the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy). American author Ken Liu's 2014 translation (published by Tor Books) won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel.[8] Liu Cixin thus became the first author from Asia to win Best Novel.[9] The German translation (which included some portions of the original text not included in the English translation) followed in 2016.[10] Ken Liu also translated the third volume of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series, Death's End, in 2016.[11] Death's End was a 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel finalist and won a 2017 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

A cinematic adaptation of The Three-Body Problem has been filmed, but its release has been indefinitely postponed.[12] In March 2018, Amazon was rumored to be negotiating for the rights to the project.[13][14] However, YooZoo Pictures released a statement in response stating that it was the "sole owner of the rights for film and TV series adaptations."[14] Although it "was originally scheduled to be released in 2017," the project "was postponed indefinitely due to the company's internal shuffling and the rumored 'bad quality' of the film's first cut."[14] In June 2019, it was reported that work had begun on an animated adaptation,[15] and in 2020, October Media announced another adaptation in the works.[16]

The cinematic adaptation of his short story The Wandering Earth was released in China on February 5, 2019,[17] which became the second highest-grossing film in the Chinese box office within 2 weeks.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Liu is married and has a daughter. His wife and daughter almost never read his works.[19]

Political views[edit]

According to a June 2019 interview and profile article by The New Yorker, Liu avoids talking about politics. In the same article, Liu argued that democracy was not appropriate for modern China, and individual liberty and freedom of governance is "not what Chinese people care about", adding "If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying." He expressed support for policies such as the one-child policy and the Xinjiang re-education camps, saying "the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty". The article reported that Liu had "become wary of touting the geopolitical underpinnings of his work".[20]

In September 2020, five U.S. senators wrote a letter to Netflix citing the New Yorker interview.[21][22] In the letter, the senators asked whether Netflix was aware of Liu's remarks,[23] and if so, how it justified proceeding with the adaptation of Liu's work, including inviting Liu to join as a consulting producer for a show based on The Three-Body Problem.[24] Netflix responded that Liu was not the creator of the show, and that Liu's comments "are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show's creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show".[25] The letter points to the challenge of whether the U.S. entertainment industry can work with creators in China and tell their stories without accidentally promoting China's propaganda or becoming complicit in human rights abuses.[24]



Works of short fiction[edit]










  • Curse 5.0 (太原之恋) (九州幻想)
  • 2018年4月1日


  • 烧火工 (


  • The Circle (圆) (Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction)


  • Weight of Memories (人生)


  • Fields of Gold (黄金原野) (Twelve Tomorrows)


Awards Results Works
2006 Yinhe (Galaxy Award (China)) Awarded 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Ignotus Awards for Foreign Short Stories Nominated[26] ¿Quién cuidará de los dioses?
2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel Awarded[27] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Nebula Award for Best Novel Nominated[28] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Locus Award for Best SF Novel Nominated[29] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Prometheus Award Nominated[30] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2015 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominated[31] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2016-2017 Canopus Awards Nominated[32] 三体(The Three-Body Problem)
2017 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for Best Foreign SF work Awarded[33] 三体(Die drei Sonnen)
2017 Premio Ignotus for Foreign Novel Awarded[34] 三体(El problema de los tres cuerpos)
2017 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire for Foreign Novel Nominated[35] 三体(Le Problème à trois corps)
2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel Nominated 死神永生(Death's End)
2017 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel Awarded[36] 死神永生(Death's End)
2017 Dragon Awards for Best Science Fiction Novel Nominated[37] 死神永生(Death's End)
2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society Awarded[38] The author himself
2019 Seiun Awards for Best Translated Story TBD[39] 圆(円


  1. ^ Summary Bibliography: Cixin Liu
  2. ^ What lies beyond By Chitralekha Basu and Guo Shuhan, China Daily Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Awards for Chinese-language science fictions announced
  4. ^ Three Body Problem: Author's postscript to the American Edition
  5. ^ Even what doesn’t happen is epic
  6. ^ Misra, Ria (14 January 2015). "This Is What It's Like To Write Science Fiction Novels In China". io9. Gizmodo.
  7. ^ Martin, Nicolas (2 November 2018). "Le corps cybernétique : quand la SF s'incarne". France Culture (in French). Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  8. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ Chen, Andrea (24 August 2015). "Out of this world: Chinese sci-fi author Liu Cixin is Asia's first writer to win Hugo award for best novel". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Deutsche Übersetzung von "The Three-Body Problem" könnte nächsten Herbst erscheinen" (in German). China Internet Information Center. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  11. ^ Canavan, Gerry. "Quiet, Too Quiet". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Premiere of Film based on Acclaimed Sci-fi Novel 'The Three-Body Problem' Pushed Back until 2017". EntGroup. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  13. ^ Desta, Yohana (27 March 2018). "Amazon's Reportedly Dropping $1 Billion for a TV Show to Rival Game of Thrones". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast.
  14. ^ a b c Zhou, Jing (23 March 2018). "Rights holder won't give up 'Three-Body' series". Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  15. ^ Liptak, Andrew (21 June 2019). "An animated adaptation of Chinese sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem is in development". The Verge. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  16. ^ "China has another Three-Body Problem film in the works". South China Morning Post. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  17. ^ Butcher, Asa (26 October 2018). "Film based on Three-Body Problem writer's sci-fi story set for February release in China". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  18. ^ Linder, Alex (18 February 2019). "The Wandering Earth is now the second-highest grossing movie in Chinese history". Shanghaiist. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  19. ^ "刘慈欣:《三体》的成功只是特例". Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  20. ^ Fan, Jiayang (17 June 2019). "Liu Cixin's War of the Worlds". The New Yorker. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Blackburn, Colleagues Raise Concerns About Netflix's Choice to Adapt and Promote Film by Proponent of Uyghur Internment". U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  22. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (24 September 2020). "GOP Senators Send Letter to Netflix Challenging Plans to Adapt Chinese Sci-Fi Novel 'The Three Body Problem'". Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  23. ^ Flood, Alison (25 September 2020). "Netflix faces call to rethink Liu Cixin adaptation after his Uighur comments". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  24. ^ a b Li, Jane (25 September 2020). "Netflix's 'Three-Body Problem' has to figure out how to not be the next 'Mulan'". Quartz. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  25. ^ Thorne, Will (25 September 2020). "Netflix Sends Firm Response to GOP Senators Over Chinese Sci-Fi Adaptation Controversy". Variety. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  26. ^ "2015 Ignotus Awards Winners". Locus Online. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  27. ^ Kevin (23 August 2015). "2015 Hugo Award Winners Announced". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  28. ^ "2014 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced". SFWA. 20 February 2015. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  29. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2015 Locus Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  30. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2015 Prometheus Award Winner". Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  31. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2015 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  32. ^ "2016-2017 Canopus Awards Finalists". Locus Online. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  33. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » 2017 Kurd Laßwitz Preis Winners". Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  34. ^ "2017 Premio Ignotus Winners". Locus Online. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  35. ^ Publications, Locus. "Locus Online News » Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2017 Winners". Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  36. ^ "2017 Locus Awards Winners". Locus Online. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  37. ^ "2017 Dragon Awards Winners". Locus Online. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin wins Arthur C. Clarke award".
  39. ^ locusmag (8 April 2019). "2019 Seiun Awards Nominees". Locus Online. Retrieved 17 April 2019.

External links[edit]