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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Co-Directors
Professor Stephan Feuchtwang
s.feuchtwang@lse.ac.uk

Dr Fang-Long Shih
f.shih@lse.ac.uk

Trends in the Development of Science Fiction Literature in Taiwan

With Mgr Dr David Uher (Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic)

Series: Seminar on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective 

Date: Thursday 22 January, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Seligman Library (Room A607), Old Building, London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: Mr Stuart Thompson (Taiwan Research Programme)

Abstract

Science fiction literature is commonly disregarded by mainstream literary studies, despite the significance and popularity of writers such as H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. In 1968, Zhongguo Shibao (中國時報, The China Times), published Zhang Xiaofeng's(張曉風) novel Panduna (潘渡娜, Pandora), which is regarded as the first example of Taiwanese science fiction. In the 1970s and 1980s science fiction literature experienced turbulent progress in Taiwan: prose was published in newspapers and periodicals; sci-fi publishing houses and magazines were founded; the first competitions for science fiction authors were announced; the first critical works appeared; and bestselling sci-fi authors such as Huang Hai (黃海) and Zhang Xiguo (張系國) became celebrities. However, twenty years of development in Taiwanese sci-fi came to an end in early nineties in the wake of a boom in science fiction cinema. We can therefore analyse and describe the beginnings, development and decline of science fiction literature in Taiwan, and compare its development with the most influential science fiction literature in the world: American science fiction. These are the main purposes of this paper.

About the speaker

Mgr Dr David Uher is Director of Department of Asian Studies at Palacký University, and also of the university's Confucius Institute. He holds a PhD from Nanjing University, People's Republic of China, on the subject of 'The Meaning Explanation of Primary Characters and Structure Analysis of Secondary Characters: teaching, etymology and culture'. He has published a number of articles on Chinese linguistics, including studies of the work of Sima Qian.

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