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Award-Winning Sci-Fi Writer Hao Jingfang Sets Her Sights Closer to Home

By Malcolm Surer
Chinese science fiction writer Hao Jingfang, who won the Hugo Award for best novelette for Folding Beijing, translated by Ken Liu, attends the 2016 Hugo Awards. Photo: Hao Jingfang
Chinese science fiction writer Hao Jingfang, who won the Hugo Award for best novelette for Folding Beijing, translated by Ken Liu, attends the 2016 Hugo Awards. Photo: Hao Jingfang

Sunlight is so scarce that it is rationed based on income. And Beijing is divided into three different physical layers for the elite, middle class and underclass, where people cannot travel between layers and rarely interact.

These are the grim scenes etched in author Hao Jingfang’s dystopian novelette Folding Beijing that won a Hugo Award in 2016, beating veterans like Stephen King. And although it is science-fiction, the story hits close to home for many Beijingers.

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