Gu Shi

Tagged: Author

(?   -    ) Chinese author and urban planner who first came to prominence around 2011, with a number of stories that remarkably worked within the local tradition of didactic science fiction (see China), and yet also asserted a poignant notion of the likely emotional and ethical impact of scientific progress. Critics have parsed this as a particularly "female" reaction to the boys' club of the genre in China, although Gu herself has denied this.

Her footprint in the Anglophone world was established with the Yinhe Award-winning "Qianheti" (October 2015 Kehuan Shijie; trans S Qiouyi Lu and Ken Liu as "Chimera", March 2016 Clarkesworld), which begins as a Near Future account of both the potential and human cost of Genetic Engineering. Narrated by the husband of an unnamed Scientist, and Tony, the son who is saved by her experiments, the story is sprinkled with classical and biblical allusions, while the first-person narrations come interleaved with a Far Future storyline that extrapolates the likely implications of genetic experimentation for both ethics and human Evolution. Considering the thematic resemblances to Chi Shuchang's landmark Gediao Bizi de Daxiang ["Elephants With Their Trunks Removed"] (1958 chap), the story is a lucid indicator of just how much has changed, and not changed, in the Chinese genre over the last sixty years. [JonC]

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