Thursday, November 15, 2007

The China Connection

Starting in March, I will be writing a monthly column for the Chinese SF magazine SF World, published in Chengdu. This came about as a result of my trip to China in August for the International Science Fiction Conference. The column will consist of advice about various aspects of science fiction writing. I'm enormously pleased about this.

For sixteen years, I did a writing column for Writers Digest, until the editorial staff, in one of its periodic revamps of the magazine, fired all the columnists at once and went to a different format. I like writing about writing, for a couple of reasons. First, it forces me to think about why I do what I do, about what works and what doesn't, and sometimes that leads to greater clarity about whatever story I've currently got under construction. Second, I enjoy knowing I'm being useful to beginners. Being useful makes me feel like I belong someplace.

Incidentally, I only just learned about another aid for beginning writers: Virtual Clarion. This is an on-line workshop sponored by Clarion, and the fee you pay to join goes to help defray Clarion's costs. You can participate in writers' groups, or you can purchase critiques donated by instructors (including me) of your work-in-progress. The URL is


Unknown said...

Out of pure curiosity, is that magazine being printed in English and available anywhere for those of us in the states to buy it? Alternately, since you're writing for the Chinese market, do you know of any efforts to translate Chinese, or even Asian, original SF into English to bring it out here? I'm really very interested in studying the science fiction, and fantasy, of other cultures.

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Cool! looking forward to seeing the column.

to s.m.d.: I think some American SF writers are trying to find translators in universities to translate some Chinese SF into English. The past SciFi conference in Chengdu also published English version of some outstanding original Chinese SciFi, altho I'm not sure about the quality of the translation.

Nancy Kress said...

For s.m.d. -- No, the columns will not be in English. DO know I've written three books on writing, right? Those contain nearly everything I have to say about writing fiction.

Unknown said...

Haiyan--where would I be able to find these to read? I understand that the translations might be lacking but I can still get an impression of what the story is about I think.

Nancy--I wasn't aware of that. I was interested because I figured that if an English author was writing for their magazine that potentially the magazine would be printed in English too so that those of us here in the states who are really interested in Chinese SF could actually read it.
Is the magazine available to those of us in the states? Basically, is there a place I can order the magazines that is in English? I've been to their site and I can't really read Chinese, and the English part of their site wasn't finished last I checked. This is all very new to me :S.

José Iriarte said...


Holy crap, thanks for linking to Virtual Clarion. That is very much of interest to me.