"Most science fiction deals with the future, but an important branch of science fiction focuses on history. If time were to start over, history might evolve in a different direction, stimulating extensive imagination for historical science fiction," said China's sci-fi mogul and Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin at a forum marking the launching ceremony of the Taiko Science Fiction Academy on Wednesday.
Located in Jinzhong city of China's Shanxi province, the Taiko Science Fiction Academy, under the Jinzhong College of Information, has been established to explore the sci-fi elements in Shanxi's history and culture and encourage the combination of history and science fiction.
More than 40 renowned sci-fi practitioners in China and over 600 faculty members and students of Jinzhong College of Information attended the ceremony. Based on Shanxi's abundant historical heritages, such as the Pingyao Ancient Town and Yungang Grottoes, as well as its merchant culture and folk customs, the Taiko Science Fiction Academy will set up creative workshops, devise a comprehensive sci-fi curriculum system, and conduct a variety of club activities to develop Jinzhong into a capital of historical science fiction.
Ji Yu, president of Jinzhong College of Information explained the prospects of the Taiko Science Fiction Academy whose guideline features "History Plus Science Fiction" model, while inaugurating the academy with its dean Zhang Ran. First, the academy will pool science fiction talents and strengthen teaching and research in this regard. Second, a platform will be built to promote sci-fi communication and cooperation. Third, the academy will aim to aid and facilitate the science fiction industry.
A historical sci-fi project, "Taihang Universe" (named after the Taihang Mountains running across Shanxi) was also launched on the same day. According to Zhang Ran, dean of the academy and a sci-fi writer, the project serves as a structure and a platform where anyone is welcome to contribute their sci-fi projects, with the preconditions of respecting historical facts and figures and digging into the cultural heritage.
Forums and roundtables on sci-fi and live action role-playing (LARP) games; book signings; a sci-fi scripts, poster and peripheral products exhibition; and a cosplay fashion show were also held to offer sci-fi indulgence for the participants.China's sci-fi mogul and Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin offers his insights into historical science fiction at a forum marking the launching ceremony of the Taiko Science Fiction Academy in Jinzhong city of China's Shanxi province, June 16, 2021. [Photo by Xu Xiaoxuan/China.org.cn]