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A Space for Resistance and Reinvention: Chinese Science Fiction and its Fandom


In 2010, the famous writer Fei Dao called Chinese science fiction “a lonely hidden army,” emphasizing both its marginalized position and its power to contend with the state. Ten years later, Jing Tsu described science fiction as the “secret weapon in China’s soft-power arsenal,” drawing attention to the “grassroots fan base” and its enthusiasm about the genre. These changing metaphors indicate the potential significance of reading Chinese science fiction not just as a literary genre, but participatory culture. Taking Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy as an example, this thesis gives a chronological review of the development of the Chinese science fiction fandom, and close-reading of the original work and selected fan productions. Through positioning colonial inferiority, state censorship, and gender bias in the frame of fandom, this thesis argues that Chinese science fiction and its fandom together form a space for fans’ reimagination, reinvention and resistance that yields alternative historiographies of China.

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