Chinese sci-fi hit wins Hugo Awards for the first time

Chinese sci-fi fans were ecstatic when they learned that the Hugo Awards, one of the most prestigious science-fiction awards in the world, went to a Chinese novel for the first time.

The Three-Body Problem, written by Chinese sci-fi novelist Liu Cixin, beat out four other finalists and was announced the winner of the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel in Seattle on Saturday night local time.

The book’s translator Ken Liu accepted the award on the author’s behalf.

As one of the key international awards for the sci-fi genre, the Hugo Awards have been recognizing the best science fiction or fantasy works published in English since 1953.

The Three-Body Problem is also the first Chinese sci-fi novel that has been translated to English. Ever since it was first serialized in a Chinese sci-fi magazine in 2006, The Three-Body Problem, now a complete trilogy, has captivated millions of people in China for its magnificent space philosophy, and was unanimously hailed by sci-fi fans as “China’s best sci-fi novel.” In 2014, the English version of the trilogy’s first book was published in the US.

The second book, The Dark Forest, is planned to hit stores this summer, and the finale, Death’s End, will be out in January 2016, according to the trilogy’s publisher Tor Books.

Earlier this year, The Three-Body Problem was also nominated for the Nebula Awards, but didn’t go further than that. The loss made winning the Hugo Award more precious in the eyes of many fans.

“Eliminate human tyranny! The world belongs to Trisolaris!” congratulated Weibo user @Haoyunjierenboqie by quoting a famous sentence from the book. (For those who may not know, Trisolaris is an alien planet in the book, which literally means “Three-Body” in Chinese.)

“Well, after all it’s the winner predicted by George R.R. Martin,” commented @Wuwuyayawenwen, referring to the 2015 Hugo Awards predictions that the Game of Thrones author made on his blog a week ago.

“There’s nothing happier than having your favorite novel being acknowledged by the world. Congratulations!” said @Jiacunzhang_lang.

Map of Isla Sorna from Jurassic Park: The Lost World complete with dinosaur frames. I was going to scan the one at the front of my copy, but I happen to have a hardcover so there’s a bigass line going right through the middle.

Anyways, this map is exclusive to the books alone and does not apply to the Lost World movie. My suggestion? Read the book! Both books!

Lady Murasaki Shikibu (c.978-1015) was a Japanese noble who served at the Imperial court in Kyoto and was the author of the world’s first ever surviving novel, ‘The Tales of Genji’, which has been translated into lots of other languages and is still read today. She influenced Japanese literature as well as the world’s, making her a huge history crush of mine!

Advice: Figuring Out a Plot Based on a Single Event

 asked: I’m currently working on building a fantasy world for my first novel and I’m almost finished, but I just realized that I don’t actually have a plot only a major event that happens halfway through the story. Any tips on how to build off of events?

Take a good look at the event you have already planned. Ask yourself as many questions about the event as you can think of and write them all down. For example:
  • What “big picture” events led to this event occurring and why?
  • What or who is the direct catalyst for this particular event and why?
  • Where is the event occurring and what led to it occurring right there?
  • Who is involved in the event and how did they come to be involved?
  • How did the people involved get to the place of the event and where were they before that?
  • How and why are your main characters involved in the event?
  • How and why is your antagonist involved?
  • What key elements need to be in place in order for the event to occur?
  • Who or what is responsible for moving those elements into place?

That’s just the tip of the ice berg, but you get the idea. When you have all your questions, go ahead and answer them. Then, for each answer, ask yourself all of those same questions again–who, what, where, when, why, and how? You should be able to work both backwards and forwards from the event to figure out what needs to happen, what each character’s role needs to be, and how you can get everything moved into place. Once you get that figured out, it’s just a matter of framing each element up within a scene.

I hope that helps! :)

Oscar Wilde and Constance (with Cyril?) reading.

On May 29, 1884, Oscar married Constance Lloyd. Constance was well-read, spoke several European languages and had an outspoken, independent mind. Oscar and Constance had two sons in quick succession, Cyril in 1885 and Vyvyan in 1886. With a family to support, Oscar accepted a job revitalizing the Woman’s World magazine, where he worked from 1887-1889. His first and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published in an American magazine in 1890 to a storm of critical protest.

♫ Defiant Women in 30 Seconds or Less: The Collection ♫

To help us get the word out about the crowdfunding campaign for our new series, Ordinary Women, we asked five musicians to write very short songs about each of the women who make up our Defiant Five. The result is a wonderfully varied assortment of tunes that, in their musical diversity, reflect the fact that the women in our series accomplished extraordinary things in very different fields and in very different ways.

Murasaki Shikibu by Clara Bizna$$

Lady Murasaki wrote The Tale of Genji, sometimes referred to as the world’s first novel.

Ching Shih by Jonathan Mann

Ching Shih was a pirate captain who commanded a massive fleet.

Ada Lovelace by Teddy Dief

Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer program.

Ida B. Wells Keeping it Real by S▲MMUS

Ida B. Wells was an investigative journalist whose work illuminated racial injustice.

Emma Goldman (Dangerous Emma) by The Doubleclicks

Emma Goldman was a bold and influential political thinker, speaker, writer and activist.

We’re so thankful to The DoubleclicksS▲MMUS, Teddy Dief, Jonathan Mann and Clara Bizna$$ for their songs!

Now we need your help to make Ordinary Women happen.  There are just six days left in our crowdfunding campaign, so if you’ve been waiting, the time is now. Please donate and spread the word. Be a part of this campaign, so that we can write these women back into history where they belong. We can’t do this without you.


Just in from the printers, is this sweeping, epic new novel from Louis de Berniéres. The jacket, beautifully illustrated by Nicholas Frith, hints at the magnificent and moving story, with a cast of unforgettable characters.

5 Things I Learned While Writing “Written in the Stars”

By Aisha Saeed

1. You will get criticism. It’s part of putting your work out there in the world.

When I first began writing my novel, a family member asked me what my book was about. When I told her the novel was about a Pakistani American girl who is forced into a marriage against her will, her immediate response was: great, because that’s just what we need, another story to make Pakistanis look bad. That strong reaction really threw me for a loop and worry settled like a seed in my heart. I never considered not writing this novel but I did get worried about how people would react to it. The truth is, I had friends who were pressured into marriages against their will and while yes aspects of this book are not flattering to a culture I belong to and love, I did feel it was an important story to share. The reaction I got about the novel’s premise made me realize I would get pushback and negative responses for writing about a problematic part of my culture. Ultimately, I continued writing it and I stand by what I wrote because while I do address a problem, as a Pakistani American who loves her culture, I wrote this story from a place of love. The novel shows the complexity of Pakistan which includes the warmth of its people, the beauty of its surroundings, and the nuance that abounds. It’s a fine balance and its never fun to get criticism but it’s part and parcel of creating art- it’s subjective and everyone is entitled to how they feel. You have to do the work you believe in anyways. 

2. Forced marriages are a cultural problem, not a religious problem. 

As a Muslim I have always known forced marriages are condemned in Islam just as they are in every religion on earth. I did not however know that people thought forced marriages were approved of in Islam until I got asked this question over and over again. The truth is, forced marriages are not a problem limited to Muslim countries, forced marriages happen in many different countries and also take place among different faiths as well. Unchained At Last, a fantastic US based organization successfully challenges this misconception and highlights people here in the United States who were coerced and forced into unwanted marriages. Realizing the link many people would make between the problem highlighted in my book and my religious faith, I felt it was important to include an author’s note to address this misconception. I also made sure it was clear to readers that Naila actually found comfort in her faith and did not blame her religion for the predicament she was in. 

3. Writing a book takes a lot of time. Make peace with that. 

I’ve read about how agents brace themselves for the post NaNoWriMo submission surge and tell writers to wait and make sure the book they submit is the best book it can possibly be. They are right. Revising is a labor intensive and exhaustive thing to do. I have lost track of how many revisions I’ve done. For example, Written in the Stars began as a third person past-tense novel. After some time with it though I realized the story would have a deeper sense of immediacy and urgency if it was narrated in the present tense and in the first person by the protagonist, Naila. This required a complete line-by-line rewrite but it was completely worth it because the effect of writing it this way helped the story come to life for me in a way the other format wasn’t doing. It’s frustrating to keep changing things and revising but for me that’s part of the writing journey. I also believe being this critical helps the novel become better and it also helps you become a better writer ultimately. 

4. When it comes to writing, particularly writing about marginalized groups, take the time to research and get it right. 

Yes it’s fiction but if you are writing a novel you have a responsibility to do your best to write a respectful and honest representation of whatever it is you take on. That responsibility is huge because what readers are reading may be their one and only introduction to the culture you are writing about. I am Pakistani American and much of my novel takes place in Pakistan but because I haven’t been to Pakistan in some time, it was important for me to make sure the details were accurate. To this end I had many beta readers including my parents. Most of Naila’s time in Pakistan is spent in her parent’s village. That setting is entirely fictional but loosely based on my parent’s ancestral village. For this reason I had them read each line and give me feedback to make sure that the representation was as accurate as possible. Friends also gave me feedback in areas where more nuance could be added and where more complexity could take certain characters from being black and white to more complex. In a world that is still battling racism and bigotry on a daily basis it is so important to not stereotype and resort to clichés and it is also important to portray people, particularly marginalized people, respectfully even if you’re addressing difficult topics. Take the time, even if it delays the manuscript going out on submission, even if it takes going through a lot of people to double and triple check, but get it right. 

5. I love writing and I hate writing. 

In the prologue of Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please, she says writing is like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver. I laughed out loud at her description because that is what writing feels like to me. The truth is, writing is something that feels like a calling and it’s something I love to do, but in the same breath I also find writing one of the most challenging and difficult things I take on. I hate the self-doubt and the frustration of going through the first draft [which is my least favorite draft] and wondering if all the work will even amount to anything or if this will remain the rubbish it seems to be. I’ve learned through reading many memoirs of many lovely writers whom I admire that this is normal. For most writers, writing is hard work and it doesn’t get easier the more you do it. I’ve made my peace with it because while I don’t love the act of writing out the first draft, I do love the feeling of finishing writing a novel. I think it’s the act of finishing writing a story I’m proud of that pushes me through the painstaking process of creating.

Aisha Saeed is a YA author, attorney, and educator and one of the founding members of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Her upcoming debut Written in the Stars will be released in 2015 by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at or follow her on twitter and tumblr: @aishacs.

Purchase a copy of Written in the Stars here.












Utopian and Dystopian Visions of Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism pioneers such as jazz musician Sun Ra—who walked around the streets of Chicago with custom-made electric space suits in the 1950s—and science fiction author Octavia Butler wouldn’t have used the label Afrofuturism during their lifetimes, because it hadn’t been invented yet. It wasn’t in common parlance even a decade ago. As World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor put it: “My first novel was published in 2005 when I’d never heard the word. Now it’s being retroactively labeled. Why?”

WΛW | Like : Tweet : Pin : Blog


Patience is the first all new, original graphic novel from Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) in over a half-decade, and also the biggest and most ambitious book yet in a storied career. Patience is an indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially “Clowesian,” and utterly unique in the author’s body of work. This 180-page, full-color story affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.

Pre-Order your copy now:

What you miss by letting ideas sit

Finished is better than perfect. Something is better than nothing.

If you’re not the one writing the words, painting the picture, playing the tune, then who will? Likely nobody, since you’re the only one with your ideas, your picture of the world, your perspective.

Even if you start, that’s not enough. You’ve got to produce, share, and repeat.

Will the world miss out if your ideas don’t come to fruition, if you don’t write the words, craft the plan, or snap the picture? Maybe not. But what do you miss by not working on at least a few words towards your novel or a few ideas explored around your business plan?

The world may not to see your finished novel, or the first layer of paint of your latest masterpiece, but you do.

In this case, something really is better than nothing. Not because the world needs that something, but because you don’t know what you’re missing when you don’t make that something…well, something.

What you make doesn’t have to be world-changing, it simply has to be. A few words, a few chips off the block, a few strokes against the canvas. Start now with the five free minutes you’ve got, then five minutes again tomorrow, then the next day. Go until you’ve got something. That’s what matters.

When it comes to creative work, “not all mountains need to be Everests.” @zecool

— Tanner Christensen (@tannerc)

May 16, 2014

My dad's first novel!

Okay, so I’m gonna be a sappy dork for a moment because I am so super proud of my dad for putting his first novel out there in the world! It’s called Rebellion and it’s available on Amazon. It’s a historical fiction spy novel and he’s been working on it for probably decades. Please help me spread the word and give it a look!

Here’s the official blurb:
“1569. Despite an England seething with rumors of rebellion against Elizabeth I, Edward Hunter is enjoying an idyllic visit with his friend in Yorkshire, basking in a romance with Richard’s sister. Then he discovers her older brother is plotting with the Northern Earls to take up arms in the cause of Catholicism. Hunter agrees to spy on the rebel camp, putting himself in danger from both rebels and suspicious Puritans. He must struggle to balance his obligation to the Catholic family of his love and his duty to his queen. As the rebellion verges on success, he embarks on a mad dash across England to thwart a raiding party determined to seize Mary Queen of Scots, unaware that a rebel who has penetrated his disguise pursues him. Can he elude the forces that threaten him from all sides?”

Please reblog and check it out/buy it if it seems like it’s up your alley!

Rebellion (An Edward Hunter Spy Adventure) (Volume 1)


Soooo hey guys, my current obsession is about a chinese novel called “Just One Smile is Very Alluring” by Gu Man. I don’t read chinese so I read an english translation of the novel and it was perfect anyway!

A TV show adaptation just started airing and Im loving it! The alternate title of the show is pretty nice since it matches the point of the story: “Love O2O”, which translates to “Love online to offline”. A love story that started in an online game that continues in the real life, outside of the virtual world. O(≧∇≦)O

The first picture is the real cover of the novel.

(Anyway, just wanted to share this… So yeah! XD Still learning how to use tumblr for other than reblogging and liking stuffs so sorry, that was lame) ╮(╯▽╰)╭

- Tvi :)

‘The irresistible power of money, a lever that can lift the world. Love and money are the only things.’

Money by Emile Zola is one of our newest Oxford World’s Classics titles. It is the first translation of this powerful novel since 1894 and the only unabridged translation in English. Find out more about this series on Facebook and Twitter.