Liu Cixin (Chinese: 刘慈欣, pronounced [ljǒʊ tsʰɨ̌ɕín]; born 23 June 1963)[1] is a Chinese computer engineer and science fiction writer.[2] He is a nine-time winner of China's Galaxy Award and has also received the 2015 Hugo Award for his novel The Three-Body Problem as well as the 2017 Locus Award for Death's End. He is also a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award.[3] In English translations of his works, his name is given as Cixin Liu. He is a member of China Science Writers Association and the vice president of Shanxi Writers Association.[4] He is sometimes called "Da Liu" ("Big Liu") by his fellow science fiction writers in China.[5]

Liu Cixin
Liu in 2017
Liu in 2017
Native name
Born (1963-06-23) 23 June 1963 (age 60)
Beijing, China
  • Science fiction writer
  • computer engineer
Alma materNorth China University of Water Resources and Electric Power
GenreScience fiction
Notable worksRemembrance of Earth's Past
Liu Cixin
Traditional Chinese劉慈欣
Simplified Chinese刘慈欣

Life and career edit

Liu was born on 23 June 1963 in Beijing and raised in Yangquan, Shanxi,[5] where his parents had been sent to work in the mines.[6] Due to the violence of the Cultural Revolution he was sent to live in his ancestral home in Luoshan County, Henan.[7] Liu graduated from the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power in 1988. He then worked as a computer engineer at a power plant in Shanxi province.[8]

Writing edit

Liu cites English authors George Orwell and Arthur C. Clarke as important literary influences.[9] He was labeled the first cyberpunk Chinese author after his novel China 2185 was published in 1989.[10] Liu's most famous work, The Three-Body Problem, was published in 2007 (it is the first novel in the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy). American author Ken Liu's 2014 translation (published by Tor Books) won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel.[11] Liu Cixin thus became the first author from Asia to win Best Novel.[12] The German translation (which included some portions of the original text not included in the English translation) followed in 2016.[13] Ken Liu also translated the third volume of The Three-Body Problem series, Death's End, in 2016.[14] Death's End was a 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel finalist and won a 2017 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Liu's three novels had been a sensation of Chinese science fiction literature within Chinese territory and internationally. In 2012, even the winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, Mo Yan, acclaimed the remarkable originality of Liu Cixin.[15] Liu's fiction focuses primarily on problems such as social inequality, scientific development and ecological limitations that impact humanity.[16]

Adaptations edit

Chinese video platform Tencent Video released a series based on The Three-Body Problem in January 2023.[17]

A cinematic adaptation of The Three-Body Problem has been filmed, but its release has been indefinitely postponed.[18] In March 2018, Amazon was rumored to be negotiating for the rights to the project.[19][20] However, YooZoo Pictures released a statement in response stating that it was the "sole owner of the rights for film and TV series adaptations."[20] Although it "was originally scheduled to be released in 2017," the project "was postponed indefinitely due to the company's internal shuffling and the rumored 'bad quality' of the film's first cut."[20] In June 2019, it was reported that work had begun on an animated adaptation,[21] and in 2020, October Media announced another adaptation in the works.[22]

The cinematic adaptation of his short story The Wandering Earth was released in China on February 5, 2019,[23] which became the second highest-grossing film in the Chinese box office within 2 weeks.[24]

The science-fiction comedy film Crazy Alien was adapted from his science fiction The Rural Teacher [zh], which has grossed 2.2 billion at the box office, making it the fifteenth film in Chinese film history with a box office exceeding 2 billion.[25]

US streaming platform Netflix announced in September 2020 that it had ordered an English-language series based on Liu's well-known trilogy The Three-Body Problem. Liu would serve as a consulting producer on the project. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were named as writers and executive producers. Other members of the creative team included executive producer Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman, Bernadette Caulfield, Nena Rodrigue, Lin Qi, and Rosamund Pike.[26] The Netflix television adaptation started production in early November 2021, with a scheduled finish date in August 2022.[27]

Chinese video sharing website Bilibili released a series exploring the science of Liu Cixin's science fiction in November 2022.[28]

Films and TV works edit

Year Work Type Role
2019 The Wandering Earth Movie Original, Executive Producer
2019 Crazy Alien Movie Original
2021 Earth Rescue Day (末日拯救) Movie Screenwriter
2022 Rendezvous with the Future TV series Main Interviewee
2023 Three-Body TV series Original
TBA The Three-Body Problem TV series Consulting Producer

Personal life edit

Liu is married and has a daughter.[29]

Political views edit

According to a June 2019 interview and profile article by The New Yorker, Liu avoids talking about politics. In the same article, Liu argued that democracy was not appropriate for modern China, and individual liberty and freedom of governance is "not what Chinese people care about", adding "If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying." He expressed support for policies such as the one-child policy and China's Xinjiang policies, saying "Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.".[30]

Liu's remarks in the New Yorker interview were questioned by five Republican U.S. senators in a letter to Netflix in September 2020. The letter asks whether Netflix was aware of Liu's remarks and demands a justification for proceeding with the adaptation of The Three-Body Problem.[31][32][33][34] Netflix responded that Liu was not the creator of the show, and that Liu's comments "are not reflective of the views of Netflix or of the show's creators, nor are they part of the plot or themes of the show".[35]

Bibliography edit

Novels edit

Works of short fiction edit


  • The Whale's Song (鲸歌) (Science Fiction World)
  • With Her Eyes (带上她的眼睛) (Science Fiction World)
  • Microscopic End (微观尽头) (Science Fiction World)
  • Cosmic Collapse (宇宙坍缩) (Science Fiction World)


  • Inferno (地火) (Science Fiction World)
  • The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) (Science Fiction World)


  • The Village Teacher (乡村教师) (Science Fiction World)
  • Full Spectrum Barrage Jamming (全频带阻塞干扰) (Science Fiction World)
  • The Micro-Age (微纪元) (Science Fiction World)
  • Chaos Butterfly (混沌蝴蝶) (科幻大王)


  • Devourer (吞食者) (Science Fiction World)
  • Sea of Dreams (梦之海) (Science Fiction World)
  • Sun of China (中国太阳) (Science Fiction World)
  • The Angel Era (天使时代) (Science Fiction World)
  • 朝闻道 (Science Fiction World)
  • 西洋


  • The Glory and the Dream (光荣与梦想) (Science Fiction World)
  • The Poetry Cloud (诗云) (Science Fiction World)
  • The Longest Fall (地球大炮) (Science Fiction World)
  • 思想者 (Science Fiction World)
  • 詩雲 (Science Fiction World)


  • Of Ants and Dinosaurs (白垩纪往事)
  • The Mirror (镜子) (Science Fiction World)
  • Yuanyuan's Bubbles (圆圆的肥皂泡)


  • The Wages of Humanity (赡养人类) (Science Fiction World)
  • Taking Care of God (赡养上帝) (Science Fiction World)
  • 欢乐颂 (九州幻想)


  • Mountain (山) (Science Fiction World)


  • Curse 5.0 (太原之恋) (九州幻想)
  • 1 April 2018 (2018年4月1日)


  • 烧火工 (


  • The Circle (圆) (Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction)
  • Time Migration (时间移民)


  • Weight of Memories (人生)


  • Fields of Gold (黄金原野) (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • 2018


  • To Hold Up The Sky

Collections edit


  • 爱因斯坦赤道


  • With her Eyes (带上她的眼睛)


  • The Wandering Earth (流浪地球)
  • 魔鬼积木·白垩纪往事


  • Time Immigrant (时间移民)
  • 2018

Essays edit


Awards edit

Awards Results Works
2001 Yinhe (Galaxy Award (China)) Awarded[36] 带上她的眼睛 (With Her Eyes)
2005 Yinhe (Galaxy Award (China)) Awarded 赡养人类 (Support Human Beings)
2006 Yinhe (Galaxy Award (China)) Awarded 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Ignotus Awards for Foreign Short Stories Nominated[37] 赡养上帝 (¿Quién cuidará de los dioses?)
2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel Awarded[38] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Nebula Award for Best Novel Nominated[39] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Locus Award for Best SF Novel Nominated[40] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2015 Prometheus Award Nominated[41] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2015 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominated[42] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2016-2017 Canopus Awards Nominated[43] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2017 Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for Best Foreign SF work Awarded[44] 三体 (Die drei Sonnen)
2017 Premio Ignotus for Foreign Novel Awarded[45] 三体 (El problema de los tres cuerpos)
2017 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire for Foreign Novel Nominated[46] 三体 (Le Problème à trois corps)
2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel Nominated 死神永生 (Death's End)
2017 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel Awarded[47] 死神永生 (Death's End)
2017 Dragon Awards for Best Science Fiction Novel Nominated[48] 死神永生 (Death's End)
2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society Awarded[49] The author himself
2019 Seiun Awards for Best Translated Story Awarded[50] 圆(The Circle)
2020 Seiun Awards for Best Translated Long Work Awarded[51] 三体 (The Three-Body Problem)
2021 Seiun Awards for Best Translated Long Work Awarded[52] 三体II 黒暗森林 (The Dark Forest)

References edit

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  3. ^ Awards for Chinese-language science fictions announced
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  7. ^ Three Body Problem: Author's postscript to the American Edition
  8. ^ Richardson, Nick (8 February 2018). "Even what doesn't happen is epic". London Review of Books. 40 (3) – via
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  10. ^ Martin, Nicolas (2 November 2018). "Le corps cybernétique : quand la SF s'incarne". France Culture (in French). Retrieved 14 December 2018.
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External links edit