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World-renown science fiction author, humanist and futurist
“By imagining the future through science fiction, we can even step in, make change, and actively play a role in shaping our reality. In other words, with every future we wish to create, we must first learn to imagine it.” ~ This is my favorite quote from Chen Qiufan also known as Stanley Chan.
I discovered him when I read AI 2041: Ten Visions for our Future, a collection combining information and stories around artificial intelligence, and its future impacts on people and society. The stories, written by Stanley, are so strong and real in their narratives and characters, that I would not have expected to see AI in the title of the collection. I decided to go deeper into Stanley’s work and read Waste Tide, his novel from 2013 (in Chinese) and 2019 (in English).
Reading Waste Tide was an experience I’ll never forget! I got in touch with Stanley on social media and asked if I could interview him for my podcast “Imaginize.World”. He agreed, and imagine my own surprise when he said he’d be in Paris in November and suggested we meet in person. I was delighted, and you can discover the result of our wide-ranging conversation in the podcast and video below.
Stanley sees himself as a storyteller rather than a science fiction writer. He believes that science fiction should go beyond the boundaries of traditional scifi and explore interdisciplinary topics, including spirituality and mysticism, and also look at the past to see how it shapes our future. Among his many strong themes: going beyond borders, the invisible people, our sense of self worth, the possibility of AI reuniting us as a species, and much more. (See chapter links in The Transcript below).
Click chapter heading to read
Stanly at YALE Macmillan, Associate Research Scholar in East Asian Studies
Wikipedia page for Stan