Professor Yan WU from SUSTech wins 11th National Outstanding Children’s Literature Award
Adrian Cremin | 08/08/2021

On August 6, 2021, the 11th National Outstanding Children’s Literature Award hosted by the Chinese Writers Association was announced in Beijing.

A total of 18 works (articles) were awarded, including two science fiction novels, one of which was written by Professor Yan WU from the Center for Humanities at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech).

It is considered a prestigious domestic award and adds to the list of accolades that Prof. WU has won, along with receiving the Thomas D. Clareson Award from the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) in 2020.

The National Outstanding Children’s Literature Award is a major literary award established in 1986. It is run by the China Writers Association (CWA) and is awarded every three years in the categories of novels, picture books, poetry, essays, and non-fiction. The CWA serves as an important social force that enables literature to prosper.

The award aims to encourage outstanding children’s literature creation and promote the development of children’s literature. It is understood that this year’s awards received a total of 636 works (articles), with Yan WU’s work, entitled China Orbit, being selected for its creativity.

Prof. WU is both a science fiction scholar and a science fiction writer. China Orbit is a new children’s science fiction novel focusing on the development of Chinese space flight. It is also seen as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of China’s first entry into space.

He created a unique method of combining memoirs with science fiction, combining his own experience, desires, and history to create a reading experience that is also true and illustrative. Since its release, the novel has been categorized under several different genres such as science fiction, science communication, bildungsroman, children literature, and aerospace literature, highlighting the book’s wealth of content and innovation.

At the same time, the novel has won unanimous praise from experts in many fields, including science-fiction writers, space scientists, children’s literature critics, and elementary and middle school teachers.

According to Cixin LIU, a well-known science fiction writer and the author of Three Body Problem, China Orbit is a unique science fiction novel that vividly depicts a child’s real-life in a military compound of a specific era, showing a life in a state of scientific and technological imagination.

Dexia XU, a critic of children’s literature and the former editor-in-chief of the Children’s Literature magazine, believes that the novel is a perfect combination of literary charm and scientific spirit. Haijun YAO, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Science Fiction World Publication, praised it as “A Space Epic.”

Yan WU is the fourth winner of the National Outstanding Children’s Literature Award from Shenzhen and has attracted the attention of the local media. In a recent interview, he said that he did not win the award alone but with the support of editors, painters and designers. He hopes that this award can contribute to the local science fiction community and that Shenzhen will become a hotbed for science fiction creation in the future.

2021, 08-08
By Adrian Cremin

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