Six Best Chinese Science Fiction Books

Panhuman Books — February 20, 2022

Expand your reading horizons not only in the realm of international literature but also to the stars and other worlds shared in the science fiction genre. These best Chinese novels will give you glimpses into new realities that are created in the minds of some of the most intriguing and celebrated Asian authors today.

The Three-Body Problem

by Cixin Liu (Author), Ken Liu (Translator)

Start your reading list with this Hugo Award for Best Novel winner and NPR Best Book of the Decade. "The Three-Body Problem" trilogy begins with a book of the same title and continues with "The Dark Forest," "Death's End," and "The Redemption of Time." The series tells the tale of secret military signals, alien civilizations, invasions, and the real-world cultural revolution in China. Netflix has optioned the story for an original series coming soon.

Broken Stars

by Ken Liu (Translator)

If you are not ready to sink into a four-book series, you can still get your fix of Chinese Science Fiction with this amazing collection. It features selections from Hugo Award winners, emerging voices, and non-fiction essays about the expansion of the genre in China specifically. There is something unique for everyone in this anthology.

Invisible Planets

by Ken Liu (Translator)

This collection of thirteen science fiction stories contains many that have won a variety of prestigious awards. Ken Liu selected the 13 stories and four essays based on his own interests and with the intention of giving readers a diverse and intriguing introduction to Chinese Science Fiction. You will find everything from dystopian to dreamlike worlds, robots and spaceships, and unique people and other characters populating the pages.

Waste Tide

by Chen Qiufan (Author), Ken Liu (Translator)

This selection in the best Chinese novels list offers an intriguing tale of a woman who works on an electronic waste island near the coast of China. Not only does it speak to the problems with consumerism and disposable products, but it also shines a light on economic problems and the struggle for control. The science fiction hits close to home. "Waste Tide" was a finalist for the Locus Award for the Best First Novel.


by Hao Jingfang (Author), Ken Liu (Translator)

Recognized by multiple prestigious organizations, "Vagabonds" is another in the list of best Chinese novels from the Hugo Award-winning author. It tells the tale of a group of young people caught between the gritty reality of life on Earth and the recently freed Martian colonies. It is a story of loss, struggle, and both internal and external conflict that many readers can relate to.

Cat Country

by Lao She (Author), William A Lyell (Translator)

The final selection in the Chinese science fiction list was published in 1933. It also involves relations between Earth and Mars, its closest planetary neighbor. While the idea that a crash-landed space traveler finds cat people on the red planet sounds humorous, this story is anything but. Instead, the traveler meets with a declining culture and dystopian civilization that welcomes him in only to leave him with a sense of despair.

This collection of the best Chinese novels and short story anthologies in the science fiction genre will set your course to new horizons in the world of books. Explore unique settings and diverse worlds from a new perspective.