Biography of Liu Cixin

Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction writer, best known for his Remembrance of Earth’s Past series: The Three-Body Problem (serialized 2006, published as one volume 2008), The Dark Forest (2008), and Death’s End (2010). His novels and short stories are highly awarded, and Macmillan Publishers calls him “the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People’s Republic of China.”

Born in Beijing in 1963, Liu was raised first in Shanxi province by his parents, and then, when the region became a combat zone for the factional civil wars of the Cultural Revolution, in his ancestral home village in Henan Province. He graduated from the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power and worked as an engineer in a power plant before becoming a fiction writer. He has been enormously successful in China for over two decades and has won the Galaxy Award nine times since 1999.

Liu gained international fame and commercial success with the English translation of his novel The Three-Body Problem (2014, trans. Ken Liu), for which Liu Cixin became the first Asian writer to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel. The third book in the trilogy, Death's End (2016, trans. Ken Liu), won the 2017 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Liu cites many authors as influencing his writing, including Arthur C. Clarke and George Orwell. In interviews translated into English, he denies that fiction is an allegory for current affairs ("The whole point is to escape the real world!” he told The New Yorker in 2019), though many people interpret his books otherwise. He speaks frequently about the power of science fiction to open minds and spread ideas, as well as his hope to promote science fiction’s status in Chinese literature.

Study Guides on Works by Liu Cixin

The Dark Forest is a near-future apocalyptic science fiction novel written by Liu Cixin. The novel is the second in a trilogy (called "Remembrance of Earth's Past") and is the sequel to the first novel. Cixin is a renowned Chinese author who...

Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem is a science fiction novel that follows multiple characters, usually the scientist Wang Miao, as the people of Earth discover and confront an upcoming invasion by aliens from the planet Trisolaris.

The novel...