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Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East


Edited By Anindita Banerjee and Sonja Fritzsche

The first collection of its kind, this anthology documents a radically different geography and history of science fiction in the world. Western, specifically Anglo-American, SF is not the only hub of the global trade of alternative realities and futures. Rather it is but only one of several competing flows and circuits of distribution, contacts, influence, translation, adaptation, and collaboration, across space and time. The essays collected here focus on arguably the biggest and most influential of those competing hubs: the socialist world and its extensive cultural networks across the global South and East. Written by scholars from around the world, the chapters address the «other» transatlantic of the Caribbean, Latin America, African America, and the Soviet Union; the surprising multitude of transnational networks behind the Iron Curtain; and asymptotic and subterranean discourses across Russia, India, and China. Science Fiction Circuits of the South and East is intended for scholars, students, and fans interested in science fiction, popular culture, comparative literature, film studies, postcolonialism, techno-science, translation studies, and the literature and cultures of China, Cuba, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, and Russia.

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8 The Afterlife of the Post-Apocalypse: Dmitry Glukhovsky in China (Jinyi Chu)


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8 The Afterlife of the Post-Apocalypse: Dmitry Glukhovsky in China1

Walking on the streets of Beijing in winter 2016, one had the illusion of being placed in both a heterotopian and a post-apocalyptic setting. It is heterotopian, on the one hand, inasmuch as the urban space of Beijing contains within itself a plurality of many places presented all at once (Foucault 19). The city, as always, glows with its fifteenth-century imperial palaces. The constructivist buildings erected in the 1950s, monuments of “the Sino-Soviet brotherhood,” still host some administrative organs that carry out plans for the future of Chinese socialism. The colorful and decadent nightlife in Beijing as refracted on the walls of glass skyscrapers remind tourists and dwellers of neither feudal history nor the socialist ethics until they encounter the Orientalized socialist decor in the pubs opened only a month ago. On the other hand, the heterotopia looks undoubtedly like an “effectively realized” (Foucault 17) socialist utopia with the rapidly constructed infrastructure, overwhelmingly ubiquitous e-commerce facilities, and consumerist enthusiasm that surpasses the heyday of Soviet Moscow and many Western metropoles and ironically puts forward a message of the Cold War era: “socialism’s superiority over capitalism.” ← 215 | 216 → However, the city also smells “post-apocalyptical,” alluding to “the end of a way of life,” as defined by Gary Wolfe (1). In December 2016, you could not pleasantly breathe in aboveground Beijing without a 3M mask, and the subway walls were plastered with advertisements...

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