Chengdu is the capital city of the west central province of Sichuan, China. Known as the "panda capital of China" and a center of science, innovation and research, it is more important to science fiction as a hotspot of genre publishing and con-running, and the site of the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum (built in 2023).
Regarded by the Chinese SF community as the "capital of Chinese SF," Chengdu is home to professional groups like Eight Light Minutes Culture and SFW Publishing, publishers of Science Fiction World, the biggest circulation Chinese prozine; the magazine was established in 1979 and began the annual Galaxy Awards in 1985. Chengdu is also flourishing with SF-related industries like game developers, film and television.
The Chinese sf community came into Western notice in May 1989, when Yang Xiao, editor of Science Fiction World magazine (then called Science Literature) traveled by herself to the San Marino Eurocon 1989 held concurrently with the World SF: An Organization of SF Professionals conference, and bid to hold the 1991 World SF conference in Chengdu. Together with Xiang Jichun (arts editor of Science Literature) and Shen Zaiwang, Yang next attended ConFiction, the 1990 Worldcon in the Netherlands, where her bid won over Poland and Yugoslavia despite the fraught atmosphere after the Tiananmen Square protests massacre (see Shards of Babel for some mentions of this, and the following World SF presidency elections controversy).
Malcolm Edwards reported that the 1991 World SF Conference in China was the best to date, with over 300 SF authors and editors attending. That was the first Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Conference launched by Yang; with the fourth event, in 2017, it is now biennial.
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