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The 81st World Science Fiction Convention Opens in Chengdu
发布时间:2023-10-19 13:12来源:科幻协会

On October 18 night, the 81st World Science Fiction Convention opened at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum in Pidu district, Chengdu.


The World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is the most prestigious, longest-standing, and largest sci-fi event across the globe, And this is the first Worldcon held in China, making Chengdu the second city in Asia to host the convention. In the next five days, sci-fi enthusiasts from all over the world will gather in this city, where history and culture, perfectly blend with modern civilization, to embrace the “The Symbiosis Era” of science fiction and meet the future in Chengdu.

Ben Yalow, a member of the Mark Protection Committee (MPC) of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) and co-chairman of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, said in his welcome message, “People from all over the world come to Chengdu to participate in the convention and gather in the big family of science fiction. This is the first time that we join hands with Chinese sci-fi fans to witness an amazing Worldcon. It is more interesting and diverse. The big family of science fiction will continue to grow in Chengdu. I hope you will enjoy the event.” Ben Yalow said.


Robert James Sawyer, a renowned sci-fi writer and honorary guest of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, joined the opening of convention. In his speech, Sawyer said that this is his fourth visit to the wonderful city of Chengdu. When he first came to Chengdu 16 years ago, he heard sci-fi fans say they hoped that someday the Worldcon could be held in China. Many people thought it was a dream, but now it has come true! “The enthusiasm of the sci-fi fans in Chengdu makes me believe that all their dreams will come true in the future. I believe that for some of the young people who attend the Worldcon for the first time, the seeds that will be planted in their hearts in the next five days are going to change their lives forever," Sawyer said.

With sci-fi fans around the world in-person and online, Ben Yalow, together with Chen Shi and He Xi, co-chairs of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, Liu Cixin and Robert James Sawyer, the honorary guests of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, Richard Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of Wētā Workshop, Wu Jing, Chinese director and actor, Guo Fan, the director of The Wandering Earth series, Neil Clarke, the founder and editor-in-chief of the American sci-fi magazine Clarkesworld, and Helen Montgomery, the president of the Chicon 8, opened the 81st World Science Fiction Convention.

With Chen Shi banging the "gavel" that has witnessed the history of the Worldcon, Ben Yalow declared the 81st World Science Fiction Convention open.


The much-anticipated base of this year's Hugo Award trophy was unveiled at the opening ceremony. It is an adorable panda poking its head out of a spacetime tunnel gazes up at a rocket beckoning the future, paying tribute to science fiction. This is the first time that elements of Chinese culture have appeared on the Hugo Awards' trophy base. At the ceremony, Dave McCarty, the vice chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon and leader of the Hugo Awards jury, integrated the base with the trophy, implying that only through cooperation and connection can humanity have an infinitely bright future.


The "decadal appointment" between Liu Cixin, a Chinese sci-fi writer and the honorary guest of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, and a group of Chengdu teachers and students, became the most moving scene at the opening ceremony. Ten years ago, Xu Min, a Chinese language teacher at Chengdu Experimental Foreign Language School, sent Liu Cixin an email with her students' reading notes and questions about The Three-Body Problem and received Liu's reply two days later. Li Rui, one of the students, is now a graduate student majoring in materials at the South China University of Technology.


An email sent ten years ago sowed the seeds of love for sci-fi into the hearts of the teenager. Inspired by science fiction, it took him a decade to embark on a path to explore science and the future. At the opening ceremony, Xu Min and her students brought Liu a gift, a souvenir book with the students' reading notes and the emails they exchanged with Liu.

With sci-fi shows alternating with live fantasy shows, the opening ceremony combined the glorious ancient Shu civilization with modern fantasy sci-fi themes. Accompanied by music of 432HZ that aligns with our planet's heartbeat, the audience on site started from the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, passed through the Sanxingdui, the Jinsha, pyramids, the solar system, and the Milky Way and finally arrived at the “Pillar of Creation”, which is 6500 light-years away. Following the “Time Film”, sci-fi fans traveled through space and time to review the wonderful moments of the Worldcon during the 84 years. The sci-fi show “Embrace the Stars” used scientific and technological means to present traditional arts such as the Sanxingdui bronze figures, the Sichuan Opera face changing, the long white silky sleeves, and the flying Mysterious Maiden, integrating ancient Shu people's fantasy about the unknown world into the infinite universe. The live fantasy show “Space and Time Shuttle” displayed the transformation from sci-fi ideas to practical technologies. China's first original musical dance drama with the theme of emotional interaction between humans and artificial intelligence, “Shen AI Ni” (Deeply in Love with AI), presents a “mutual love” between scientific and technological charm and people’s thinking.


At the ceremony, a short film paid tribute to sci-fi works. Since 1958, the Hugo Awards have set up the Best Dramatic Presentation award for films, TV episodes, and other dramatized works related to science fiction or fantasy. At each Worldcon, we can see elements of classic sci-fi films and TV episodes. Today, Chinese film and TV makers have begun to create a sci-fi image world based on the Chinese culture for the world, highlighting the Chinese style, brilliancy of science and technology, and human ideals.

The opening ceremony ended with the song “Meet the Future” sung by sci-fi fans. 1,000 drones flew upwards toward the sky in formation, showing a scene of an infinite universe with the singularity burst, the vast nebula, the birth of stars, and the emergence of new stars. A 3D Kormo, the mascot of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon, stood in the night sky, inviting sci-fi fans around the world to “Meet the Future” in Chengdu.


With the theme of “Symbiosis Era”, this year’s Worldcon will last until October 22nd. In addition to the opening and closing ceremonies and the Hugo Awards ceremony, there will be more than 200 theme activities reserved for sci-fi enthusiasts. On October 21 night, the Hugo Awards, the most prestigious award in science fiction literature, will be announced at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum.