Read a New Story by Chinese Sci-Fi Writer Stanley Chen

"Debtless" is a "dizzying reflection on the worship of debt" from the acclaimed sci-fi writer

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9:24 PM HKT, Tue April 14, 2020 1 mins read

One of China’s leading science fiction writers has a new story out in Hugo Award-winning sci-fi and fantasy publication Clarkesworld — in case you’re looking for something to add to your isolation reading list. Debtless by Chen Qiufan (also known as Stanley Chen) has been translated by Blake Stone-Banks and included in the April issue of the renowned magazine.

The story, originally published in Chinese last year, is set in a future where humans have been committed to gruelling asteroid-mining work due to a “genetic debt” that needs to be paid off. It’s a “dizzying reflection on the worship of debt,” according to Stone-Banks.

Chen is one of China’s pre-eminent sci-fi authors, whose work has been featured in the likes of Esquire, Chutzpah, and Pathlight. It’s also far from his first work to be published by Clarkesworld, which regular presents translated stories from the world of Chinese sci-fi.


Science fiction has a long history in China, but has become an area of particular focus in recent years thanks to the international success of writers such as Liu Cixin — both through his books and fiction, but also the film adaptation of The Wandering Earth, which became a blockbuster hit last year. Liu’s novel The Three-Body Problem and its sequels have also been the subject of fevered adaptation attempts.

Clarkesworld — founded by Neil Clarke in 2006 — makes much of its content available for free, but you should consider supporting its work with a digital subscription or Patreon donation.

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