The Hugo Award is known as the “Nobel Prize in Science Fiction”. The award was established in memory of Hugo Gernsback, a pioneer of the science fiction industry, and is awarded regularly by the World Science Fiction Association. Hai Ya became the third Chinese science fiction writer to win the Hugo Award, after Liu Si Xin and Hao Ching Fang.
On October 21, 2023, 33-year-old Hai Ya stood among the guests. He won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Known as the “Nobel Prize” in science fiction literature, this award has returned to Chinese authors after 8 years. His winning work is “The Painter of Space and Time”.
Hai Ya quickly walked to the stage, and the person who presented her with the award was Liu Si Xin, the first person to win a Hugo Award in China. In 2015, “The Three-Body Problem” won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. This moment is just like that moment. The previous award recipient was previously an unknown reservoir “electrician”, and this time the winner is an ordinary front-line bank employee.
“It’s like I’m traveling through a wormhole, traveling between science fiction and reality.” After returning to Shenzhen from Chengdu on the 24th, Hai Ya described his creative experience as follows.
Haiya’s home in Shenzhen has a bedroom that has been specially converted into a study room for her. Where there is a bed, a desk, a computer and an entire wall of books, which have accompanied Hai Ya on countless nights. “When the door of this room closes, it feels like entering another world.”
Bank employees have busy careers and it is normal to work overtime till late night. “Because I am so busy with work, I don’t have time to spend with my family. I spend a large part of my spare time on my hobbies and I don’t spend much time with my family. I owe a lot to my family for that. But my family still supports my hobby.”
It takes a lot of self-discipline and persistence to dedicate yourself to writing after working hard every day. Hai Ya told reporters, “What this financial industry has given me is helpful in developing my writing habits and writing attitude. Which is a kind of professional attitude, which follows high skill and follows seriousness and caution.”
At the award ceremony, he said: “When I was a child, the bookstore in my town created a private garden in my mind’s meandering way. In this garden, science fiction was the most beautiful scene. Now I have left the country house and moved to the big city and a simple but Busy working. We must stick to our ideals and face reality at the same time.”
Like most domestic science fiction writers and readers, Hai Ya and Liu Si Xin’s works are published in famous science fiction publications such as “Science Fiction World” and “Galaxy’s Edge”. Compared with foreign science fiction, Chinese science fiction works are always wrapped in rich sense of history and vast universe, vast time and space of family and country.
“The Painter of Space and Time” is based on the famous Northern Song Dynasty painting “Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains” with a mixture of history, fiction and logic. Hugo Award judges commented, “The Painter of Time and Space depicts a touching story that spans time and space with a unique perspective and delicate brushwork.”
Talking about the changes that winning the award will bring to her work and future life, Hai Ya said “No, after winning the award, my state of mind hasn’t changed much. My expectations for my own writing, including future work, haven’t changed much. I just I have to continue working at the current pace.”