Today I’m guestblogging at SF Signal to talk about Hong Kong and what makes it conducive to science fiction and magic realism. My article is now live: Spaces for Speculative Fiction in Hong Kong. Thanks so much to Lavie Tidhar for suggesting it and helping me to a spot at SF Signal (thank you, John DeNardo!) as part of the launch of The Apex Book of World SF 3.
Here’s an excerpt:
It’s not just because of the neon. Hong Kong transformed itself from a cluster of tiny, unassuming fishing villages on a barren rock into an international financial powerhouse in roughly just a hundred and fifty years. That piece of history is already the heart of science fiction: anything is possible, especially transformation. China Miéville wrote about “possibility mining” in The Scar, where a dimensional fracture in the surface of Bas-Lag called the Scar leaked existential possibilities which could then be harvested and made real by possibility machines. The same dynamism exists in Hong Kong, propped up by infrastructure and automation, a booming economy, and a bottomless well of ambition. Go to the computer centers in Wan Chai or Sham Shui Po: piracy’s been in decline (or has been redefined) for the last few years and shops have gone legit but the same atmosphere remains – if they can’t find whatever it is you want to get, they’ll find someone who can. Entrepreneur spaces and networking events swarm along Victoria Harbor and go deep into the heartland of Kowloon. Seemingly abandoned industrial warehouse rooms in Kwai Chung or Fotan light up at night because someone is rehearsing their play, putting together an art installation, or burning the midnight oil for their startup. Money moves like light and you have to keep in step.
Whether you can keep in step, though, or even if it’s worth it, is an entirely different story. This is the other core (if not the more important) aspect of sci-fi: the ramifications of change and multiplicity.
Read the rest here.