(ECNS) -- Worldcon, the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), unveiled "Grasping the future: annual selection of the Outstanding Performance in sci-fi fields” lists at the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum on Thursday afternoon, celebrating the pinnacle of global science fiction achievements.
A quartet of luminaries -- Neil Clarke, founder and editor-in-chief of the American sci-fi magazine Clarkesworld; Richard Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Wētā Workshop; Ben Yalow, a member of the Mark Protection Committee (MPC) of the WSFS and co-chairman of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon; and Liu Cixin, the Hugo Award winner and honorary guests of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon --took center stage to unveil distinctive categories in the annual selection.
"Science Fiction Events" refers to real events in the real world with science fiction coloring, beyond reality, surprising or mysterious.
The "Travel Destinations for Sci-Fi Fans" is a selection of highly futuristic or mystical destinations that appeal to sci-fi enthusiasts to visit and explore.
Sphere in the U.S. and the Chengdu Science Fiction Museum in China emerged as two examples for sci-fi enthusiasts seeking a highly futuristic and mystical experience as they bridge the gap between reality and the extraordinary.
As the "Science Fiction Cities," Chengdu of China and other nine cities are lauded for embodying the quintessential essence of science fiction in their urban fabric, exemplifying futuristic, technological, and innovative elements.
China’s new generation “artificial sun” HL-3 and the European Quantum Technology Flagship were among the "Science Fiction Plans" list, which recognizes forward-looking, innovative, and all-encompassing research projects in the realm of science fiction that strive to explore future technologies, expand human civilization, and tackle real-world challenges.
Throughout the event, speakers expressed their awe at the evolving landscape of science fiction.
"Sci-fi used to be a neglected and narrow field, loved by only a handful of young enthusiasts. But today, it's too good to be true that sci-fi movies and sci-fi literature are hugely popular, a huge change from a hundred years ago," Yalow remarked.
For Yalow, science fiction serves not only as a window into the future but also as a foresight tool.
“Cultures have their own historically profound stories, which are enough to inspire science fiction movies. China, for example, has a long history and special customs that inspire me a lot," said Taylor, testing the transcendent nature of science fiction underscored its power to blend history and futurism.
"Returning to reality and being in the world of science fiction both excite me, and the world is now approaching the imaginary world depicted in science fiction at a very fast pace," Liu encapsulated the sentiments of the day with a profound observation.
Guided by the MPC of WSFS and hosted by the organizing committee of the 81st World Science Fiction Convention, the annual selection aims to promote and pay tribute to the most representative, influential and leading global science fiction achievements in 2023.