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  Exploring Dark Short Fiction #5: A Primer to Han Song   Purchase Here  

Exploring Dark Short Fiction #4: A Primer to Han Song

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Considered one of the three most important voices in contemporary Chinese science fiction (along with Liu Cixin and Wang Jinkang), Han Song is a multiple recipient of the Chinese Galaxy Award, as well as the Chinese Nebula Award and Asian-Pacific Sci-fi Gravity Award. Song bridges new developments in science and subjects of cultural and social dynamics with “absurdly dark” stories of dystopia, governmental conspiracy, and subversive horror.

Including original English translations by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD, Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to Han Song’s work, the fifth in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the enigmatic voice of Han Song, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Included within these pages are:

  • Six short stories, three translated exclusively for this book
  • Author interview
  • Complete bibliography
  • Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University)
  • . . . and more!

Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Han Song.


And read about the Primer Series HERE!


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  Hardback ISBN-13: 978-1-949491-37-1   Edited by Eric J. Guignard  
  Trade Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-949491-12-8   Short Fiction authored by Han Song  
  ebook ISBN-13: 978-1-949491-17-3   Commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD  
  Library of Congress Control Number: 2019941001   Illustrated by Michelle Prebich  
  First edition published September 28, 2020   Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD  
  Number of pages: 222 (about 48,700 words)   Published by Dark Moon Books  
  Made in the United States of America   Cataloged at ISFDB here  
  * Download the Press Release HERE! *  
  Tales that are chilling, challenging and relevant, ensuring this collection makes a convincing case to bring Song’s work to a global audience.   Aurealis Magazine (issue #136)  
  Rational and intelligent... a striking rnage of writing by a major name in the Chinese science fiction scene.   The Bedlam Files  
  . . . Delighted to be continually surprised and intrigued. A skilful (and disturbing) blend of horror and Sci Fi.”   Ginger Nuts of Horror  
  An author who embraces the genre's ability to subvert conformity and repression.   Postcards From a Dying World  

• Introduction by Eric J. Guignard
• Fiction Stories by Han Song
   o   Earth is Flat (Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD)
   o   Transformation Subway (Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD)
   o   The Wheel of Samsara
   o   Two Small Birds (Translated by John Chu)
   o   Fear of Seeing (Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD)
   o  My Country Does Not Dream (Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson)


• About Han Song (A Biography)
• Essay: Why Han Song Matters
• In Conversation with Han Song
Sending Chinese Science Fiction Overseas: A New Dialogue: An Essay by Han Song (Translated by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD)
A Bibliography of Fiction for Han Song
• Academic Commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD
• Illustrations by Michelle Prebich
• Original Translations by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD


Han Song

Author, Han Song


A journalist at Xinhua News Agency (China’s state-owned news service) by day, Han Song is a science fiction writer by night. He has become recognized as one of China’s three most important leading voices in the Sci-fi genre, even while his work is often censored by the nation’s government for being subversive or “too dark”.

Born in 1965 in Chongqing, China, Han began writing science fiction in 1981, and the following year he represented his middle school at a Sci-fi writing competition. Although not taking home any competition awards, the personal reward from that experience was much more gratifying and consequential by instilling in him the love of writing. Han went on to study at Wuhan University (1984–1991), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in journalism, while also continuing to hone his skills in writing fiction. Subsequently his career led him to become an associate and then managing editor, as well as contributor, to the government-owned journal Liaowang Dongfang Zhoukan (Oriental Outlook Weekly), for which he often professionally writes on cultural and social dynamics, and new developments in science.

His first notable fiction success, “Gravestone of the Universe” (1991) appeared in a Taiwanese magazine, and was then swiftly banned in China for its tone being too dark, but Han quickly followed that in the same year with “Meteor,” which was published in Science Fiction World, China’s largest magazine for the genre with its best single issue circulation topping 400,000 per month.

Since that time Han Song has published some nine novels, seven collections, numerous short stories and non-fiction articles, and all of it wide-ranging between science fiction to horror to literary to poetry to young adult.

Much of Han’s work is considered bleak or decidedly pessimistic, reflecting dark themes, such as clashes between Eastern and Western civilizations (specifically China and the United States) and the future decline of society. According to the China Daily, Han describes himself as a “staunch nationalist at heart,” and his work is critical of China’s desire to Westernize as fast as possible; he believes that “fast-track development does not agree with core Asian values,” and that adoption of the “alien entities” of science, technology, and modernization by the Chinese will turn them into monsters. Most of his works remain banned in mainland China.

Han has received the Chinese Galaxy Award for fiction six times, and been awarded multiple times the Xingyun Award for Global Chinese Science Fiction. The Los Angeles Times described him as China’s premier science fiction writer.

He notes some of his writing inspirations to include George Orwell, author of 1984; Mishma Yukio, the famous Japanese author of Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and Abe Kobo, writer of Woman in Dune.

Besides writing, Han also enjoys reading and traveling. He has traveled to the Antarctic and Arctic, and searched for the legendary Bigfoot in the forests of central China. He continues working as a news editor in Beijing and also writes fiction as much as time allows.

Han's bibliography (through March, 2019) is listed here: A Bibliography of Fiction for Han Song

  And check out these other great Dark Moon Books titles!         
  Exploring Dark Short Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #3: A Primer to Nisi Shawl   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #4: A Primer to Jeffrey Ford   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #6: A Primer to Ramsey Campbell      
Maya Angelou