Former President Barack Obama met with current Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 28 at the Global Education Summit in Beijing… but he also took some time out of his visit to ask award-winning science fiction author Liu Cixin for his next book!
Obama has long been a reader of sci-fi/fantasy and has publicly spoken of the vision and impact Liu’s Three-Body Problem trilogy, starting with the titular first volume, before. The series’ exponentially expansive take on cultures interacting across the cosmos seems to have had a profound impact on the president’s imagination.
— Seth Fishman (@sethasfishman) November 30, 2017
It’s no secret that President Obama is kind of a big nerd, so it’s fun to imagine the former head of state cutting a meeting short with another head of state just so he can say hello to one of his favorite sci-fi authors.
The Future Affairs Administration, an organization devoted to producing a “Golden Age of Chinese science fiction” by cultivating and assisting writers in China, was on hand to photograph the meeting, noting that Obama took the opportunity to ask for Liu’s next book…
And then Mr. Obama asked about Da Liu's next novel. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/1zsoEENlSt
— Future Affairs Admin (@faaoffice) November 30, 2017
(Obama was later given The Wandering Earth, a collection of Liu Cixin’s short fiction.)
Liu Cixin’s next U.S. release is Ball Lightning, a Tesla-evoking cautionary novel of what happens when the beauty of scientific inquiry runs up against a push to harness new discoveries with no consideration of their possible consequences.
Ball Lightning arrives on shelves on August 14, 2018.