Science fiction bikinis


The photo here comes from the front matter to a recent special swimsuit issue of Fashion (时尚), which, in the grand tradition of swimsuit magazines, hides the swimsuit of the cover model somewhere inside the magazine’s pages.

Looking at the masthead information reveals two interesting things. First, the real name of the magazine is Business (商), which you can see at the bottom corner of the cover in light grey. This is a typical way of getting around registration requirements (see this Danwei post). The magazine doesn’t appear to be related to the Trends group, which publishes Cosmo, Esquire, and other titles under the 时尚 name. Second, Business is published under the auspices of Science Fiction World magazine, administered by the Sichuan Popular Science Association.

This tidbit comes to us by way of SFView, which publishes a monthly “SF Trend” newsletter reviewing of all of the latest happenings in the Chinese SF arena – news, new books and films, links to popular online discussion topics, and gossip. SF Trend comments on the magazine, wondering if this means that the next SFW writers’ conference will feature bikini-clad booth babes.

Also noted in SF Trend is the launch of an online SF zine, Fly To Fantasy (幻翔), which bills itself as “SF entertainment” (possibly in contrast to Edge Review, a more academic online SF zine). It’s written some of the same group of people behind the SF Trend newsletter and other participants in the Douban SF cluster and other online forums, all hidden behind clever nicknames. This issue covers Campbell winner John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War (coming out in Chinese shortly, though one of the names behind this zine was involved in a fan translation project earlier this year), Battlestar Galactica, a guide to Genre SF, and some original fiction.

Like many web magazines with turning pages, scrolling animations, and music, it’s a bit overproduced, but there’s still something strangely compelling about reading SF criticism with Sarah McLachlan playing in the background.

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