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Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

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Jan 24, 2024

Rebecca F. Kuang just might change the way you think about fantasy and science fiction. Known for her best-selling books Babel and The Poppy War trilogy, Kuang combines a unique blend of historical richness and imaginative storytelling. At just 27, she’s already published five novels, and her compulsion to write has not abated even as she's pursued advanced degrees at Oxford, Cambridge, and now Yale. Her latest book, Yellowface, was one of Tyler’s favorites in 2023.

She sat down with Tyler to discuss Chinese science-fiction, which work of fantasy she hopes will still be read in fifty years, which novels use footnotes well, how she'd change book publishing, what she enjoys about book tours, what to make of which Chinese fiction is read in the West, the differences between the three volumes of The Three Body Problem, what surprised her on her recent Taiwan trip, why novels are rarely co-authored, how debate influences her writing, how she'll balance writing fiction with her academic pursuits, where she'll travel next, and more.

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