A computer engineer by trade, Liu Cixin began writing science fiction in the early 1990s. Since the publication of his first story in 1999, he has won multiple Galaxy awards for his short fiction and is currently China’s most popular domestic science fiction author. Liu’s fiction is permeated with the wonder and beauty of science, tempered with skepticism about the ability of scientists, world leaders, and the general public to handle technological developments responsibly. In addition to the military-themed work found in short stories such as “Barrage Jamming” (2001 Galaxy Award) and recent novels, many of Liu’s stories are populated by ordinary characters drawn from contemporary Chinese society: an instructor at a poor rural school in “The Village Teacher” (2001 Galaxy Reader’s Award), a migrant worker whose career path as a window-washer takes him into outer space in “Chinese Sun” (2002 Galaxy Award), and a group of schoolchildren thrust into world leadership positions in the novel The Supernova Era (2003). Liu’s fast-paced storytelling, imaginative science, and memorable characters have made the forthcoming third volume of the Three Body trilogy, an alien encounter story loosely tied to the Ball Lightning universe, one of the most anticipated science fiction novels in China.