Hong Kong’s annual book fair, one of the world’s largest, will return next month with a record number of exhibitors and a focus on science fiction.
The seven-day event, which starts on July 17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, will showcase 686 exhibitors, up from 680 last year, according to its organiser the Trade Development Council.
One of the most popular events of the summer, it drew 1.04 million visitors last year.
This year several exhibitions will be devoted to some of Hong Kong’s most famous sci-fi authors, including Eddy Lee Wai-choi, Ni Kuang, Huang Yi and Lee Man-kin.
“We hope that this theme will bring up interest for readers to explore sci-fi and get to know sci-fi writers through our exhibitions,” Benjamin Chau, the council’s deputy executive director, said on Tuesday.
Writer Eddy Lee said sci-fi novels were more challenging to create than books in other genres like romance.
“Other than trying to develop mysterious and surprising elements in the storyline, writers have to develop a strong scientific background and know how these scientific events affect society, which is why it is difficult,” he said.
He said exposure to sci-fi could help develop logic and creativity, especially in younger readers.
The area around the exhibition venue has in recent days been hit by protesters decrying the government’s extradition bill. The nearby police headquarters, Revenue Tower and Immigration Tower have all been besieged by crowds demanding the government fully withdraw the suspended legislation.
“We don’t know if the protests will have any impact on the turnout, but we will keep a close eye on its development,” Chau said.
He noted that previous book fairs have had to go ahead in adverse conditions, such as a typhoon in 2017 that caused the event to be cut short by six hours.
The council said tickets were available for sale in convenience stores and Hong Kong Ticketing outlets, while electronic tickets were available via the AlipayHK mobile app. AlipayHK is affiliated with Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.
Adult tickets cost HK$25, while tickets for primary school pupils and children under 1.22m tall are HK$10. Children under three and seniors over 65 get free admission.
This article Hong Kong Book Fair to put emphasis on local sci-fi authors such as Ni Kuang and Huang Yi first appeared on South China Morning Post