The Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin has won the Arthur C Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, awarded by the Arthur C Clarke Foundation.  His most famous work is the Three Body trilogy, published in the UK by Head of Zeus whose publisher Nic Cheetham said: “Three-Body was one of the great reading experiences of my life.  It is a milestone in the global development of the SF genre – and as this award confirms, a milestone in the history of SF.”

The trilogy has been an unprecedented critical and commercial success, both in its homeland, and internationally. Sales in China are well in excess of a million copies — and this is evenly matched by international sales. Head of Zeus has sold 400,000 copies into UK & Commonwealth alone, with further rights sales having now been made in over 20 territories.  Cixin has been awarded two Nebula Awards, as well as the Hugo and Locus Awards for Best Novel for the trilogy.

Sheldon Brown, director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, University of California, San Diego, said “Human society faces new challenges in the 21st century, and science fiction helps to extend human knowledge. The Three-Body trilogy helps us to see our problems”.

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation was established in 1983 in Washington, D.C. It was created to recognize and promote the extraordinary contributions of Arthur C. Clarke to the world, and to promote the use of space and telecommunications technology for the benefit of humankind.

The awards have been presented since 2012.  Previous winners have included Kim Stanley Robinson, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards, Ursula Le Guin, author of the Earthsea series; and Margaret Attwood, whose sequel to her famous Handmaid’s Tale has just been announced.