Chinese SF writer Ye Yonglie, 79, died May 15, 2020 in Shanghai. He published over 50 books, including SF, children’s books, mysteries, and popular science. He was often called the “Chinese Isaac Asimov” for his prolific output of fiction and non-fiction.
Ye Yonglie was born August 30, 1940 in Wenzhou, China. He began writing from a young age, with his first poem published at age 11, and attended Beijing University, where he graduated with a degree in chemistry. He was a lead contributor to Shiwan ge Weishenme [100,000 Whys], where he wrote hundreds of articles about science for Chinese schoolchildren. He began writing work of genre interest with Xiao Lingtong Manyou Weilai [Little Know-it-All Roams the Future] (1978), and was called a “leading popularizer of science” by the the Chinese Association of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Culture. With the support of the state, he wrote a series of stories about Jin Ming, a “scientific Sherlock Holmes,” among many other works of genre interest. His work fell out of favor with the government by the mid-’80s, and though he continued to publish, some potentially controversial works were censored. He largely left SF behind at that point, and his output declined after 2000 due to failing eyesight, but he did produce a few novels and many books on travel, and in 2006 edited Chinese Science Fiction Classics.