Born in China and raised in the United States, Carmen Yiling Yan was first driven to translation in high school by the pain of reading really good stories and being unable to share them. Since then, her translations of Chinese science fiction have been published in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Galaxy’s Edge, as well as numerous anthologies. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Computer Science, but writes more fiction than code these days. She currently lives in the Midwest.

Carmen Yiling Yan has the following works available at Clarkesworld:

Inhuman Lovers

FICTION by Chen Qian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 189 – June 2022

It was never a good sign when Song Mike came looking for me at the end of the workday. “You, come out here for a sec.” He leaned against the doorway, nodding in my direction. I stuck my head out from behind my computer monitor and looked him up and down. The guy was red […]

City of Eternity

FICTION by Pan Haitian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 182 – November 2021

Strange boulders littered the Mountain of the Empty. They were ovoid in appearance and similar in size, their corners and edges smoothed away by the wind, so that even the moonlight shining upon them found no purchase. Like ghastly white skeletons, they lay half-buried in the earth, large and small. They all seemed to be […]

Catching the K Beast

FICTION by Chen Qian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 175 – April 2021

July 9th, 2089 The beast-catching mission was off to a rocky start. Once our spaceship cut into Lamo’s planetary orbit, Old Liu and I sent down atmospheric sensors and language-recording equipment. The data they beamed back informed us that the atmosphere was breathable without mechanical assistance, that the locals were one hundred percent vegetarian, and […]

The Orbiting Guan Erye

FICTION by Wang Zhenzhen, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 174 – March 2021

“Old Liu, what do you say we keep a bird here in the space station?” I turned my head and asked, setting down my tablet. Old Liu’s full name was Liu Zixuan. He was three years older than me, the ranking officer in this humble little space station, commanding exactly one subordinate, one of the […]

The Snow of Jinyang

FICTION by Zhang Ran, translated by Ken Liu and Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 117 – June 2016

Translators’ Note This story is an alternate history and features events that would have been familiar to its original Chinese audience. To help set the scene for those less familiar with this period of history, we provide the following background information: Jinyang was an ancient city located in modern-day Shanxi Province, China. This story takes […]

Yuanyuan's Bubbles

FICTION by Liu Cixin, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 111 – December 2015

1 Many people become enraptured by something or other from the moment of their births, as if they came into the world just for the delight of its company. In this way did Yuanyuan become enraptured by soap bubbles. Yuanyuan was born with an apathetic expression on her face. She even seemed to cry as […]

Summer at Grandma's House

FICTION by Hao Jingfang, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 109 – October 2015

He pondered silently: the chain of unconnected actions that had determined his doom and destiny had been of his own creation. After this summer, I finally understand what Camus said of Sisyphus. I never looked at the word “fate” this way before. In the past, I always thought that either it was prearranged, and all […]


FICTION by Zhang Ran, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan and Ken Liu in Issue 100 – January 2015

1. All of a sudden, I’m thinking about an evening from the winter when I was twenty-two. A pair of pretty twin sisters sat to my right, chattering away; at my left sat a fat boy clutching a soft drink that he kept refilling. My plate contained cold chicken, cheese, and cole slaw. I don’t […]
subscribe kindle
Best Science Fiction of the Year