The rise of Korean sci-fi

Jeon Sam-hye, Djuna, Lee San-hwa
L to R: Jeon Sam-hye, Djuna, Lee San-hwa.
Image: Science Fiction Writers Union of Korea via Korea Times

There’s a nice feature in yesterday’s Korea Times on the rise of Korean science fiction, with an interview with the leading lights behind the Science Fiction Writers Union of the Republic of Korea.

I’ve enjoyed dipping into the collection of K-sci-fi in translation Readymade Bodhisattva that came out last year from Kaya. It whetted my appetite for someone to publish the complete versions of Kim Young-ha’s Quiz Show and Mun Yunseong’s Perfect Society, as the extracts published in that collection were tantalisingly good. Similarly, on the basis of the short story Storm Between my Teeth I want to read lots more from Lim Taewoon.

So will we be seeing any more K-Sci-fi in translation? Some of the Smoking Tigers have been avid promoters of Korean sci-fi for a while: Sophie Bowman pitched a translation of Kim Bo-young’s Iā€™m Waiting for You at an event in London three years ago – one that has got picked up by Harper Collins for publication next year. Fellow Tiger Sung Ryu has translated Bae Myung-hoon’s Tower, which Honford Star will bring out also in early 2021. Both titles get a mention in the Korea Times article.

The Tigers have a page devoted to their translations of K-sci-fi published in online magazines. Pending publication of the two titles mentioned above, go get your sci-fi fix there.

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