It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to the SF in South Korea series on this blog, but that doesn’t mean that nothing’s happened in the field. It’s just that:
- My interests have broadened out from SF to other forms of speculative or “genre” narrative (and, in a big way, to include tabletop RPGs in general), and a lot has happened in many other narrative genres and different media within Korea.
- I’ve been a little less involved in the informal Korean SF world since 2013. We were abroad for a while, and then we had a kid and moved to the countryside and ave been busy ever since, and it’s all I can do to get some writing done.
- I’ve been, at the same time, more involved in other ways, like in working on translations and doing some support work on a major anthology.
All of of these things have made it harder to post: the first, because a widened scope makes it harder to keep up (especially while trying to continue to do creative work while parenting a toddler); the second, because, I’m less in-the-loop and have no time even when I do have interesting news; and the final point, because I don’t like to sound like I’m tooting my own horn too much.
That said, I guess it’s time for a little tootin’…
Working backwards chronologically:
Today I got word that an a podcast episode of interest to non-Koreans who want to know more about Korean SF just got published. Soyeon Jeong, Sang Joon Park, Sunyoung Park, and I—as participants of the recent Voices & Visions event in Los Angeles—were interviewed by Dr. Henry Jenkins and Colin MacKay, the hosts of USC’s podcast How Do You Like it So Far? You can listen to Episode 36: Korean Science Fiction: Imagining other worlds, by clicking through or listening below:
Rewinding a little: at the beginning of April, Clarkesworld published its issue 151, which includes my co-translation with Jihyun Park of Soyeon Jeong’s short story “The Flowering”—the first of a series of Korean speculative fiction translations in the magazine. (We’re working on our second contribution to the series at the moment.) If you look over in the sidebar, you can see links for where to subscribe or pledge for Clarkesworld‘s Patreon.
If you enjoy Jeong’s story, you may also enjoy Jeong’s story titled “Home,” translated by Sophie Bowman and recently published by Guernica. (Intended or not, it forms a pretty interesting, smart counterpoint with the contrivances in Tom Godwin’s “The Cold Equations.”)
Jeong’s work isn’t the first work of Korean SF Bowman’s translated: she’s actually translated of Boyoung Kim’s wonderful short novel of love and marriage preparations, and a couple plagued by the effects of FTL travel (namely, time-dilation), I’m Waiting for You. (I haven’t heard, but I assume the translation is forthcoming with a publisher by now.) You can hear Bowman read from the translation on Soundcloud:
Moving back to late February, Readymade Bodhisattva: The Kaya Press Anthology of South Korean Science Fiction was published by Kaya Press. It contains two short stories that Jihyun Park and I co-translated: Seong Hwan Park’s “Readymade Bodhisattva” and Chang-Gyu Kim’s “Our Banished World.” (We also translated the afterword and I helped copyedit the other translations.) There’s links in my sidebar, under the cover image of the book, for where you can buy a copy in the US and in Korea alike.
Kaya Press is an L.A. publisher who’s also working on at least one other Korean SF project: a collection of short stories by Boyoung Kim, which will include a reprint of our translation of “An Evolutionary Myth,” which originally appeared in Clarkesworld.
The release of the book occasioned a trip to Los Angeles for an event that is part of USC’s Voices and Visions series, titled Readymade Bodhisattvas: South Korean Sci-Fi and Transnational Technocultures as well as a brief stop in Riverside, California (as well as a side trip to Las Vegas for me) which I’ll say about a little more later on in this post.
Oh, and it was in early February—just a week before I left for Los Angeles, in fact—that Neil Clarke announced the SF translation project! Here’s a link to that announcement.
Right, that’s the highlights. For those interested in the trip I made to L.A., connected to the launch of Readymade Bodhisattva, and on recent developments in Korean SF and my thoughts on this (not recently updated) blog series, click through and see the rest of this post…