More SF Goodness, Including a Bunch of Korean SF in Translation…

This entry is part 16 of 72 in the series SF in South Korea

I’m thinking I should start a reference page for all the Korean-SF goodness I’ve been coming across, and just link my post series from there.

For those living in Seoul and interested in seeing SF films with other SF enthusiasts, editor/critic/translator Park Sang-Jun has teamed up with the proprietor of a newly-relocated cinema in Shinchon to put together Cinema Odyssey an SF & Fantasy film club that will meet periodically to view screenings of SF films. (That link is the Naver cafe, so you need to be logged into Naver to access it.) I met with Park on Friday just before the movie screening and discovered that besides his role at the SF imprint Omelas, he is none other than the proprietor of the Seoul SF Archive that put on the display of Korean-language SF books from the last century in 2007. And this was also the same person who edited the early edition (or editions?) of Fantastique. I’m getting the impression he’s a kind of one-man dynamo in terms of promoting SF in Korea, and he also happens to be a very interesting guy, so it was good to sit down and talk with him.

The first Cinema Odyssey screening was Altered States, which was fun — I’d never seen it before, in fact. At the screening, I met a Korean SF author named Park Sung Hwan (and his lovely wife). Mr. Park’s well-known short story “레디메이드 보살” (“Readymade Bodhisattva”) was included in this 2004 anthology of Korean short SF stories.

In addition, Mr. Park’s recent comment here on my site followed up a comment of his on Friday about remembering Crossroads having published English-language translations of its SF stories back in the old days. I’ve mentioned before Crossroads before, but I hadn’t come across the English versions of the stories, much to my chagrin… but, hey, believe it or not, they’re there! There’s a huge cache of Korean SF in translation there. I can’t vouch for quality, as I haven’t yet had a chance to look around, and for some reason it’s not clearly visible from the front page, but there’s a ton of it (multiple pages of links) accessible from here, including the very story I had long contemplated translating, 대리전 by Djuna. Here that story is, titled, in English, “Proxy War.” It’s notable for being set in what is very close to my neighborhood!

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2 thoughts on “More SF Goodness, Including a Bunch of Korean SF in Translation…

  1. speaking of translations…any good Korean sf anthologies in translation you would recommend?

    (I’ve been reading, but not much to say, and a bit hectic over here)

    Congrats on speaking at the conference, fyi!

  2. Val,

    Thanks! I haven’t been posting much lately, anyway… been so busy!

    As far as I know, there’s no such thing as a Korean Sf anthology that’s been translated into English and published. (Not yet. There may be something coming, eventually, though.) If anyone knows different, I’d love to hear of it. I am pretty interested in getting involved in such a project, but at the moment, it’s all in the air.

    I will note, however, that the archive of translations I linked above could be considered a translation of an extant Korean-language anthology. A while back I blogged about the Korean-language Alternative Dream: all the contents were taken from the Crossroads archive.

    Indeed, the full content of that anthology can be found in English translation on the second and third page of the three-page list of translated stories at the Crossroads archive, from Jangwon Ko’s
    “The Rodhos Agent” on page 2 back (chronologically) to “Proxy War” by Djuna on page 3.

    The introduction, by Park Sang Joon (maybe not the same Park Sang Joon I know), seems to have been only published in the book itself, but there’s an essay on the history of SF in Korea here which definitely is by the Park Sang Joon I know .

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