So, recently, the Seoul SF & Fantasy Library relocated to Mapo-gu. The new location is near Hong-Ik Dae University, and is a wonderful space: large, bright, and very versatile, as well as above-ground — it is on the third floor of the building in which it is located. I was meaning to take some photos of the wonderful place, but it slipped my mind before I left, so that will have to await an update for this post.
I attended a reception there, where many of Seoul’s SF fans, authors, and other personalities were in attendance, and we celebrated the opening of the library. I also was given a little tour of the expanded holdings by Eunho Bae, during which I noticed a collection of older SF magazines (as well as a few books in English, a collection I’ll probably be expanding with some donations sooner or later). I think this summer, I will join up with a membership, and set about to making a complete catalogue of the SF in Korean — original pieces and translations — held by the library. It will probably take a couple of days of work, but I think it would make an interesting bibliographic list, especially for assessing patterns in the translation of foreign SF in Korea.
There was also, I heard, a planned marathon for the evening — they were going to show the Back to the Future trilogy late into the night — but I had a previous appointment so I had to miss it. (And, having seen an all-night marathon of the films a few years ago, I probably would have left after the first one anyway, even if I hadn’t had an appointment. I like the movies, but it’s a long ride home.)
It was great to see so many familiar faces (Mr. Park, Chang-gyu, Eunho), to get to know a few new people better (including Jaroslav Olsa, the famous Czech SF fan and ambassador to Korea), and to catch up a little bit. Sadly, I didn’t really get a chance to talk to everyone. (Some people took off even earlier than me!)
I’m really impressed with how the library is developing, with ongoing efforts to build up its collection, help in the development of fan-related events, continue and broaden its SF publishing enterprise, and host events. The way SF fandom in the West is greying, I have a feeling it might be a good idea if we started working on building younger fandom by such means in those places where SF’s popularity is waning, too.
If you’re interested in visiting the Seoul SF and Fantasy Museum, the website is here. Here’s a map:
(EDIT: Map updated.)
As you can see, the library is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but open Wednesday to Saturday from 1pm-10pm, and Sundays from 1pm-8pm.
And for those who are confused by the map, here’s another map (on Daum). It’s easy to get there:
- Go to Hongik Univ. Subway Station (line 2) and exit at the popular exit, which I think is Exit 5 or 6.
- There’s a bus stop in the middle of the street; you want the Shinchon-bound Bus 7612 (a green bus).
- Ride the bus until you reach the “연희동자치회관” stop. (It’s the third major announced stop, but there are a few smaller stops along the way, so you need to listen for the announcement. It’s about a seven to ten minute ride, if I remember right.)
- Cross the street and walk a block or so in the direct the bus went after you disembarked. You will see a “MASTER AUTO REPAIR”, and the library is on the third floor of that building.
If I understood the presentation at the opening party, I think there are membership dues for joining the library, though I doubt that anyone would have a problem with an SF fan showing up just to take a little look around.