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Boyoung Kim’s “An Evolutionary Myth”: Reviews and Comments, and Audio Version

This entry is part 71 of 70 in the series SF in South Korea

I mentioned recently that our translation of Boyoung Kim’s “An Evolutionary Myth” was published in May, in the (excellent) 104th issue of Clarkesworld.

Since then, a podcast of the story has been released—you can hear it here.

It’s worth mentioning that, David Steffen deemed Boyoung’s story the #4 best of Clarkesworld’s story podcast episodes (out of a total of fifteen best) in his review of Clarkesworld’s podcast.

In addition, the story has been reviewed a few other times since it was published, and very positively too!

It was one of Lois Tilton’s recommended stories for the month. In her reviews column in Locus, she explains:

My favorite piece in the issue. I like the weirdly fanciful nature of this transformative story, even when the narrator gets a bit talky and moral. Metamorphosis is a central theme in folklore and myth, but the narrator here attempts a general theory to explain it, and that’s a neat fantastic thing. The piece opens epigraphically with reports of portents regarded as having significance. This, too, is a universal theme: the birth of two-headed calves or turtles with the face of Jesus on their shells have always attracted popular attention as having some great meaning or predicting some great event. I also note that the term “monster” comes from the verb “to show”, a thing made manifest. But the monster himself may have more personal motives, such as the narrator here, who wishes only to fly away.

Over at SFRevu, Sam Tomaino writes briefly but positively:

Fine, mythic fantasy, with a bit of modern science sprinkled in.

Charles Payseur on Quick Sips Reviews writes:

I love the fluid nature of humanity in this story, that everything shifts to match perhaps not the conscious desires a person has but rather to suit their nature, to match their inward selves… It’s an uplifting story, not exactly happy because of all the death but still with that core of hope. A story about transformations and evolution on a very micro level, the tale is filled with interesting ideas and memorable images. A nice way to close out the original fiction.

Those are the reviews I was able to find, anyway. If you know of others, please let me know in the comments! Congratulations to Boyoung Kim, whose story deserves all the nice things people are saying about it.

As for us, we’re hard at work on our next translation… among other things! More soon!

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