So, my wife and I have been working on a couple of translations lately. I mentioned, back in September, having finished up one of them. We just put the almost-final touches on the second one. (We sent off three questions to the original author of the second one we finished drafting, but otherwise, the translation’s pretty much done and just needs some proofreading before it’s sent off.)
The two stories are:
- 레디메이드 보살 by Sunghwan Park (English title: “The Prefab Bodhisattva.” 1 This is a story I’ve mentioned here before, as one of the tales adapted to the screen in The Doomsday Book omnibus film back in 2012. It’s a story about what happens when a robot apparently attains Buddhist enlightenment.
- 우리가 추방된 세계 by Chang-Gyu Kim (English title: “Our Banished World” is what we’re going with at the moment.) It’s a story in a near-future(-ish) setting clearly inspired by the Sewol Ferry incident, and concerns a teenaged girl and her friends, puzzling through the mystery of her parents’ weird behaviour regarding a mysterious third party. There’s a definite The Catcher in the Rye vibe in parts of it, with a lot of teen criticism of adult foibles and hypocrisy, but also a big-cavas SFnal premise and some cool, subtle worldbuilding.
These stories are slated to appear in a collection of Korean SF in translation being published by Kaya Press, currently expected to come out in early 2018. It’s a funny thing: we’d actually started work on the former of the two stories before the TOC was fixed for that anthology: we’d planned to send out “The Prefab Bodhisattva” to magazines, but since they wanted it for the anthology, we just agreed to that instead. Kind of a nice coincidence.
As for what’s next: well, work is slow, because we have so much on our plates, but we’ve got a couple of other stories lined up to work on, which aren’t spoken for by any publisher yet—we’re just working on them because we like them, and would like to make those stories available to readers outside Korea. But I’ll keep the titles under my hat until we’ve finished translating them and they’re ready to start submitting to various magazines out there.
I thought, though, it might be interesting to talk about workflow, and how we manage it. Basically, here’s our process.
That’s how we go about doing it. I’m not 100% crazy about using Scrivener—it’s great for solo writing, but I find it less than impressive for collaboration work, in the current version at least—but I don’t know of a better collaborative writing tool that allows for any better control of workflow than Google Docs. (And I like working in Google Docs even less than I like working in two separate Scrivener files.)
In fact, I’m casting about for a better collaborative writing solution, if anyone can suggest one. (I need something not just for translations, but also for a project I’m working on with another friend!)
I was tempted by the phrase, “The Bespoke Bodhisattva,” because that’d be a hell of a title, but the meaning of “readymade” as used in Korean is much closer to the English “prefab,” so we went with that.↩