Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities
In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair.
In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?
Translated by Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu.
Bo-Young Kim won the inaugural Korean Science & Technology Creative Writing Award with her first published novella in 2004 and has gone on to win the annual South Korean SF Novel Award three times. In addition to writing, she regularly serves as a lecturer, juror and editor of sci-fi anthologies, and served as a consultant to Parasite director Bong Joon Ho’s earlier sci-fi film Snowpiercer. She has novellas forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2021. She lives in Gangwon Province, South Korea, with her family.
Read: Whale Snows Down, Future SF Digest
Prompt: Imagine the world ten years from now. Sketch out some details, make a list of objects that exist. Now begin to write from the perspective of one of those objects in the world you’ve built.