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I'm Waiting for You
Cover of I'm Waiting for You
I'm Waiting for You
And Other Stories
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"Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this entirely original structure,...
"Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this entirely original structure,...
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Description-

  • "Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this entirely original structure, which is a ground-breaking, mystic literary and cinematic experience. Indeed, powerful and graceful."—Bong Joon-ho, Oscar-winning director of Parasite

    In this mind-expanding work of speculative fiction, available in English for the first time, one of South Korea's most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories.
    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?


About the Author-

  • Kim Bo-Young is one of South Korea's most active and influential science fiction authors. Her first published work, The Experience of Touch, received the best novella award in the first round of the Korean Science & Technology Creative Writing Awards, and she has won the annual South Korean SF novel award twice. She has a number of works forthcoming in English translation in the United States, including three novellas and a short story. She lives in Gangwon Province, South Korea, with her family.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2021
    In four paired short stories, Korean science-fiction doyenne Kim imagines the vanishingly distant future. "You interstellar marrying types are all traitors." So says a colleague to a 25-year-old copy editor who is heading into the faraway stars. The round trip voyage should take just 4.5 years, since by this time earthlings have mastered travel at the speed of light. When the trip is over, a wedding awaits back on Earth. In a series of letters, the traveler describes life in a featureless cosmos, the spaceship moving too fast to take in any sights--or to stick to its schedule, so that just a couple of months into the voyage, the years as measured by Earth time have almost tripled. You can always wait another 11 years and then hop a freighter, the unconcerned captain tells another traveler, but it wouldn't be a happy return: "That Earth eleven years from now isn't a place where anyone would want to live. That it'll be uninhabitable, even for people who have been there all their lives, let alone those returning from years on other planets." The copy editor's betrothed, in a bracketing story, is on a mission of her own to faraway Alpha Centauri, and when she gets back, civil war, nuclear disaster, and climate change have ruined the planet. As for her beloved, "He must have died a million years ago." No matter, for, as the pair of stories nested between them inform us, in the future we shall be as gods, if perhaps not entirely self-aware: "Just as you can't understand your past self," Kim writes, "someday your future self won't understand your present self." Playing with notions of immortality and toying with improbable transgressions of the laws of physics, Kim delivers a suite of stories that is at once lyrical and full of foreboding, keeping dramatic tension tight among poetic evocations of a home planet that is "our hall of learning, our cradle of experiences, our short-term interactive training ground," if one we have also destroyed. Much of the best science fiction today is coming from East Asia, and Kim's work ranks high in that emerging tradition.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2021

    This title from one of South Korea's foremost writers features four short stories. Two focus on lovers attempting to meet each other back on Earth for their wedding day. Small mishaps ensue and create travails that the lovers must separately endure; as the centuries pass, they wonder whether they will see each other again. The remaining stories revolve around godlike beings who created the Earth. They use humankind as a teaching tool, exploring what happens when one of them begins to question the natural order of the gods' realm. All four stories feature philosophical musings about universal themes: love, waiting, and wanting; creation, destruction, and existence. The epistolary nature of the lovers' story gives readers a chance to empathize with the characters; to feel the dilemmas, the triumphs, and the lows of the two lovers. The straightforward narrative of the gods' featurette is a surreal swirl of ideas that weaves the reader through the tale. VERDICT This is thought-provoking science fiction that will leave readers musing long after the book is finished.--Laura Hiatt, Fort Collins, CO

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2021
    One of the two new translations introducing readers to Bo-Young this year (along with On the Origin of Species and Other Stories), this collection consists of two pairs of connected short stories. The first pair are the titular ""I'm Waiting for You"" and ""On My Way to You,"" which follow a couple who go on multiple faster-than-light trips in an attempt to finally meet each other for their wedding. Each of the two stories presents one half of the couple's asynchronous correspondence. The second pair of stories, ""The Prophet of Corruption"" and ""That One Life,"" are set in a cosmos ruled by the Prophets, spiritually refined beings who can split themselves up into smaller ""disciples,"" all of whom are periodically reincarnated on Earth as a learning experience. The conflict in this pair of stories arises over the spread of ""corruption,"" the belief that every life lived on earth is real and not merely an illusion. This translation will help fill in some of the gaps in the availability of Korean sf in English, as well as please readers who enjoy lyrical, philosophical sf stories.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Bong Joon-ho, Oscar-winning director of Parasite

    "Her fiction is a breath-taking piece of a cinematic art itself. Reminiscent of the world we experienced in Matrix, Inception, and Dark City, still it leads us to this entirely original structure, which is a ground-breaking, mystic literary and cinematic experience. Indeed, powerful and graceful."Bong Joon-ho, Oscar-winning director of Parasite

    "In four paired short stories, Korean science-fiction doyenne Kim imagines the vanishingly distant future....Playing with notions of immortality and toying with improbable transgressions of the laws of physics, Kim delivers a suite of stories that is at once lyrical and full of foreboding, keeping dramatic tensions tight among poetic evocations of a home planet that is 'our hall of learning, our cradle of experience, our short-term interactive training ground,' if one we have also destroyed. Much of the best science fiction is coming from East Asia, and Kim's work ranks high in that emerging tradition." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "This is a book as much about the process of translation as it is about science fiction, Buddhism and how to live among people...The purpose of the book is to showcase not so much a collection of narratives but the love and respect between several people working together, sharing their minds across languages and distance to beautiful, dizzying effect."
    New York Times

    "Bold, inventive, and utterly unforgettable, Bo-Young's stories are designed to take your breath away." — Popsugar

    "The epistolary nature of the lovers' story gives readers a chance to empathize with the characters; to feel the dilemmas, the triumphs, and the lows of the two lovers. The straightforward narrative of the gods' featurette is a surreal swirl of ideas that weaves the reader through the tale...This is thought-provoking science fiction that will leave readers musing long after the book is finished." — Library Journal

    "A beautiful, earnest exploration of the mind, body, and spirit across time and space. These stories will break your heart, then lovingly knit it back together again." — Marina Lostetter, author of the Noumenon trilogy

    "Where does humanity end and the universe begin? What are the limits of love and hope? What is the difference between creation and destruction? These are big questions, but Bo-Young's attempt to bring shape to them in these stories is stunning, humbling and utterly beautiful." BookPage

    "I don't know what went wrong, or when it started, but everything's a mess. In I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories Kim Bo-Young has perfectly captured the longing and isolation of our contemporary moment, but depicted against landscapes and realms that are utterly fresh. With stories that manage to present fantastical realities, ask philosophical questions, and weave exciting plots, Kim Bo-Young has given us a timely reminder that longing and heartbreak can be as infinite as the universe, but also just as lovely." — Micaiah Johnson, author of The Space Between Worlds

    "This translation will help fill in some of the gaps in the availability of Korean sf in English, as well as please readers who enjoy lyrical, philosophical sf stories." — Booklist

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And Other Stories
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