Friday, February 13, 2015

Korean Science Fiction and the City, Part 2: Webtoons

In Korean SF, the Internet has been important from the 1990s, with a lot of writers serializing their work online before landing themselves book contracts.  But the importance of Internet platforms extends beyond print to a variety of multimedia, and I have also been considering webtoon representations of Seoul.  Here are a couple:

1). 일호선 (이은재).  (Line 1).  The usual zombie-love story, with a mysterious plague turning most of Seoul's residents into flesh-eating zombies.  You know the drill.

2). 레테 (Lethe).  강도하.   Imagining the afterlife as existing as a shadow in Seoul's 서촌 neighborhood.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Korean Science Fiction and the City

One of my projects in Seoul this year has been collecting representations of the city in Korean science fiction.  Even if we exclude (for the moment) cinema, that still leaves a lot of interesting work that represents the city (and, by default, Seoul).  This project has been immeasurably helped by an incredible resource in Seoul: the Science Fiction a (SF & 판타지 도서관).  Here's what I've been working on in chronological order:

1). 문윤성.  완전사회 (1967).  Yun-seong Mun.  The Perfect Society.

2). 강경옥.  노말 시티 (1993-).  Gyeong-ok Gang. Normal City.

3).  윤태호.  야후 (1999).  Tae-ho Yun.  Yahoo.

4). 배명훈.  타워 (2009).  Myeong-hun Bae.  Tower.

5). 김이환.  절망의 구 (2009).  I-hwan Kim.  The Orb of Despair.

6). 김이환.  동네전쟁 (2011).  I-hwan Kim.  Neighborhood War.

I think we can all agree that this is a quirky list, one that is shaped by the interesting history of SF in Korea as well as my own ignorance.  I'll be filling in this timeline as I go along . . .But time is something I don't have much more of--I'm back to my mid-sized, state university in August.  So any suggestions would be helpful!