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  • Book
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타워

  • Author
  • Country
    Republic of Korea
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
    2009
  • Genre
    Literature - Korean literature - Contemporary fiction

Title/Author/Genre

  •  

    Title: Tower

    Author: Bae Myung-hoon

    Genre: Social science fiction

     

    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek (alex_b@klti.or.kr / +82-2-6919-7733)

Description

  • About the book

    Bae Myung-hoon’s Tower is a collection of six short stories set in the fictional universe of Beanstalk Tower, a 674-story skyscraper that functions as a sovereign state. It has its own military and currency, a powerful economy, and a population of 500,000—it is effectively an entire civilization inside a building. Naturally, a lot goes on in this space, from war and terrorism to corruption and class struggles. This intriguingly imaginative world is a biting satire of the politicized world we live in. The book is a page-turner, armed with a fast-paced plot and an unfailing sense of humor that may just prove to English readers that Korean literature is not all doom and gloom. Tower will appeal to science fiction fans, politically conscious readers, Korean literature lovers, or simply those looking for a good story. It can be compared to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, or stylistically, to Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake trilogy. Here is a brief summary of the stories: in “Three Wise Recruits,” researchers investigate the power structure of Beanstalk and discover that one of its most powerful figures is a dog; in “Ode to Nature,” a novelist must choose between speaking out against the government and saving his career; in “Taklamakan Misdelivery,” a pilot crashes in a desert and millions of anonymous people come to his aid; in “Elevator Field Exercise,” tensions escalate between two dominant ideologies in Beanstalk; in “Amitābha in the Square,” police start deploying an elephant to suppress mass protests; in “True to Sharia,” fifteen terrorists live in Beanstalk undercover for decades planning to set off bombs on a fixed day, but when that day arrives, none explode. The enclosed translation sample presents “Three Wise Recruits” and “Taklamakan Misdelivery” in their entirety.

    About the author

    Bae Myung-hoon (b. 1978) is one of the most popular science fiction writers in South Korea. His works are known for their inventive premises, clarity of language, and quirky sense of humor. Many of them can be seen as political satire, and have won both science fiction and traditional literary awards. Since his literary debut in 2005, he has written over fifty short stories and novellas, and seven novels. His short story collections include Tower (2009), Hello, Artificial Being (2010), and Art and Gravitational Acceleration (2016). His novels include Divine Orbit (2011), Decoy (2012), Sir Chancellor (2012), and First Breath (2015). He has not been translated into English yet. “Perhaps a century from now, Korean literature will have to belatedly thank the fact that this country had a writer like Bae Myung-hoon.” –Park Min-gyu, author of Pavane for a Dead Princess “Tower shatters our preconceptions about science fiction. There are no complicated technologies, galactic adventures, or aliens in the book. Instead it captivates readers with irreverent and razor-sharp social satire.” –Kyunghyang Daily News Genre: Social science fiction Publication date: June 5, 2009 Publisher: Omelas Language: Korean Length: 271 *Received translation grant from LTI Korea

    Media Response/Awards Received

    “Perhaps a century from now, Korean literature will have to belatedly thank the fact that this country had a writer like Bae Myung-hoon.” 

    –Park Min-gyu, author of Pavane for a Dead Princess 

     

    “Tower shatters our preconceptions about science fiction. There are no complicated technologies, galactic adventures, or aliens in the book. Instead it captivates readers with irreverent and razor-sharp social satire.” 

    –Kyunghyang Daily News

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