I’m Waiting for You And Other Stories • 2021 • Collection by Kim Bo-Young

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

South Korea is uncharted territory for me. I happily welcome author Kim Bo-Young to her first publication in the Western world. In South Korea, she’s a renowned author, has her own wikipedia-entry there (I guess, you’ll need to google-translate that). 

This collection contains two pairs of linked stories which is a good teaser to get to know her work but by far not enough to understand this author:

  • ★★+☆☆☆ • I’m Waiting for You and On My Way are two time travel novelettes in epistolary format. The bride has to travel in light speed from Alpha Centauri to Earth which takes years relatively for the waiting groom and a few months for the bride. He is the author of the first novelette, where he declares in letters to the bride that he’ll go on a waiting travel to shorten the time. There are fifteen such letters in summary, each narrating yet another problem lengthening his journey. Which doesn’t matter much, because his bride is hindered similarly, first by an emergency call which the ship has to follow, then ever more disgressions and plain dumb decisions. Both novelettes can be read independently of each other, but reading both brings forth the full drama. It’s a story full of unfulfilled longing and romance – which I don’t care for at all – with several unbelievable occurrences. A kind of time-travel story which you might love if you cared for This Is How You Lose the Time War (which I DNFed).
  • ★★★★☆ • The Prophet of Corruption is a metaphysical novella with short story spinoff That One Life. The creators of the universe experiment a lot to find out what is possible. Earth is a kind of laboratory for them. One of them, Aman, is “corrupted”, a disease contracted by those deeply immersed in life on Earth which lets them attach more importance to their “Lower Realm” lives and believe that the original Dark Realm is illusory. They think that they are individuums, something completely separate from the others, instead of being one with everyone else. Naban wants to cure Aman from corruptness by merging with him. An epic journey through several instantiations of herself follows, clarifying the gods’ ways of thinking, their nature and understanding of the world. A truly innovative look from the completely foreign perspective of gods. Highly recommended for advanced readers of surreal, metaphysical stories. 

The second pair of stories are worth the whole collection. I’d wished that the publication would have contained a broader view on the author’s work. 

Meta: isfdb. Published at 06.04.2021 by Harper Voyager

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5 Responses to I’m Waiting for You And Other Stories • 2021 • Collection by Kim Bo-Young

  1. Jeanne says:

    I’m glad to hear that there’s another SF reader who didn’t finish reading This Is How You Lose the Time War. That makes me trust the rest of your recommendations even more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it – we reached the same overall rating from directly opposite preferences 🙂 I loved This is How You Lose The Time War (and good shout drawing that parallel) and the twin epistolary tales here, stupid decisions and authorial hand notwithstanding); I found the Prophets interesting but rather dry and had to push myself not to DNF. A little too much philosophy and not enough character for me I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      I didn’t realize that we have opposite preferences, but it appears so. That’s not a bad thing at all, as it gives a lot room for discussion. 👍
      How do you think about Le Guin’s works? They are often philosophical but also care for characters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only read her books for a younger audience (Earthsea and Western Shore), which I loved; and A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (the story, not the collection), which I also loved. She’s firmly on the list of authors I need to explore (I’ll start with The Left Hand of Darkness). So fair to say I’m not averse to a philosophical / thought provoking read (I appreciated that Prophets made me sit back and think hard), but it’s characters who typically win me over,

        Liked by 1 person

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