Korean Science Fiction in Translation

Here’s a selection of Korean science fiction translated by the Smoking Tigers.

“Home” by Soyeon Jeong

I didn’t tell G that the Corporation hardly ever brings back the corpses of employees who’ve died in space; that they just collect them up for a while then thrust a batch out through an atmosphere to incinerate them.

“Mars Child” by Kim Seong Joong

As we sliced through space, Mars danced in my dreams first as a ruby beetle, then as crimson clothes, then as a red cloud. I was a vessel of ice and only my dreams remained unfrozen. Some few centuries passed like a long nap.

To the Warm Horizon by Choi Jin-young

I thought I’d for sure go back to Korea once everything settled down. How could I have thought such a thing? What was in Korea? There was nothing there. Just as there’s nothing here.

“Taklamakan Misdelivery” by Bae Myung-hoon

He was a fighter pilot working for that nation of bastards, and was returning from his bombing mission when he was struck down by a surface-to-air missile. If the enemy found him first he would be in deep trouble. Unfortunately, the odds of being found by the Beanstalk Defense Force first seemed close to zero.

“Aspirin” by Park Min-gyu

I don’t know what to call it even now. Shaped like a flat cylinder and clearly outlined in the sky, it was spotless and pure white but felt patently different from a cloud. How do I put it? It was harder and firmer. And it was huge. But nobody thought it was a UFO.

“Are You Gonna Keep This Up?” by Park Min-gyu

At first, they believed in the grand lie that the comet would be deflected off its path by a rocket, later they nibbled on the juicy carrot that the moon would act as a shield or that the comet would miss Earth. A great number of suspicions were raised, but the majority had an internal magnetism of unclear origin directed toward hope. Maybe it would’ve been better if I’d stayed that way too.

“Genesis” by Jeon Samhye

Only a few machines on this moon-base remain working. The satellite camera that always faces Earth, the monitor connected to that camera, the memory device, and the replay device. They run on solar power, so I suppose they’ll stay on as long as the sun exists. They’ll keep their vigil over Earth after I’m gone.