On the Origin of Species and Other Stories

Bo-Young Kim, trans. from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Joungmin Lee Comfort. Kaya, $19.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-885030-71-9
This collection of seven stories and one essay from Kim (How Alike Are We) makes for a dazzling English-language debut. The essay, “A Brief Reflection on Breasts,” sets the tone for the gentle, humorous philosophizing of the collection as a whole. In it, Kim compares the value and necessity of science in science fiction to breasts on a woman, concluding that to focus on whether there is definitive science in a work distracts from the greater purpose of the genre. The slippery, mildly fantastical “An Evolutionary Myth” tells of an exiled prince in an era when evolution occurs at a much faster rate. “Between Zero and One” examines grief through the story of a bereft mother’s encounter with a strange woman who knows a surprising amount about time travel and quantum theory. And the title story finds robots debating a theory they consider to be laughable: that matter can grow organically. With a combination of subtle humor and poignant philosophy, Kim turns a genre-bending lens on human experience. This belongs on shelves next to Bradbury, Le Guin, and Murakami. Agent: Jinhee Park, Greenbook Literary (South Korea). (May)
Reviewed on : 04/23/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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