The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] 'Takoyaki in the Undersea City': Surviving in flooded, dystopian world

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : April 14, 2023 - 09:01

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"Takoyaki in the Undersea City" by Kim Chung-gyul (Rabbit Hole)

"Takoyaki in the Undersea City"

By Kim Chung-gyul

Rabbit Hole

What will happen when all the glaciers melt and lands are submerged? Will we be able to survive on water, or in water?

A series of six short stories, titled “Takoyaki in the Undersea City,” depicts mankind who survive on water or underwater in a future dystopian world where all the lands have submerged and disappeared.

“Adults were afraid of the sea,” the book says in the second story “A Dance with the Sea.” “The earth got hotter, glaciers melted and the land sank in an instant. There was no preparation for it.”

In the fourth story, “Deliveryman in the Undersea City,” the narrator looks at a discarded plastic snowball and says, “So many useless things like that in the world made all the land submerged.”

The fantasy, sci-fi stories are not necessarily interrelated but their settings are arranged in chronological order of the disaster. It starts off in a future when a food shortage and plague overwhelm the world; then humans start to survive by drifting on ships or boats; finally, a new species of humans that have adapted to live underwater emerges.

But even in a hopeless situation, what shines in the midst of disaster is love. Writer Kim Chung-gyul weaves in different types of love even in the most atrocious situations.

From two mothers willingly sacrificing themselves for their daughter, to girls choosing to become water bubbles to save each other, the narrative shows that there is hope in restoring the world.

This is the first book published by Rabbit Hole, a literature imprint of Influential Inc.