The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Dark fairy tale-like adventure set in underground city

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : June 10, 2023 - 16:01

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"Forest of Moss" by Cheon Seon-ran (Giant Books)

"Forest of Moss" (working title)

By Cheon Seon-ran

Giant Books

With its dark fairy tale-like atmosphere and poignant narrative, the three interconnected stories featured in “Forest of Moss” depict the love, friendship and adventure of six friends set in the near future of mankind, exiled to the underground city after the destruction of Earth. Hope remains despite their current generation merely serving as a “bridge” to sustain civilization for the next.

The first story, “Sea Eye,” portrays the painful coming-of-age journey of a boy who loses his first love just as he discovers it. Marco, a security guard in the underground city, becomes captivated by the singing of Eun-hee, a girl with “a beautiful voice like the cry of a huge whale.” Marco’s heartache is intertwined with an uprising among the underground city’s workers who have gone on strike against unjust working conditions.

“Space Swamp” explores the love-hate relationship between twin sisters. Ui-jo, who has been confined to a small room due to not being officially registered, harbors feelings of hatred and envy towards her twin sister, Ui-ju. In “Forest of Moss,” Soma, who tragically lost her lover, Yuo, seeks to escape the underground city by stealing Yuo's clone.

The author expressed her intention to write “a story that saves (something).” Beginning her literary career in 2019, Cheon has emerged as a rising star in the science fiction scene, winning the Korean Science Literature Award with her work, “A Thousand Blues.”

“Forest of Moss” is the third installment of CJ ENM’s “Untold Originals” project in collaboration with Blossom Creative, which aims to expand the work into a screen adaptation.