The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Post-apocalyptic novel set near Seoul where no humans live

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Aug. 6, 2023 - 08:00

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"No Human's Land" by Kim Jeong (Changbi Publishers)

"No Human's Land"

By Kim Jeong

Changbi Publishers

Heat wave warnings are a daily occurrence and the UN says Earth is now in an "era of global boiling."

What will Seoul look like in 2050?

In “No Human’s Land,” an unprecedented climate disaster strikes and the UN designates various places as uninhabitable. The Korean Peninsula, too, sees its entire territory designated as a “No Human's Land,” and people have left, leaving behind a desolate wasteland.

The story takes place in 2070 when the protagonist, Mia, arrives in a devastated Seoul. On a secret mission to report anything suspicious she discovers, Mia infiltrates the multinational investigation team under the name, "Si-eun."

The team sets up a base camp in Yongsan Park and investigates the city but the sights of the ruins of Yongsan Park, collapsed Han River bridges and abandoned cars on the roads strike Mia with horror.

While exploring the city, one of the team members, Adrian, disappears, and they discover a recently built sandcastle, sparking fear that someone else might be present and leading Mia's team into great confusion.

The climate disasters depicted in this book prompt readers to reflect on the urgent issue of the climate crisis. Global heatwaves, extreme cold, droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires are no longer distant future events. The blockbuster adventure novel won the Young Adult Literature Award organized by the publisher and Kakao Page.