The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] Chang Kang-myoung explores science, technology, society in SF collection

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Aug. 19, 2023 - 09:01

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"The World You Want to See" by Chang Kang-myoung (Munhakdongne Publishing)

"The World You Want to See"

By Chang Kang-myoung

Munhakdongne Publishing

The journalist-turned-writer Chang Kang-myoung, known for addressing pressing social issues in works like "The Bleached” and "Because I Don’t Like Korea," ventures into the realm of science fiction with his latest, "The World You Want to See."

The compilation consists of seven SF short stories, three of them new. While he has established his reputation as a realist author, Chang has been engaged in the science fiction genre since the 1990s.

With "The World You Want to See," Chang once again shows his prowess in crafting narratives, particularly in STS SF, a term that Chang uses in describing his collection.

STS (science, technology and society) is an interdisciplinary field that offers a lens to explore the intricate interplay between scientific advancements and society. In the author's note, Chang writes, "Science and technology are now causing existential crises in many areas, and I believe that literature must and can respond to these challenges."

The award-winning title story unfolds in the near future, revolving around an augmented reality technology known as the “opter.” The device allows users to customize and manipulate their visual surroundings, leading to a scenario where a cruise ship becomes a haven for opter addicts seeking refuge from reality.

Among the collection is a black comedy delving into the moral complexities arising from advances in biotechnology that sever the connection between the head and the body, as well as an alternate history tale featuring the infamous Nazi criminal Eichmann, where Chang probes the ethical quandaries posed by a machine capable of injecting the memories of others into individuals.