Confession from Afar: The Proposal by Bae Myung-hoon

  • onOctober 27, 2014
  • Vol.22 Winter 2013
  • byChoi Sungmin
The Proposal

A love letter arrives from afar. The letter ends with “I will be your star from across the universe.” This sentence will allow readers to imagine letters filled with romantic, beautiful metaphors. But here, the author is not speaking metaphorically when he mentions the “universe” and “star.” The Proposal by Bae Myung-hoon takes the form of a sci-fi romance novel.

In space, distance is represented by time. The protagonist, an operations officer of the United Earth Surface, is battling an unknown opponent. His girlfriend is still living on planet Earth, separated from him by 170 hours. He travels 170 hours to pay his girlfriend a short visit. His happiest memory is the moment when he says “I miss you” and it takes less than one second to hear her say, “Me too.”

It is miraculous for two people to exist in the same space and time, and to feel the same way about each other. In this age, we can exchange our thoughts and emotions at any time with anyone. But are we sharing how we truly feel? Why is this not possible even when we are not eons apart and free from the threat of war?

The Proposal is filled with complex astronomical theories and military knowledge. But the author shines most in his reflections on authentic love and communication. 

Author's Profile

Bae Myung-hoon (b.1978) began his literary career with the Daehak Literary Award in 2004 and the Science Technology Creative Writing Award in 2005 for his short story “Smart D.” His short story collections include Tower and Hello, The Artificial Being! His novels are Define Orbit, Decoy, Sir Chancellor, and The Proposal.