Love and Faith in Outer Space: Divine Orbit, Vols. 1 & 2 by Bae Myung-hoon
- onOctober 23, 2014
- Vol.14 Winter 2011
- byBok Dohoon
- Divine Orbit, Vols. 1 & 2
Science fiction has not been acknowledged as true literature in Korea, as realism has held a strong foothold. But Korean literature in recent times has discovered a new kind of reality since it began exploring fantasy and the realm of the future. The novelist Bae Myung-hoon has proved that science fiction in Korea can be a literary success through works such as Tower (2009), a serialized novel, and Goodbye, Artificial Being (2010), an anthology of short stories. Bae’s literary strengths are his logical narrative and description, original ideas and epistemological presuppositions, clearly distinctive characters, and the exploration of ethical human relationships.
Bae’s first science fiction novel, Divine Orbit, starts out with a typical hypothesis found in sci-fi: What if God existed as a physical entity somewhere in the galaxy? With that supposition, the story extends its imaginative reach outward to the universe. Eun-gyeong, whose dream was to become an astronaut, wakes up on the planet Narnie 15 years after she was frozen on account of committing a crime for aiding and abetting a terrorist, Baclava. She finds out that her father is the one who froze her and that Narnie, an artificial planet, belongs to her rich father who is the owner of many satellites. While she is trying to escape Narnie, Eun-gyeong encounters the monk “Namul,” who resembles Baclava. From then on, the two drif t and get involved in all kinds of adventures. Despite its remarkable scale that confronts the existence of the divine, the fall of humanity, and trekking between the planets, the novel sincerely delves into the fundamental issues of humankind, such as love and faith. Divine Orbit will surely become one of the milestones of science fiction in Korean literature.
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.