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FICTION

Revisiting Dystopia: Jezebel by Djuna

  • onOctober 26, 2014
  • Vol.17 Autumn 2012
  • byKim Dongshik
Jezebel
2012
351pp.

“I chose ‘Djuna’ as my alias because I happened to be reading a book by Djuna Barnes at the time,” said Djuna, a science fiction writer and a film critic. She started publishing sci-fi short fiction and film reviews on the Internet in 1993 and steadily rose to prominence.

Djuna has not disclosed even her most basic personal information such as sex, age, or educational background, but there are theories—from speculation that Djuna is a woman to claims that Djuna is a creative group that consists of three individuals. While the sci-fi genre on the whole doesn’t have a loyal fan base in Korea, Djuna does.

Jezebel is a fix-up (series of short stories all based on the same worldview but can each stand on its own) sci-fi novel. The story takes place in the future on Crusoe, a planet formed by the linker virus. A virus that modified the host’s genetic structure and merges the host with its environment, the linker virus alters the values and reasoning processes of its hosts. The narrator notes, “Many species live together on Crusoe, but because the linker virus is always disrupting the gene pool, children are hardly ever born.”

How do people cope in an environment where escape, evolution, and reproduction are not easy? In the writer’s afterword, Djuna explains that she had intended to imagine a world based on outdated scientific theories such as the geocentric universe and inheritance of acquired characteristics, and employ motifs of the “unsuspecting protagonist thrust into a space adventure.”

Gripping new episodes and the typical Djuna social commentary can be expected in the future. Djuna is geared up for the future. Let the wild ride begin. 

Author's Profile

Djuna is a film critic and science fiction writer. Since 1994, she has been active as an anonymous online writer, although none of her personal information such as her real name, gender, age, education, and other miscellaneous information is available. Her short story collections are Battle of the Butterflies and The Pacific Continental Express; and other published works of hers are the novel Jezebel and a collection of film reviews, Rambling in Front of the Screen.