The Kaleidoscope Death Research Institute is the ninth book published by Changbi Novel Q and it is about solidarity among women and dying with dignity, an ongoing issue that triggers heated discussions
- Book Intro
"It is a new novel by Bak Mun-yeung, the winner of the 2015 Science Fiction Literary Award in the category of the novella and short stories, as well the 2019 winner of the SF Award in Fiction. The book starts off with its tension-filled first page, instantly captivating the reader’s attention. In a world of the future where euthanasia is legalized, The Kaleidoscope Death Research Institute, established as an umbrella organization, provides a kind of “design your own circumstance of death” service where a person can die in the place and time of one’s choice. But an unexpected accident happens and a schism arises. Bae Ji-ho, a volunteer, has a seizure during his experience of death, thereby disproving the claim of the Institute that the side effect wasn’t anything serious. While comatose, he is transferred to a hospital but even after gaining consciousness, he is unable to overcome his state of panic. The plot mounts as Cheon Mi-jo, a staff member, insists on investigating the case and clashes with Myeong, the Director, who wants to cover it up.
In effect, the Bae Ji-ho accident was predictable. Cheon Mi-jo, who wanted to reveal the errors, had been injecting him with a concentrated dose of negative memories. She had known about how he had kidnapped and imprisoned a child in the past and viewed it as his happiest memory, and consequently, he wanted to die in that place; therefore, she intentionally induced him to a state of panic. The government site investigator finds out Bae Ji-ho never returned to his normal state after the seizure, and upon a complete investigation of the institute, the place is turned topsy-turvy. When the Institute is on the brink of shutting down, Jang Esther, their youngest volunteer who had been disliked by most of the volunteers, is singled out as the suspect. The plot reaches its climax when Heo I-gyeong, who was close to Esther, gives false testimony that she was the one who interfered with Bae Ji-ho’s experience of death—and for penance, she declares she will accept death without the experience of preferred death but through an injection.
- About the Author
(English) Park Moon-Young is a novelist, cartoonist, and illustrator. She is interested in those who are on the periphery, bizarre and seemingly impotent but who actually are not. She published her very first novel with her submission to the 1st Cubic Note Short Fiction Competition. She is the author of The Land of Praying Mantis, The Women of Earth, The Kaleidoscope Death Lab, and Three Nights. She is the co-author of You Think You’re Immortal. We’ve Decided to Part from This Star, and The Papillon by You. She won the 2nd Korea SF Award in the category of short fiction and novella with “The Land of Praying Mantis, and the 6th Korean SF Award in full-length novel with The Women of Earth. She is an active member of the group, “sfxf” whose project is to study science fiction and feminism.
Kim Bo-yeung, the novelist, 2020 If we can live at the moment of our greatest happiness, why can’t we live in that very moment? Isn’t this ultimately the point people who are obsessed with death arrive at after finishing their exploration of death? This is also the reason why we sometimes need to look at death in the face. A person who devises his or her own timing of death is perhaps someone who wishes for every moment of her life to shine brilliantly.