This is a science fiction anthology based on oral tales from Asia written by famous SF writers from Korea, China, and Japan, including author Ken Liu.
- Book Intro
Orally passed down folktales from the mysterious island of Jeju, known as the "hometown of the gods" and rich with over 18,000 oral tales, as well as from China and Japan, are woven together in this spectacular SF anthology. Globally renowned Chinese American SF author Ken Liu has provided a contemporary twist to the tale "Seventh Day of the Seventh Month." The story is a surprisingly imaginative retelling of a pair of teenaged lovers who are forced to say goodbye one midsummer night in a small town in contemporary China. Seven Korean SF authors draw from various inspirations including Jeju folktales, while Wang Kanyu (China) and Taiyo Fujii (Japan) found inspiration in the Chinese Spring Festival monster and an oral tale handed down from 17th century Amami Island in Japan. These stories that have endured the test of thousands of years continue to evolve, and now, nudged on by the authors' imaginations, take place in the future somewhere far away, in a galaxy far from here, in a time unknown.
"Giant Girl" begins with an incident concerning five missing high school students who resurface near the shores of a beach on Jeju Island, covered in a transparent tarp. The children, who have returned after five days, were all girls who attended the same high school in Jeju. During class, they were suddenly surrounded by a blinding white light and disappeared. When they returned, they only had bare fragments of their memories about a vague, mysterious creature. After their rescue, the girls are taken to a research lab and subjected to questioning, when suddenly, something surprising occurs. Their bodies start growing bigger and bigger. The girls learn they have become impregnated by an alien being. Immediately, they are seen not as victims to be protected but as potentially dangerous witnesses who must be confined and controlled. When the girls learn they can no longer live among humans, they head out in search of the legendary island known as Iodo.
"The End of the River Where the Sea Flows" is based on an oral folktale. It concerns a young boy living on Amami Island, which was conquered by Japan's Satsuma Kingdom in 1609. The boy heads out to sea to withstand the forces of the kingdom's battleships. Late at night, a mysterious monk appears to him out of the darkness. The boy, thinking of him as an enemy, prepares for an attack. Who is this mysterious monk? In an era of animism and shamanism, the boy behaves like a skilled scientist as he quietly and expertly heads to sea on his boat, armed with his knowledge and sense of the fishes, sea, and aquatic plants.
- About the Author
Ken Liu: American SF author. He has won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the World Fantasy Award for his 2011 short story "Paper Menagerie," establishing him as a solidly renowned SF and fantasy author. Liu has worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and after graduating from Harvard Law School, juggled a career as a legal consultant and author.
Regina Kanyu Wang