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Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities  One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories. In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities  One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories. In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair. In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?


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Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities  One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories. In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities  One of South Korea’s most treasured writers explores the driving forces of humanity—love, hope, creation, destruction, and the very meaning of existence—in two pairs of thematically interconnected stories. In “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” an engaged couple coordinate their separate missions to distant corners of the galaxy to ensure—through relativity—they can arrive back on Earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle. But small incidents wreak havoc on space and time, driving their wedding date further away. As centuries on Earth pass and the land and climate change, one thing is constant: the desire of the lovers to be together. In two separate yet linked stories, Kim Bo-Young cleverly demonstrate the idea love that is timeless and hope springs eternal, despite seemingly insurmountable challenges and the deepest despair. In “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike beings for which everything on Earth—from the richest woman to a speck of dirt—is an extension of their will. When one of the creations questions the righteousness of this arrangement, it is deemed a perversion—a disease—that must be excised and cured. Yet the Prophet Naban, whose “child” is rebelling, isn’t sure the rebellion is bad. What if that which is considered criminal is instead the natural order—and those who condemn it corrupt? Exploring the dichotomy between the philosophical and the corporeal, Kim ponders the fate of free-will, as she considers the most basic of questions: who am I?

30 review for I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    The first story was very good. The second was complicated but worth it. The third was perfect. I read this during the seventh month of quarantine in this, the year of the plague, and one line in the author's notes stuck with me: "What a comforting thought that we are on the same gigantic spaceship, sailing along the orbit of waiting." It feels like that's the whole world right now and that was exactly what I needed to read. The first story was very good. The second was complicated but worth it. The third was perfect. I read this during the seventh month of quarantine in this, the year of the plague, and one line in the author's notes stuck with me: "What a comforting thought that we are on the same gigantic spaceship, sailing along the orbit of waiting." It feels like that's the whole world right now and that was exactly what I needed to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    This is a tricky book to review... I keep coming back to “SO CUTE”....”SO ENDEARING”! Please forgive me ahead of time while I attempt to share about this book: It will be released April 2021. I have HarperCollins to thank for sending me a physical copy. I MEAN TRULY THANK! I enjoyed it LOTS.... Very happy I read the PHYSICAL BOOK. I would have missed a few gems - had I read it in other formats. This book almost looks like there’s four stories.... but really they are in TWO pairs of interconnected This is a tricky book to review... I keep coming back to “SO CUTE”....”SO ENDEARING”! Please forgive me ahead of time while I attempt to share about this book: It will be released April 2021. I have HarperCollins to thank for sending me a physical copy. I MEAN TRULY THANK! I enjoyed it LOTS.... Very happy I read the PHYSICAL BOOK. I would have missed a few gems - had I read it in other formats. This book almost looks like there’s four stories.... but really they are in TWO pairs of interconnected stories. Themes cover Love, hope, creation, distraction, and the very meaning of existence....”who am I?” Let’s start with the FIRST STORY...”I’m Waiting For You”.... ....It’s about 60 pages long - ....a couple in love, engaged to marry, are separated by distant corners of the galaxy. (if it sounds too ‘science fiction’....it isn’t!!!!)... It’s ADORABLE..... .... The plan is for the couple to arrive on earth simultaneously to make it down the aisle: “Yes, I do, I do”.... hold this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish till death do us part”. ....It takes fifteen of HIS LETTERS to HER...(absolutely charming letters).....before he saw her footprints and faded old squares of paper floating down the rustle.... Papers saying: “I’m right here”.... “I’m Waiting”. If readers don’t fall madly in love with our Galaxy couple - something is wrong with them!!! The SECOND STORY....”The Prophet of Corruption”.. ‘First me’ begins speaking first: “It was a warm dazzling day. A wheat filled stretched on beneath a white sky, the gold of the dry stalks so rich that it could tickle down like honey. Not one person wasn’t sight, not a single creature stirred in the endless expense. There were no buildings, mountains, or hills, not even rivers or streams. Nothing but the field lay between me and the distant horizon”. This story kinda takes us on a spiritual inquiry ... “—Teacher, I am losing because you’ve made me poor”. “I can’t fight the powerful if I am powerless”. “If you were not poor, you would not think to fight them in the first place”. “—I can achieve anything with power. When will you stop letting those materialists run the world? I can reincarnate thousands of times in this state and everything would end up the same. We can’t change the world like this!” ‘Old me’....speaks next... “As I divided into tens of thousands of entities Andy send it to Earth at every point in time, I thought: “There it’s no death. We neither disappear nor parish. We simply change. This self never ceases to exist. Only our interpretation I have it changes. So, there is no murder, and no sin”. ‘Second me’, and ‘Third me’, take their turns speaking in this story. “The Prophet who was entranced by the world of the living, the corrupted human who believed the false sensations relayed by their survival program to be pure truth” “I am blessed with his corruption, so take me wherever you wish. I will learn something from that too”. The THIRD STORY....”That One Life”... “humanity is viewed through the eyes of its creators: godlike like beings for which everything on Earth— from the richest woman to the speck of dirt—is an extension of their will”. The FORTH STORY...”On My Way to You”... ....we return to fifteen more letters from HER ( whereas I was in the first story the letters were from HIM).... ..... I am waiting for you ..... come to the park. I’ll be there waiting. ..... I’m waiting for you .....I’m waiting for you. Even if you’re already nowhere to be found . . . ....I love you ....I wait for you. The author’s notes helps explain the context and inspiration from which this book was written. It’s totally wonderful to read about ‘how’ and ‘why’ her science-fiction proposal story came about. Kim Bo-Young shares about the writing development of each of these stories which I found fascinating. Such a creative talent - she writes speculative fiction.....with genuine human feelings. Kim Bo-Young is from South Korea and has won several awards for her novels and novellas.

  3. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I'm Waiting For You and other stories, is a translated collection of four science fiction short stories that explore what it means to be human. The collection has a bookend feel with I'm Waiting For You and On My Way, two connected stories that have main characters tethered by love but separated by space and time. The middle two stories, The Prophet of Corrupti I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I'm Waiting For You and other stories, is a translated collection of four science fiction short stories that explore what it means to be human. The collection has a bookend feel with I'm Waiting For You and On My Way, two connected stories that have main characters tethered by love but separated by space and time. The middle two stories, The Prophet of Corruption and That One Life, blend Korean mythology, science, and science fiction. The latter half of the book gives us author, translator, and original reader's notes and a glossary. I would suggest reading the glossary before The Prophet of Corruption to familiarize yourself with the terms used in the story to get a stronger foothold in the world. However, I think the author and original reader's notes should be read after all the stories are read because of the different impact they will have and how it will make you want to go back and read two of the stories again. I'm Waiting For You Someone once said that space and time are actually the same thing. The first story and my favorite, introduces us to a man traveling in the universe to get back to earth for his wedding. It's told in loose letter form, he's sending letters to his fiancée and the reader gets the essence and sometimes wording of those letters but also observations of what is happening to him. The short story gives us 15 letters but also centuries as mistakes, mishaps, and a mixture of good and bad luck keep the groom from, sometimes when and sometimes where, he needs to be. You'll feel his loneliness, frustration, and will as you'll question along with him what it means to survive. The Prophet of Corruption and That One Life “You'll know you're corrupt the moment you want to put clothes on.” The middle two are the longest and shortest of the collection and probably the two that would give book clubs the most and varied discussions. The blend of mythology with theoretical framework like superstring theory, had this at times confusing and profound to me. As the reader follows along with the character of Naban, they'll question the 'corruption of man' and creation to be human. They who were oblivious to the greatness of survival and scorned life's battles, who failed to see the sacredness of one person's individuality. On My Way To You They say that we're taking up food and clothing that should rightfully be theirs to enjoy. They even say that we'll endanger the lives of the women and children. A funny thing to say, really. Half of us are women and children, too. While we started with the groom, this last story gives us the bride and her journey through her letters. She goes through the same give and take of good and bad luck. Having read the groom's story, this one has moments that hit even deeper as you'll see missed opportunities and how close and far away they were from each other. Told through a science fiction lens, this collection was at turns bleak, hopeful, and questioning. The first story will have you thinking that hell is solitude, the middle two will have you thinking that hell is only our own creation, and the last will have you thinking hell is other people. The hopefulness comes from the author's ability to shine through the emotions of love and will. Don't skip the author and original reader's notes as they added an impactful layer to the first and second stories and like I said, will have you going back and reading them again. This is a collection that will have you debating and questioning, lingering in your thoughts, and revisiting, not to be missed even for the casual science fiction reader.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    “People said this was the end of the world. I disagreed. It was simply the end of the human race. People said the gods had abandoned the world. I disagreed. Divine attention had simply shifted from us to other creatures.” – ‘N+1’ Oh, fuck my heart. My first impression of the book was that it felt like a ‘literary burger’ – where the ‘love story’ sandwiches the ‘patty’ (arguably ‘trippy’) middle like two halves of a bun. Most reviewers preferred the ‘bun’, but the weird middle ‘patty’ was that “People said this was the end of the world. I disagreed. It was simply the end of the human race. People said the gods had abandoned the world. I disagreed. Divine attention had simply shifted from us to other creatures.” – ‘N+1’ Oh, fuck my heart. My first impression of the book was that it felt like a ‘literary burger’ – where the ‘love story’ sandwiches the ‘patty’ (arguably ‘trippy’) middle like two halves of a bun. Most reviewers preferred the ‘bun’, but the weird middle ‘patty’ was that that cannonball-ed this review to a 5-star rating for me. It gets so mad glorious in the middle – and completely fucking explodes into tiny particles of human affection and ‘love’ at the very end. If I wasn't so emotionally dysfunctional, I’d be bawling my eyes out – but go on and imagine me having a hardcore cry-sesh anyway. The author’s notes at the end of the book reveal a backstory of the ‘bun’ – it was actually tenderly composed for a real-life marriage proposal (friends of the author). And that blew my mind to bits. Shiny pastel purple brain goop – everywhere. “Writing this second story, I was in a very different situation from when I wrote the first. The first time around, I’d written thinking that it would be for just two readers, with no hopes of publication. But even still, I kept writing thinking of the couple. This time around I was able to ask the bride to give me a song to be the background music, and she chose “Going Home,” sung by Kim Yoon-ah. Just like I listened to Yoo Young-suk’s “Just Pure Love” while I was writing the first story, I listened to “Going Home” over and over while writing this one. It might be nice to listen to it as you read this too. “On My Way to You” and “I’m Waiting for You” also form the story of the parents of the main character in “People Journeying to the Future.” Of course, the works aren’t tightly connected, so it’s fine to enjoy them independently. I just bring up “People Journeying to the Future” to mention that, in a very sweet gesture, the couple chose to name their daughter Seongha, after its main character.” – Author’s Notes I would recommend reading all the notes at end of the book before actually reading the actual story of the book. Even if you don’t want to read the book, get your hands on a copy of it, read the notes, and then pass it on. The letters/emails exchanged between the translators are so worth-reading, and so wholesome it made my heart scream and trash about for a minute or two (yes, emotionally dysfunctional). To be clear about this – the best parts of the book for me are the legendary character ‘Tanjae’ (appearing only in the ‘patty’ section of the book), and the beautiful connection between translators. At first, I thought perhaps I prefer Bowman’s translations, but the collaborative work between the two translators were so wonderful – so seamlessly complementary that I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate Bowman’s work without Sung Ryu’s contribution to the whole thing. I appreciate a good translation a whole lot; I think it affects the whole experience of reading tremendously. “Have you seen the “translations are sacred” meme on Twitter? The photo of K’s tattoo in “Okja.” I’m not sure about sacred, but this translation of ours sure was fateful. Thinking about it now, it brought us to new highs and new lows. You won your first Daesan translation award for “The Prophet of Corruption,” I got to take part in English PEN Presents project with “I’m Waiting for You,” and the stories broke us in different ways. I will always remember snivelling away whilst translating the ending scenes of the two novellas I worked on, listening to the super emotional “Lie Lie Lie” by Lee Juck and “Going Home” by Kim Yoon-ah on repeat, and how my heart sank when I heard what you’d been dealing with. It feels like a real privilege that you let me help with what I could.” – Sophie Bowman’s letter/email to Sung Ryu I wish I had read all the notes before reading the story; it would have made the most ideal reading experience in my opinion. Kim even included her friends’ thoughts with regards to the ‘real’ proposal (before and after), which I thought was rather lovely. I may be stereotyping this, but it was very ‘Korean’ and diabetically-sweet – Han River and all – you have to read it – I won’t spoil it, but it’s better than a K-Drama (not like I watch much of that). “Our surroundings chilled as I spoke. Corruption was devouring the universe. So what? The wall pitied me. The entire battleship sneered. Tanjae shook their head. “Nothing disappears. To believe you can disappear is in itself a corruption.” It was as if lightning struck somewhere in my heart. Tanjae went on, “There is no sin, and no sinner. There’s only learning. No entity should have to disappear. The only wrong in the universe is in destroying balance. Ignoring the law of conservation of mass. Forgetting that the universe has a constant total mass and trying to erase a part of it.” I stared at Tanjae, stunned. I knew the child was blurting out my teachings without understanding them, afraid that I would disappear.” – ‘The Old Me’ I found the ‘patty’ section mad impressive, especially knowing that it had to be translated. It didn’t feel like a translated work. The writing was brilliant; the translation was brilliant; and nothing felt out of place. The characterisation was beautifully complicated. It’s basically a collective of characters that are not too different from one another (esp. in terms of physical attributes); they have the ability to shape-shift and ‘merge’; and are all addressed with ‘non-gendered pronouns’. I’m not fluent enough in Korean to make a proper comparison to the original text; I can only order Jajjangmyeon with an accent, and watch Baek Jong Won’s cooking shows without subtitles. I’d be interested to know what readers who are fluent in both languages think about it, because personally – I didn’t feel like anything was lost in translation. And I’ve had those frustrated experiences with other books, such as Kim Ji-Young, Born in 1982. I think the translation work peaked (for me) when the fiancée in the second half of the ‘bun’ shouted ‘HONEY’ when she was writing a letter to her fiancé. In my head, I could literally hear her shouting ‘yeobo’/여보; I truly hope that it wasn’t ‘oppa’. Someone who’s read the original/Korean text, please tell me it wasn’t ‘oppa’. “I DREAMED OF YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AGES. It was so vivid I was sure it was real. You were trapped in a cramped, dark room. “I never left you,” I said, feeling regret. “I was with you all along. I’ve been with you all the time.” “Well, where are you, then?” you demanded, shaking your head. “You’re not here. If you were, you would’ve come to meet me.” And then I opened my eyes.” – ‘On My Way To You’ The excerpt above is from the second half of the ‘bun’ – the fiancée’s perspective/side of the story. Unlike her fiancé who deals with his own problems (usually tied to his own loneliness), her challenges come from dealing with the people that she’s stuck with. As she endures her own pains, she holds onto her most precious possession – her tiny e-book reader – which surprisingly helped her to start a ‘rebellion’ (other than providing her with bookish, ‘robotic’ company). Although some of the ‘bun’ bits made me cringe, there are a lot more to appreciate. The couple’s separation/distance/disconnection reminds me of a quote from Margaret Atwood’s book, The Blind Assassin – “She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.” And the book as a whole reminds me of Patti Smith’s album, ‘Dream of Life’ (1988), but of course if I had read the Author’s Notes first, I would have known that I should have been listening to Yoo Young-Suk and Kim Yoon-Ah! This is an extremely well-written book that I had wanted to love. And then ended up truly loving very much; and it's got nothing to do with how I find the fiancée’s very well-stocked e-book reader very relatable, or how much Bong Joon-Ho loves this book. Please be patient with the ‘patty’ section of the book as one may find it a little harder to digest compared to the ‘bun’, but personally it’s my favourite chunk. “I’m struggling to put it into words, but there’s something in all of these stories that speaks to how small we are, how things can be awful, be gone, or everything completely transformed, but that somehow little things can still matter. I have no idea what havoc the coming weeks will bring, but I’m glad that we joined paths on this voyage, and that we get to carry on travelling forward in time at the same speed, on the same gigantic spaceship.” – Sophie Bowman’s letter/email to Sung Ryu (w/ ref. to COVID19)

  5. 4 out of 5

    talia ♡

    rating and review to come!! ---------- happy days are upon us because i just received an ARC of this in the mail!!! thank you so much to the author, Kim Bo-Young, and Harper Collins publishing. i am SO excited for this collection!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a collection of 4 stories which manage to connect to each other in interesting ways. The writing style is fun to read and the stories have interesting plot lines. I had no expectations going in to this book and enjoyed reading through the different short stories. Know that this is a collection of shorter stories makes getting through them more digestible.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sydney S

    Wow. Thank you Harper Voyager for this ARC! This is the best collection of short stories I’ve read in years. The first and last stories were definitely my favorite and I can see myself reading them again when the book the is published. Together they form a very long story, complementing each other, much like the middle two stories. I almost wish they’d been grouped together though. I was so desperate for more after reading the first one, and if I’d known there was more in the last story, I proba Wow. Thank you Harper Voyager for this ARC! This is the best collection of short stories I’ve read in years. The first and last stories were definitely my favorite and I can see myself reading them again when the book the is published. Together they form a very long story, complementing each other, much like the middle two stories. I almost wish they’d been grouped together though. I was so desperate for more after reading the first one, and if I’d known there was more in the last story, I probably would’ve skipped ahead to it. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know though, because I loved ending my reading experience with “On My Way to You” and finishing with satisfaction. These two stories would be considered love stories, but in the strangest, scariest way. I was so anxious while reading them and felt so much for our characters. I just loved them so much. The second and third stories were more difficult. I enjoyed them immensely (although not as much as the other two), but they took me a long time to read. It felt like I was reading a novella for how long I spent on “The Prophet of Corruption.” It’s just a complex story that requires your full attention. There’s also a horror element to these two connected stories, but I’d consider it more akin to existential since the feeling was similar. It’s an uncomfortable feeling that I enjoy while reading weird books. You don’t have to have a particular spiritual/religious sensibility to get something out of it, thankfully. I’d say it appeals to my pantheistic agnostic senses, but anyone could find something important in the pages. I love the author’s notes at the end, and the translator’s notes. Really, all the extra stuff after the stories is worth reading. I’m glad I didn’t know about it until after I finished reading though. It gave me a little more to be excited about, and made the stories more powerful. I read this collection at the right time. Being in a difficult place, I wasn’t sure if it would upset me, so I almost put off reading it. I’m glad I didn’t though. I definitely felt emotional, but I needed this in my life. I love the characters in these 4 stories, love their stories, love the worldbuilding. There’s hope and love alongside the more anxious/unsettling elements. I have this book on my list to buy when the physical copy comes out because I just have to have it on my shelf. I’m going to recommend it to a lot of people and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Epickkasten

    I really enjoyed the first and last stories in this book, which complement each other. The second story was a lot more complicated and a little bit hard to digest, but the author's notes at the end of the book gives a lot of the missing context. I also appreciate the letters exchanged between the translators, because sometimes readers don't realize how much efforts it takes to translate stories. I really enjoyed the first and last stories in this book, which complement each other. The second story was a lot more complicated and a little bit hard to digest, but the author's notes at the end of the book gives a lot of the missing context. I also appreciate the letters exchanged between the translators, because sometimes readers don't realize how much efforts it takes to translate stories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Tas

    Read this review and other Science Fiction/Fantasy book reviews at The Quill to Live As I dive deeper and deeper into science fiction as a genre, I’ve felt a much more intense need to read short stories. Much like the novella, there is so much more room to be sharper, snappier, and fulfill a theme in novel ways. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to review short stories. Collections help sometimes, allowing you to dig into the ones you particularly enjoyed, but I always feel weird about leaving out so Read this review and other Science Fiction/Fantasy book reviews at The Quill to Live As I dive deeper and deeper into science fiction as a genre, I’ve felt a much more intense need to read short stories. Much like the novella, there is so much more room to be sharper, snappier, and fulfill a theme in novel ways. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to review short stories. Collections help sometimes, allowing you to dig into the ones you particularly enjoyed, but I always feel weird about leaving out some of the ones I liked, but didn’t hit as hard. Luckily, Kim Bo-young’s collection I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories is not a large compilation, but a small grouping of four stories. Better yet, the stories are paired off, making the sinews of the book much stronger and more interesting than most collections. It helps that it is wonderfully translated by Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu. The stories that really stood out to me were the first and fourth, which are interconnected in a big way. They tell the tale of two nameless people whose love is literally star-crossed. In I’m Waiting For You, the groom embarks on a short two month trip as he awaits his fiancée. Unfortunately, she is in another star system, and he takes a relativistic trip so that he will arrive on Earth the same time his bride will, in four years time. The story is told through a series of letters he sends her about the trip, and the troubles he runs into. Time goes awry, and he continues to write his letters and broadcast them to space as years, decades, and even millenia pass by. Its companion story, On My Way is from the bride’s perspective as she encounters her own problems getting to Earth, causing her groom to continually update his plans until they lose touch. For me, these two stories are the selling point of the book. Time dilation and relativity are such interesting subjects, and rarely are they used to such a grand effect. Kim does an excellent job of playing with the trope, and making it such an incredibly personal tale. Each letter feels heavier, as if they are continuously harder to write. Kim’s portrayal of the groom’s story is powerful, with a sharp focus on his increasing isolation and detachment from time. The only thing he really is holding on to is the insane hope that he may meet his bride, no matter how improbable it is. On the other hand, the bride’s story is less grim, focusing instead on how she tries to build a life while making her way to him. Unfortunately, she realizes she can’t commit to a world she has no stake in, opting to leave the group she’s been with in order to find her groom. They are both incredible stories that fit nicely together, with an incredible amount of depth between them. Just writing about them makes me want to pick it up and reread them. The other two stories are a little different and definitely harder to explain. The Prophet of Corruption and That One Life take place outside of human existence. Instead, they are told from the perspective of godlike creatures who have total control over the lives of people on Earth. These Gods are also spawn of each other, split off like cells as new ideas are formed by their “prophets.” Wayward “children” are consumed and reappropriated to the whole, while larger accumulations hold more sway of what is deemed correct and what is corrupt. Where I’m Waiting for You is sweet, Corruption is intense. Kim dives deep in these two stories playing around with ideas of destruction, creation and free will, to say the least. They are drawn out discussions on the nature of corruption, who gets to decide what is right and wrong. Sometimes these discussions are then played out in thought experiments. Prophets send their pupils to live amongst humanity, within a human body in order to learn life’s lessons. Occasionally, they live a quiet painless life, but more often they are sent to inhabit grueling circumstances that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. It’s an interesting story, one I wish to reread to gain a fuller broader understanding of. Kim very cleverly builds a reality that is tough to conceptualize, but easy to relate to. She utilizes the short story format to its fullest extent here, exploring complex topics in a concentrated and tight narrative that solidifies her themes. It is definitely worth picking up alongside the others, but I recommend taking your time and really soaking in it. Rating: I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories 8.5/10 -Alex

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bagus

    Waiting is a part of the modern world. There’s been research recently that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time, and that’s more or less why we find comfort in spending time with eyes glued on the screens of our laptops, smartphones, e-readers, and yeah even our books. In public places where waiting is a part of the quotidian activities, such as patients waiting for their turns for the doctor appointment or passengers waiting for a flight’s delayed departure, waitings could cause anx Waiting is a part of the modern world. There’s been research recently that occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time, and that’s more or less why we find comfort in spending time with eyes glued on the screens of our laptops, smartphones, e-readers, and yeah even our books. In public places where waiting is a part of the quotidian activities, such as patients waiting for their turns for the doctor appointment or passengers waiting for a flight’s delayed departure, waitings could cause anxieties. Uncertain waits often feel longer than known, finite waits. And that’s the kind of waiting that Kim Bo-young brings to us in this volume, which contains four stories, with the two universes. “I’m Waiting For You” is the first story in this volume which captivates me to read further and dig the three other stories. The titular and “On My Way” form a world that could be read separately, but nicely complement each other, about a couple separated soon after their engagement on Earth with a plan to get married four months in the woman’s time and several years on the man’s end. Circumstances happened after the woman returned from Alfa Centauri on a short transit only meant to drop off her abusive family, which caused their original plans to thwart. Due to the theory of relativity and time differences in interstellar travel, they need to carefully plan out the time coordinates to meet at exactly the same moment on Earth. It’s in the letters that they exchanged while ‘waiting’ and ‘on the way’ that we could see how beautifully crafted science fiction could meet romance in these ambitious interstellar love stories. “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life” form a godlike universe, free from the reign of time and space. The prophet Naban observes as the world being made in the Dark Realm, while they keep reliving various forms of life in the Lower Realm as they became a stabbed archer, an animal, a plant, and see through their various forms. As the original being, Naban came into the state of corruption as a young god they created questions if controlling the human world is indeed the right thing and if indeed the people in Lower Realm have been existing independently from the invisible hands of beings in the Dark Realm. In some ways, these two stories are both abstract and mythical in retelling the origin of the world by mimicking the doctrine of ‘pandeism’ with the belief that a creator deity became the universe itself and ceased to exist to separate and conscious entities. Originally published in Korea as three separate books, the English translation of this volume was brought by two translators, Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu. The ideas in the four stories are far from simple and they explore novel themes such as interstellar travel and pandeism which intersect between abstract metaphysics, philosophy, and modern science fiction. The two translators crafted the stories to be enjoyed easily, with little need to dig deep into contexts. The most difficult one to catch up on at first was “The Prophet of Corruption” since the story is lengthy and abstract, but “That One Life” complements it and provides the much-needed context. I have yet to find an author who could write in a logical way, but still, be able to grab the emotional part really well. If you enjoy science fiction and romance, this is a book to go. Much of this volume contains abstract thoughts, so details are not essential to understand the whole storyline. Albeit written by a Korean author, this volume discusses something beyond national boundaries, about a dystopian future when lovers could be separated by a distance several speeds of light and a godlike creature doubts their place in the universe. Thanks to Harper Collins UK for providing the electronic advance reading copy through NetGalley.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Éimhear (A Little Haze)

    The blurb states “Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities” and it doesn’t disappoint. The book gives us four overall stories but stories 1 and 4 are connected to each other, as are stories 2 and 3. It opens with “I’m Waiting For You”... and wow did my heart fully engage with this story. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it is. How much honesty of emotion and feeling lies within the words of this story. It’s the tale of a love story through time. A man separated from his fiancé The blurb states “Two worlds, four stories, infinite possibilities” and it doesn’t disappoint. The book gives us four overall stories but stories 1 and 4 are connected to each other, as are stories 2 and 3. It opens with “I’m Waiting For You”... and wow did my heart fully engage with this story. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it is. How much honesty of emotion and feeling lies within the words of this story. It’s the tale of a love story through time. A man separated from his fiancée through space and time. He writes these beautiful letters to her. Letters he doesn’t know if she will receive. But no matter what he is waiting for her. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. The desperation, the isolation, the unending love... the atmosphere painted by the author was truly beautiful. It was the most perfect short story that I have ever read. The next story is significantly longer. It’s called “The Prophet of Corruption” and is divided into shorter sections. This story admittedly I struggled with at times. At times it felt like I wasn’t smart enough to understand what I was reading; the ideas the story was exploring were philosophical in nature which is something that doesn’t come naturally to me, but I persisted. And that persistence paid off. The characters inhabited this ethereal place. Some where other than here. Possibly an afterlife of some kind where these god like beings debated existence and enlightenment. They used the world of the living as their school-cum-playground to aid this end goal of pure enlightenment. At the end of the novel there is an author’s note and glossary that pertain to this story. Personally I would have loved these to be placed just before reading the story because I could have understood where the story was leading me a little bit more quickly and would have not experienced some of the confusion I felt during the earlier parts of this story. Story three is connected to story two. It’s called “That One Life”. I loved this. It was simple in its delivery but managed to evoke huge emotion and stirred much thought in me. To me it served as almost the perfect epilogue to story two. Story four wraps things up and is called “On My Way to You”. It is the story of the fiancée from “I’m Waiting For You”. Admittedly I was hesitant about reading this companion story because I loved “I’m Waiting For You” so very much... but it too was very beautiful and entirely engaging. Where the first story was about human isolation and surging through that, this one is all about surviving through persecution and therefore made for a perfect counterpoint. I had never read anything by Kim Bo-Young before now but I am so pleased that NetGalley introduced her work to me. This was a collection of incredible speculative fiction with big ideas that were carefully peeled down to their innermost core. Definitely an author to keep an eye on in the future. *An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review* Publishing 15th April 2021, Harper Voyager For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog Follow me on Twitter Friend me on Goodreads

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Ouwerkerk

    When a computer shows more humanity and sympathy than humans…. In these stories you’ll read what a talking wall and Artificial Intelligence have in common, and how AI and gods share some similarities. Because you can apparently convince mythical creatures and AI in the same way; just try blackmailing a computer into following your commands! Hopeful desperation I’m Waiting for You and the follow-up story On My Way to You show some impressive relationship goals and commitment. You can be together, e When a computer shows more humanity and sympathy than humans…. In these stories you’ll read what a talking wall and Artificial Intelligence have in common, and how AI and gods share some similarities. Because you can apparently convince mythical creatures and AI in the same way; just try blackmailing a computer into following your commands! Hopeful desperation I’m Waiting for You and the follow-up story On My Way to You show some impressive relationship goals and commitment. You can be together, even when you’re apart, as long as you live in the same time stream or in someone’s memory. Time and space are relative. If you fast-forward fifty years into the future, it may seem like you’ve traveled the world, even though you’ve stayed in the same place. Imagine emigrating to another time, rather than another place. This is the perfect solution if you think you were born in the wrong era or if you want to skip the line. But beware, it can be quite difficult to find each other in the same era. Knowing that the first story was originally used as a marriage proposal adds another layer to the story. These two stories are sad, funny, full of hope and desperate at the same time. The Prophets of Corruption is a wildly imaginative story about individualism and collectivism. Individuality is seen as a broken, incomplete state. When prophets come together they merge their experiences and viewpoints, adding to their identity. What defines their identity? Their size? And when they come together, what happens to their identity? The prophets see Earth as their school, their hall of learning and a cradle of experiences. Earth is a fully functioning world with its glitches, patches and targeted updates. As the prophets and their children experience more, they change. Naban’s transformation is especially interesting to follow. The follow-up story That One Life provides a different perspective. Origin and notes The fact that the four stories are in one book makes all of them stronger and more meaningful. At the end, you will find notes from the people for whom the stories were initially intended and more about the origin of the stories in the author’s notes. The translators (Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu) share some insight into how the translations of the genders came about and they do so in style! Fortunately, they still seem to be in the same time stream and may run into each other again in the future! Final thoughts I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories is an immersive, sci-fi short story collection that takes you to another time and place. The stories blend future technology and mythology, climate and humanity. I especially enjoyed reading about the identity questions and transformations in the second and third stories. It’s funny to read about – and sad to think about – how everyone plays god and sees the earth as a big sandbox. This applies not only to gods and computers, but also to humans. After reading all four stories and the notes, you continue to think about what you use as a playground for learning and experimentation. Both in a positive and negative way. Maybe your own life, or other people’s? Or a school you attend, a project at work, or a hobby? Many thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    This book consists of two pairs of stories by a South Korean author known for her speculative fiction. Both deal with a sort of time-is-relative theory, though in very different ways. The first and last stories are from the perspective of an engaged couple. One is traveling back from Alpha Centauri, so rather than wait the few years for her to return, the other decides to board a spaceship that’ll accelerate up to light speed – meaning that it’ll only be a few months for him. But even when things This book consists of two pairs of stories by a South Korean author known for her speculative fiction. Both deal with a sort of time-is-relative theory, though in very different ways. The first and last stories are from the perspective of an engaged couple. One is traveling back from Alpha Centauri, so rather than wait the few years for her to return, the other decides to board a spaceship that’ll accelerate up to light speed – meaning that it’ll only be a few months for him. But even when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to, he continues to hope that she’ll wait for him. The story is told through fifteen letters to his fiancé and is a powerhouse of emotion: hope, despair, resiliency. Despite the circumstances keeping them apart, he keeps doing his best to get back to her, eagerly waiting for and anticipating the day he’ll see her again, even while it feels like he’s the only human left in the universe. The middle set of stories were a little more opaque. Earth is a training ground created by a set of beings who divide themselves and send themselves there to learn. The stories are told from the point of view of Naban, a Teacher whose numerous experiences have led them towards asceticism. Their views, however, are in conflict with some of the other more popular Teachers, who instead prefer to spend their Earth lives accruing power and money. This story was harder to get in to and was more overtly philosophical in nature. The second of the stories in the set is a direct continuation of the first, but was more traditional in structure and much less abstract. I didn’t enjoy these as much as the other pair of stories, even though in some ways they’re exploring some of the same sort of ideas, and I’m probably going to blame that on pandemic brain. The last story is the bookend to the collection, a matching set of fifteen letters from the fiancée’s point of view. While much of what the first narrator has to overcome is his complete isolation from other people, for the woman, hell is other people. She goes through the same set of emotions as him, though, and perseveres through it all with the hope of seeing her fiancé again. I almost liked this one better than the first, as it was intriguing seeing the same events through her eyes, and I loved HUN the AI. There’s also a series of author’s notes and translators’ notes at the end that explain a little more in depth about the creation of these stories and how they were translated, and it was definitely especially helpful for understanding more about the middle set of stories. Overall, I’d give the collection as a whole around 3.5 stars, and I’ll definitely be looking for more work from this author in translation! I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leighellen Landskov

    Are you looking to read something a little different? To step outside your comfort zone and try something new? This book checked a LOT of those boxes for me, as it is speculative fiction, translated fiction, and a series of short stories. "going to a different time is the same as going to a different place" Thank you to @tlcbooktours and @harpervoyagerus for sending this beautiful book my way. I am so thankful for this thoughtful exploration of the powerful forces of nature - love, hope, creation Are you looking to read something a little different? To step outside your comfort zone and try something new? This book checked a LOT of those boxes for me, as it is speculative fiction, translated fiction, and a series of short stories. "going to a different time is the same as going to a different place" Thank you to @tlcbooktours and @harpervoyagerus for sending this beautiful book my way. I am so thankful for this thoughtful exploration of the powerful forces of nature - love, hope, creation, and existence - in these paired and themed stories. I also normally would not have picked this up on my own, so I'm so grateful when publishers send me unique books that encourage me to read something fresh. My two favorites were separate but connecting stories titled “I’m Waiting For You” and “On My Way”. These short stories follow a newly engaged couple as they set out on two separate galactic missions that take them to distant corners of the galaxy, dividing them through both space and time. Through a series of small space incidents/disasters that have huge implications back on earth, the couple ends up separated for centuries instead of a few short years, watching life crumble and evolve, and communicating only though old fashioned letters and sticky notes. Through it all they cling to love and the promise of reuniting. "we are not apart, we're living at the same time. Just like that spaceship called Earth, with galaxies flowing past, we ate and slept and grew older." The stories are told distinctly from each lovers perspective and we never actually see them together. As they struggle with loss and longing, they also push through with hope. This book is a stunning look at the way love is timeless and hope continues to be fostered even amongst insurmountable challenges and deep despair. I highly encourage you to give this one a try! To read more reviews, head over TO MY BLOG. Or see what I'm currently reading over on my INSTAGRAM PAGE. And now you can even follow my book chats on my BOOKTUBE CHANNEL! #tlcbooktours #mommaleighellensbooknook #ImWaitingForYou #translatedfiction #speculativefiction #koreanauthor #KimBoYoung #shortstories

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elena L.

    [4.5/5 stars] This is a mind-expanding collection of speculative fiction formed by two pairs of interconnected stories which Bo-young explores the driving forces of humanity - love, hope, relationship, creation, destruction, identity and the search for the meaning of existence. In "I'm waiting for you" and "On my way to you", it is a story about a groom and a bride who will get married after they are back from their space voyage. We get to see different perception of time and space (since the brid [4.5/5 stars] This is a mind-expanding collection of speculative fiction formed by two pairs of interconnected stories which Bo-young explores the driving forces of humanity - love, hope, relationship, creation, destruction, identity and the search for the meaning of existence. In "I'm waiting for you" and "On my way to you", it is a story about a groom and a bride who will get married after they are back from their space voyage. We get to see different perception of time and space (since the bride would have to wait 4 months and the groom, 4 and half years to see each other again) and some things happen like delay and stellar system travel. Both collections contain letters between the couple and reading them made me feel less attached to the material things and value person/sentiments. Ultimately, it left me sad and hopeful. In "The prophet of corruption" and "That one life", it is rather an elaborative worldbuilding where people forge bonds, merge (with people or inanimate things) and divide into different entities. While in the Dark Realm (world of the dead), it is debated teaching methods, there's a reincarnation training which students are sent to the world of living (Lower Realm) to go through tests in order to learn lessons. Dark Realm doesn't intervene with Lower Realm and both have different perspectives of the meaning of life. Bo-young paints meaningful observations on the existentialism, using complex concepts involving religion, prophets, realm, disciple, corruption and next life that brought me a philosophical and spiritual experience. I recognized some sci-fi/fantasy elements also shared in Chinese mythology while there were unexpected new concepts that fascinated me. If you are not used to reading very abstract ideas, you might find it a bit hard to digest. In short, I found this collection utterly refreshing, thought-provoking and I was overall very satisfied. I would highly recommend it to readers who love a well-written sci-fi or those wanting to read incredible unique stories. P.S.: make sure to read the author's note at the end [ I received a complimentary copy from the publisher - Harper Voyager - exchange for an honest review ]

  16. 5 out of 5

    Justin Jones

    I’m Waiting for you is a collection of short stories by Kim Bo Young. “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” the first and third stories, are two halves of a whole; a story and relationship divided. They both tell of a fiancee traveling across space and time to reunite with their love for their wedding. Complications arise and both must deal with separation, isolation, and different aspect of being an outsider. At its core, this is a classic romance, but Young brings a fresh perspective with bri I’m Waiting for you is a collection of short stories by Kim Bo Young. “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” the first and third stories, are two halves of a whole; a story and relationship divided. They both tell of a fiancee traveling across space and time to reunite with their love for their wedding. Complications arise and both must deal with separation, isolation, and different aspect of being an outsider. At its core, this is a classic romance, but Young brings a fresh perspective with brilliant prose and sci-fi elements focused on dystopian predictions of the future, scathing commentary of technological progress in abundance, and an unforgiving look at the worst and best of human nature. The middle stories follow the existential crises of an infinite being attempting to reconcile their own identity with the concept of the interconnectedness of all. “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life,” incorporate philosophy, religion, psychology in a fusing that reads like spiritual madness. It tackles ideas of individuality and identity all while presenting a view of the nature of life, death, and reality that feels deeply compelling. The philosophy and storytelling recall for me Richard Bach’s Johnathan Livingston Seagull or Illusions: The Adventure of a Reluctant Messiah. While the shifting identities and ideologies of the ever merging and dividing characters in the second story confuse and complicate the narrative this is one I look forward to reading for a second time, as I am sure there will be more to take away from it upon further reading. I’m Waiting For You is part true sci-fi and part supernatural philosophy (albeit there are still robots and spaceships). This collection of stories is fun to read and emotionally captivating. It feels new even as the author embraces tropes of both the sci-fi and romance genres. “I’m Waiting for You” and “On My Way,” are really the highlight of the collection. The other two stories are slower and at times overly complicated, but still a worthwhile read. Overall, I highly enjoyed this collection!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    South Korea is uncharted territory for me. I happily welcome author Kim Bo-Young to her first publication in the Western world. In South Korea, she's a renowned author, has her own wikipedia-entry there (I guess, you'll need to google-translate that).  This collection contains two pairs of linked stories which is a good teaser to get to know her work but by far not enough to understand this author: ★★+☆☆☆ • I'm Waiting for You and On My Way are two time travel novelettes in epistolary format. The South Korea is uncharted territory for me. I happily welcome author Kim Bo-Young to her first publication in the Western world. In South Korea, she's a renowned author, has her own wikipedia-entry there (I guess, you'll need to google-translate that).  This collection contains two pairs of linked stories which is a good teaser to get to know her work but by far not enough to understand this author: ★★+☆☆☆ • I'm Waiting for You and On My Way are two time travel novelettes in epistolary format. The bride has to travel in light speed from Alpha Centauri to Earth which takes years relatively for the waiting groom and a few months for the bride. He is the author of the first novelette, where he declares in letters to the bride that he'll go on a waiting travel to shorten the time. There are fifteen such letters in summary, each narrating yet another problem lengthening his journey. Which doesn't matter much, because his bride is hindered similarly, first by an emergency call which the ship has to follow, then ever more disgressions and plain dumb decisions. Both novelettes can be read independently of each other, but reading both brings forth the full drama. It's a story full of unfulfilled longing and romance - which I don't care for at all - with several unbelievable occurrences. A kind of time-travel story which you might love if you cared for This Is How You Lose the Time War (which I DNFed). ★★★★☆ • The Prophet of Corruption is a metaphysical novella with short story spinoff That One Life. The creators of the universe experiment a lot to find out what is possible. Earth is a kind of laboratory for them. One of them, Aman, is "corrupted", a disease contracted by those deeply immersed in life on Earth which lets them attach more importance to their "Lower Realm" lives and believe that the original Dark Realm is illusory. They think that they are individuums, something completely separate from the others, instead of being one with everyone else. Naban wants to cure Aman from corruptness by merging with him. An epic journey through several instantiations of herself follows, clarifying the gods' ways of thinking, their nature and understanding of the world. A truly innovative look from the completely foreign perspective of gods. Highly recommended for advanced readers of surreal, metaphysical stories.  The second pair of stories are worth the whole collection. I'd wished that the publication would have contained a broader view on the author's work. 

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    [This review is of the ARE version rather than hardback, contains no explicit spoilers, but mentions themes and feelings of characters] I was very, very excited to read this book. It was everything I thought it was going to be, and then even more. Kim Bo-young touches on a seemingly impossible number of themes and genres in less than 300 pages, and in a way that was never overwhelming and never boring. In the first story, I laughed at the very first misfortune our protagonist ran into just becau [This review is of the ARE version rather than hardback, contains no explicit spoilers, but mentions themes and feelings of characters] I was very, very excited to read this book. It was everything I thought it was going to be, and then even more. Kim Bo-young touches on a seemingly impossible number of themes and genres in less than 300 pages, and in a way that was never overwhelming and never boring. In the first story, I laughed at the very first misfortune our protagonist ran into just because it seemed like such a silly and survivable mishap. However I quickly sobered up and was completely captured by the pain that he experienced. He demonstrates the tenacity of the human spirit, but the fragility of the mind in the face of loneliness. The Prophet of Corruption was a bit difficult for me to start, as I have little background in Buddhism and exactly zero knowledge of Korea. I will say that there was never a better way to learn. The Prophet of Corruption and That One Life were the most elegant, poetic textbooks I could ever hope for, an exercise in imagination, and an exploration of all types of interrelationships between both living and nonliving things. Every time I thought I had an "Aha!" moment while reading, it took maybe twenty pages for me to understand I had only uncovered a tiny piece of what was happening. The last story was the most captivating to me, even if it was because I was so eager to see how it ends. Her journey was an examination of a society hanging on by just a thread, and the impacts on dreams during hardship. This story, in my opinion, was the one that was the most similar to dystopian sci-fi that American readers are probably most comfortable with. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about technology, humanity, sci-fi, religion, mythology, romance, metaphysics, man vs. nature, man vs. himself, or space.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    I am grateful to HarperCollins UK for sending me a review copy of this book. A delightful, inventive, and bold collection. Kim Bo-young is an established Korean writer, but this is her first book to be translated into English. It consists of two pairs of novellas, each pair telling two parts of the same story. In the first and fourth stories, titled "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way", a couple about to get married agree to meet on Earth for their wedding. The bride departs from Alpha Centauri, w I am grateful to HarperCollins UK for sending me a review copy of this book. A delightful, inventive, and bold collection. Kim Bo-young is an established Korean writer, but this is her first book to be translated into English. It consists of two pairs of novellas, each pair telling two parts of the same story. In the first and fourth stories, titled "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way", a couple about to get married agree to meet on Earth for their wedding. The bride departs from Alpha Centauri, while the groom leaves Earth for the "orbit of waiting", a flight designed to "speed up" time for its passengers. Because both journey are on light-speed spacecraft in a universe where the normal laws of physics apply, the passengers experience time differently to the people on Earth thanks to relativistic time dilation. The two journeys don't go according to plan, and we discover what happened to the two lovers in a series of letters they write to each other. The writing is simple, yet delightful. We get a strong impression of the personalities of the two protagonists through their letters, all the while feeling their longing and pain as they go through different challenges. I can only describe the second and third stories, “The Prophet of Corruption” and “That One Life”, as metaphysical mysteries. They are unlike anything I've read before. The less you know about these stories going into them the better, but if you feel lost, the author's notes and glossary at the end of the book might help shed some light. The writing of Corruption is perhaps a little protracted and repetitive, but it's worthwhile due the scope of its ambition and creativity. I hope that more of Kim Bo-young's excellent work will get translated and published in the West.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This book. This Book right here. So Bo-Young Kim wrote several short stories/novelettes into this book, but the only ones that I think matter is the first one "I'm Waiting for you" and the last one, "On My Way”. They sandwich a few stories that I’ll be honest, went way over my head. I’m a simple fellow, and Kim writes with complex thought and characterization. That’s a strength, not a deficiency. Just a little too complex for me. This book still gets my highest rating because of the first and la This book. This Book right here. So Bo-Young Kim wrote several short stories/novelettes into this book, but the only ones that I think matter is the first one "I'm Waiting for you" and the last one, "On My Way”. They sandwich a few stories that I’ll be honest, went way over my head. I’m a simple fellow, and Kim writes with complex thought and characterization. That’s a strength, not a deficiency. Just a little too complex for me. This book still gets my highest rating because of the first and last story. Sweet powers of justice, you have to read this. Get. It. Now. You’ll have your heart broken by two lovers, separated by billions of miles and years of earth time as they desperately struggle to find each other. You’ll have a lump in your throat as the first story ends and the situation looks bleak (though there is a complete story and it’s good…just heart-wrenching). You’ll have anger and sympathy and you’ll think of the other character as a hero of her own story in the second story because she finds a way to keep fighting even though all hope looks lost. And that ending. That freaking ending. I just set my kindle down carefully on my bed, said a few choice words, and basked in the afterglow of one of the greatest stories I’ve ever read. One of the greatest stories I’ve ever read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Kalis

    Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads for the ARC giveaway. Inventive and impactful. This combination of stories contain tremendous depth with an incredibly graceful writing style. Don't miss the notes in the back from the translators. I've often overlooked what it takes to fully capture the author's intended voice when translating to English. Everyone involved seems to feel such warmth toward this collective endeavor. It made me more emotional than the stories themselves. Another thing not to Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads for the ARC giveaway. Inventive and impactful. This combination of stories contain tremendous depth with an incredibly graceful writing style. Don't miss the notes in the back from the translators. I've often overlooked what it takes to fully capture the author's intended voice when translating to English. Everyone involved seems to feel such warmth toward this collective endeavor. It made me more emotional than the stories themselves. Another thing not to be missed after the stories: the letters from the couple for whom the two aligned romantic stories were written. It's such a sweet backstory. The stories themselves deal with the power of hope and love (wrapped in a completely plausible future setting), Buddhist philosophies, suffering in isolation versus suffering at the hands of humanity, and the value of individualism versus collectivism. It's funny, because within the context of a pandemic, that last point has really been driven home recently. It is my naive understanding that South Korea as a culture places more value on the collective than we do in America. With over half a million people dead from COVID-19, people in this country still value their individual pursuits more than the greater good. This may speak to why South Korea has done better in curbing deaths than we have. Either way, this concept is top of mind and without intending to be, these stories are incredibly relevant right now. I deducted one star because the two middle stories went over my head a bit and left me a bit restless. That's a personal thing, as these stories all deserve global exposure.

  22. 5 out of 5

    MH

    Four science fiction stories about separation, loneliness, and the relationship between individuality and something greater - two philosophical/theological stories about a godlike collective species, bookended by two epistolary stories from lovers parted by space and time - from South Korea. I found the ideas in the stories, and their exploration of threatened humanity, more interesting than the writing itself, which can get clunky: the first story is a collection of one man's letters, including Four science fiction stories about separation, loneliness, and the relationship between individuality and something greater - two philosophical/theological stories about a godlike collective species, bookended by two epistolary stories from lovers parted by space and time - from South Korea. I found the ideas in the stories, and their exploration of threatened humanity, more interesting than the writing itself, which can get clunky: the first story is a collection of one man's letters, including a letter where he lengthily repeats verbatim what his fiancée said in the letter he has just received; the Prophets, the "we are all one" collective entities of the middle two stories, seem to have a lot of expository conversations about how their world works ("I know" replies one, more than once); and the quality of fable that makes some moments and ideas in these stories so compelling doesn't always sit easily with Kim Bo-young's 'spaceships and sci-fi' worldbuilding. But there are some lovely moments and images in the stories, some solid (if rare) bits of humor, and the author's notes are genuinely moving. I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    Rating: 3.75 Stars "Someone once said that space and time are actually the same thing. That would mean going to a different time is the same as going to a different place." -His Second Letter This is a collection of short stories written by the Korean sci-fi writer Kim Bo-Young. The collection is divided into three parts: -I'm Waiting for You -The Prophet of Corruption -On My Way to You The first part, I'm Waiting for You, are 15 letters written by a man to his fiancée. The couple is separated by time Rating: 3.75 Stars "Someone once said that space and time are actually the same thing. That would mean going to a different time is the same as going to a different place." -His Second Letter This is a collection of short stories written by the Korean sci-fi writer Kim Bo-Young. The collection is divided into three parts: -I'm Waiting for You -The Prophet of Corruption -On My Way to You The first part, I'm Waiting for You, are 15 letters written by a man to his fiancée. The couple is separated by time and space. Each letter felt authentic because of the lingo and feelings expressed by an anxious groom. The first and last part of the collection are connected. The last part, On my Way to You, are 15 letters written by a woman to her fiancée. I appreciated the complete separation of the letters between the fiancées. My mind had to fill in the blanks in the first part, while the last part revealed whether my assumptions were correct. The middle part, The Prophet of Corruption, was hard to finish. I came close to skipping it all together, but I am glad I finished. I would suggest reading the author's note to gain clarification and more of appreciation for this part of the collection. The beginning stories are disorienting and there are so many moving parts. It is hard to explain without giving the story away. Key Ideas: Existentialism, whole versus parts, quest for knowledge/wisdom, lower realm (Earth) versus dark realm (afterlife). Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins Publishing for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories is an anthology of four short stories written by Kim Bo-young and translated by from the Korean by Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu. In four paired short stories, Korean science-fiction doyenne Kim imagines the vanishingly distant future. For the most part, this collection of short stories was written rather well. Playing with notions of immortality and toying with improbable transgressions of the laws of physics, Kim delivers a suite of stories that is at once lyr I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories is an anthology of four short stories written by Kim Bo-young and translated by from the Korean by Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu. In four paired short stories, Korean science-fiction doyenne Kim imagines the vanishingly distant future. For the most part, this collection of short stories was written rather well. Playing with notions of immortality and toying with improbable transgressions of the laws of physics, Kim delivers a suite of stories that is at once lyrical and full of foreboding, keeping dramatic tension tight among poetic evocations of a home planet that humanity has destroyed. Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories is not an exception. It is not so much as weaker entries – comparatively speaking as Kim is an excellent writer, but there was one story that I didn't connect to as much as the others – again comparatively speaking. My favorites are the first and last short stories: "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way to You". All in all, I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories is some of the best science fiction coming from East Asia, and Kim's work ranks high in that emerging tradition.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fanabana

    1.) I’m Waiting For You - 5 stars - Amazing, beautiful, heart wrenching, heartbreaking, heartwarming. Deals with the passage of time, loneliness, longing, love. 2.) The Prophet of Corruption - 3 stars - Very philosophical. I found so many passages and quotes deeply moving but I'm afraid this story went over my head. After a while I just couldn't make sense of what was happening. 3.) That One Life - 3 stars - Sequel/continuation to second story. 4.) On My Way to You - 5 stars- Companion to the first 1.) I’m Waiting For You - 5 stars - Amazing, beautiful, heart wrenching, heartbreaking, heartwarming. Deals with the passage of time, loneliness, longing, love. 2.) The Prophet of Corruption - 3 stars - Very philosophical. I found so many passages and quotes deeply moving but I'm afraid this story went over my head. After a while I just couldn't make sense of what was happening. 3.) That One Life - 3 stars - Sequel/continuation to second story. 4.) On My Way to You - 5 stars- Companion to the first story that's equally as brilliant and moving. I'm rating this book 4 stars (because that's what my ratings of the individual stories averages out to) but part of me wants to dock it a star because the middle two stories dragged so much for me it really effected my desire to continue reading (but I do want to note that I highlighted so many quotes that I loved from 'The Prophet of Corruption'. It was just too meandering and confusing). But 'I'm Waiting For You' and 'On My Way to You' were so good that it lifts my impression of the book as whole. I have a feeling those two stories will stay with me for a long time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    There are four stories in this collection, that while the first and the last are interconnected, each of these stories are just as exciting to read. In “I’m Waiting for You” I found that this speculative fiction is disguised as a love story, originally intended as a commission to be used as a proposal to be read aloud. This is a series of fifteen letters written to his fiancée while aboard on an intended eight week journey in space that will culminate to his wedding venue at the end of the journ There are four stories in this collection, that while the first and the last are interconnected, each of these stories are just as exciting to read. In “I’m Waiting for You” I found that this speculative fiction is disguised as a love story, originally intended as a commission to be used as a proposal to be read aloud. This is a series of fifteen letters written to his fiancée while aboard on an intended eight week journey in space that will culminate to his wedding venue at the end of the journey. But the journey is miscalculated and years pass while South Korea and Earth becomes uninhabitable and the journey continues as time continue to move forward - though throughout, his love remains hopeful and timeless. The final story, “On My Way,” is the series of fifteen letters, now from her point of view of her unwavering love despite the disastrous trip. This anthology is a true work of art full of thematically mind bending philosophical questions of who we are and what love is, in an infinite and timeless reality. I found this to be just a beautiful read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Siân Plummer (plumreads__s)

    This is some excellent Science-Fiction right here. The first and the last short story within this collection (I'm Waiting For You in particular, the title short story of the full collection) was amazing. Reading after how and why it was written just took me breathe away. I cannot even imagine. Bo-Young has an excellent imagination that had me reeling at times. Stories are slow paced and even throughout. The leters and perspective style of IWFY and the final story were so fascinating and well done This is some excellent Science-Fiction right here. The first and the last short story within this collection (I'm Waiting For You in particular, the title short story of the full collection) was amazing. Reading after how and why it was written just took me breathe away. I cannot even imagine. Bo-Young has an excellent imagination that had me reeling at times. Stories are slow paced and even throughout. The leters and perspective style of IWFY and the final story were so fascinating and well done. They raised so many questions. Middle stories were great too, they just didn't capture me the same way as the first, but I loved that the fourth story brought us back to the first, and the connection between the middle two. Translation also totally brilliant. Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction and Kim Bo-Young for an eArc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori Tatar

    Kim Bo-young writes an utterly incredible and deliciously beautiful romance with I’m Waiting for You. With three interwoven stories that create a true whole, this sci-fi journey through time and space, a journey toward discovery, is truly mind-blowing. What does it mean in an entire universe to have one true love? And what happens when the unimaginable separates the lovers? How long would you wait? How long could you wait? With perfect juxtapositioning of true solitary loneliness and profound lo Kim Bo-young writes an utterly incredible and deliciously beautiful romance with I’m Waiting for You. With three interwoven stories that create a true whole, this sci-fi journey through time and space, a journey toward discovery, is truly mind-blowing. What does it mean in an entire universe to have one true love? And what happens when the unimaginable separates the lovers? How long would you wait? How long could you wait? With perfect juxtapositioning of true solitary loneliness and profound loneliness among a crowd, the ages of a nanosecond, love and longing, this story is amazing. While she touches on other timely topics, it is the story of love that prevails. This most definitely not a romance in the traditional sense and is speculative fiction, but a romance all the same. I’d love to give five hearts along with my five star rating on this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (abookandadog)

    In one word: fascinating. A collection of 4 short stories, this book presents two sci-fi worlds that I found so enthralling. The first and last go together and they were my favorites. The middle two were so over my head yet somehow made so much sense at the same time. After reading the notes at the end, I learned that there are themes from Buddhist cosmology, mythology, and Korean culture which could have informed my reading if I were more familiar with them. However, this did not stop me at all In one word: fascinating. A collection of 4 short stories, this book presents two sci-fi worlds that I found so enthralling. The first and last go together and they were my favorites. The middle two were so over my head yet somehow made so much sense at the same time. After reading the notes at the end, I learned that there are themes from Buddhist cosmology, mythology, and Korean culture which could have informed my reading if I were more familiar with them. However, this did not stop me at all from enjoying the stories. I highly encourage you to also read the author, translator, and readers notes at the end- they solidified my love for this incredible work of art. I highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi. You'll even get a bonus of a light love story- the "I'll fight for you no matter what" kind of love.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe E

    What a delightful group of short stories! Full of existential thoughts about love, loneliness, humanity and existence, the stories in "I'm Waiting for You" are all beautiful and emotionally resonant. I especially loved the stories that bookend the collection: "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way" for their portrayal of a couple traversing space and time to finally make it to each other to get married. It was even more wonderful to learn that "I'm Waiting for You" as a story had originally been c What a delightful group of short stories! Full of existential thoughts about love, loneliness, humanity and existence, the stories in "I'm Waiting for You" are all beautiful and emotionally resonant. I especially loved the stories that bookend the collection: "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way" for their portrayal of a couple traversing space and time to finally make it to each other to get married. It was even more wonderful to learn that "I'm Waiting for You" as a story had originally been commissioned by a man wanting to use it to propose to his girlfriend! Overall, this is a story collection that I loved more and more as I read on and one that I would definitely like to revisit again! **Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!!

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