Hanakwon SF award winner. Vice president of Korea Creator Association ( Ministry of Smes and Startups affiliated organization )
The Korean news might give you more goose bumps than The Exorcist (1973), and be more interesting than Season 1 of Game of Thrones. Even so, maybe that’s why this is possible. There is a Korean wave (an increase in global popularity of South Korean culture since the 1990’s).
The Korean Wave is spreading beyond Asia to Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and the continental U.S. In this year’s billboard music chart.,Kpop group BTS ranked number 1, above Justin Bieber.
Thanks to the Korean Wave, many South Korean science fiction or fantasy TV dramas and movies are receiving attention both domestically and internationally. My Love From The Star (2013), for example, has reached 5.4 billion downloads in one year in China alone, and a remake rights to the U.S. are being promoted.
Some of South Korean science fiction dramas and movies are being pushed for American remakes. The remake rights of the science fiction drama Nine (2014) were sold to the U.S., and the movie A Love Story (2000) was reinvented in Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves’ The Lake House (2006). A remake of the KBS drama Good Doctor which aired in 2013, is about to air on U.S. network ABC. The Gift of God remake entitled Somewhere Between has been airing on ABC TV every week since July. It is a gripping story where a mother returns to the past, before her daughter is murdered, and is given a chance to save her, and all the surprises and action that arise in the process provide a roller coaster of emotions for viewers.
Science fiction directors Bong Joon-ho won an academy award (The Host, Okja, Parasite) and Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) are showing the world their brilliance. Based on their popularity, Korean TV dramas and movies are experimenting with no limits on subject matter, and science fiction devices are no exception. Many of the Korean TV dramas currently being broadcast borrow and experiment with various science fiction and fantasy devices.
Most recently, Netflix drama ‘Squid Game’ became a most viewed series in the Netflix history. it hits the whole world.
Statistics show that nearly 20% of dramas made in Korea in 2017 contain SF ideas. This rate goes much higher when their target audience is young people..
- There are new platforms!
America has graphic novels; Japan has anime; and South Korea has web comics. Web-based comics known as ‘webtoons’ are popular. Thanks to Korea’s world’s fastest optic networks. Webtoons are the ideal comics, since they can also be read on smartphones. They are coloured cartoons that can also incorporate music, special effects, and moving images. They took off through the trend of changing platforms from books to TV to smartphones.
Now, more and more webtoons are being made into TV dramas, movies, or even novels.
The webtoon market is worth 700 million dollars a year in Korea alone. This popularity is likely to be exported to China and the United States.Even in the U.S., where mostly only hero stories are popular, other genres (romance, science fiction, etc.) have become available through webtoons (tapas media).
The Korean company Naver has translated webtoons into five languages through the Line service and is sharing them successfully online.
The next Korean Wave, surpassing even TV dramas and music, may be of webtoons and webfictions!
· South Korean Science Fiction has a new kind of story.
South Korean science fiction authors and readers include many women and young people. In addition, the wealth of story-worthy events we have accumulated over the last thousand years are a resource for imagining new stories.
Korea-American writer Lee Yoon-ha is known for telling Korean stories within his work. His first feature-length work, Ninefox Gambit, won a Locus award and was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards.
· South Korean science fiction literature is still a new addition to the world market.
That’s because this is only the beginning. With the exception of Lee Yoon-ha and the author Kim Bo-young, who writes short story for Clark’s World and FAA, there are hardly any translations of Korean science fiction. A collection of Korean science fiction short stories is set to be published in the U.S. for the first time next year, 2018.
- How and when did it happen in Korea?
Koreans have loved fantasy literature for thousands of years. Many beloved old Korean folk stories and literature classics still influence modern day Korean literature, TV dramas and movies.
Web-based fiction has a bigger market share than any other fiction genre in Korea.