So it’s been a little while since I’ve written anything here, my apologies for that. I have to admit that it is sometimes difficult to come up with content to churn out, and I am close to finishing Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, so I thought I would wait to do another review piece on that.
But, I got some exciting news over this weekend. Back at the end of May, I wrote a post announcing the Internationalist Science Fiction Competition being held by Old Timey Hedgehog. I found out that the piece I submitted to the competition, entitled “Dreams On The Tumen”, won the short story category of the competition. To give a brief synopsis, the story is about a young man who has grown up in a future North Korea. Having heard tales of the outside world and what it is like, he yearns to escape from his country and find freedom abroad.
The Tumen is a river along the northern boarder of North Korea that separates the country from China. It is a common escape route for North Korean refugees, since it is often shallow. In the future we see that not much has changed in this regard, however the technology of the outside world and the political stances of surrounding countries have somewhat shifted. And in North Korean itself we continue to see an oppressive and militaristic regime in power, only now with a few more toys that they can employ to control the population.
I wrote this piece because I wanted to try and write a more traditional dystopian setting akin to Orwell’s 1984. I believe that the West has mostly avoided this sort of pitfall (though perhaps some or even many of you may disagree with the stance, given the recent Snowden business) in terms of dystopian futures, and I believe that Gibson’s cyberpunk future, as seen in The Sprawl Trilogy, is a much more likely future, and perhaps one that has already begun to emerge. I thought that North Korea might be one of the few countries left in the world where a “Big Brother” dictatorship could exist in the future, so I wanted to explore what that sort of world might look like.
I do not yet know when the story is set to be published, but I will of course post back here when I do. In the meantime, I’m excited to have another story published, and I hope that my little non-spoiler description here has gotten you excited to read it.