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Writer Cheon Seon-Ran

A Rising Star in Science Fiction, Bridging Imagination and Reality

 

2021.01.04

 

Writer Cheon Seon-Ran, whose eyes would shine brightly while reading science newspapers, is a rising star in SF novels. Making her extraordinary debut after winning first place in SF novels with her nuclear-apocalypse series A Broken Bridge (Gravity Books) in BritG, an online web-novel platform in March last year, and making an official publication in September. Adding to this magnificent career, she won the 4th Korean Science Literature Award with her A Thousand Blues (Hubble) this year. Following is an interview with writer Cheon Seon-Ran who writes stories bridging imagination and reality.

 

 

 

I want to write stories that linger in one’s heart, no matter how many.

 

 

Please introduce yourself to our subscribers.

 

Hello, I am Cheon Seon-Ran, a novelist. My major field is science fiction, but I am also writing novels of a variety of genres.

 

You said that you went to an art school and majored in creative writing to become a “person who writes stories” from an early age. What motivated you to dream of becoming an author?

 

I used to daydream a lot since I was a kid. I would imagine, “something’s going to happen here,” wherever I go. And this naturally got me to think that I would be happy if I got a job later on that has to do something about writing stories. I hesitated between writing scenarios and novels, but as I wanted to have an in-depth education in story-writing, I got to choose to major in creative writing.

 

Please introduce your best works to our subscribers.

 

I made my debut in 2019 with A Broken Bridge, a full-length SF novel. It’s about a nuclear rocket falling onto the US continent, which eventually made it unlivable for any beings. Androids are sent to cleanse the contaminated area, and there they make their independent advancement. The main character, “Ain,” was a former astronomer who lost his body to an accident and put his brain into an android. The storyline sounds huge, but it is quite speculative. This novel won the excellence prize for full-length novels at the 7th SF Awards 2020.
The novel collection Some Shape of Love (Arzak) released in 2020 is composed of short SF stories. It includes short stories I have been uploading to “BritG,” an online novel platform for short novels and other unreleased stories.
And my recent full-length novel A Thousand Blues won the grand prize for full-length novels at the 4th Korean Science Literature Award in 2019. It is a story about a racehorse named “Today” who is waiting for euthanasia, “Collie,” a broken jockey robot, and a mom and two daughters who band together with them. I wanted to write a story where the characters fight against the big world and win a victory.

 

A Broken Bridge

Some Shape of Love

A Thousand Blues

A Broken Bridge, Some Shape of Love, A Thousand Blues

 

Why did you choose to write SF novels, and how did you get to be interested in them in the first place?

 

I was interested in various genres, but I chose SF as I thought that what I want to tell and science fiction were on the same page. I really like the genre itself, to be honest. The sense of awe you can feel from science fiction always made by heart pound. So I made up my mind that if I were to keep on writing stories, I would write what I want to write through the genre that I like.

 

Science Fiction novels are dominating the shelves in bookstores this year as if they have become the new mainstream. What do you think about this?

 

In my opinion, readers concentrate on a certain genre is because it is “fun,” and I think that “fun” comes from “interest.” Stories that are quite distanced from the readers’ generation could be fun, too, but it is difficult for them to be spotlighted by many people in the contemporary world. I believe that SF embraces issues of the current generation, for instance, minority, hatred, discrimination, and climate change. I think SF has rapidly gained popularity as these issues are covered by the genre in an intriguing and entertaining way.

 

 

I mix anger, sadness, and beauty that I’ve felt in moments in life into my story.

 

 

How do you find motifs or ideas for your stories?

 

I read science articles a lot. And I begin setting up the plot for my story, thinking about how the things I discovered from the articles could be realized in the future. But if the story does not put emphasis on the technological aspect, I push forward with the emotions that I felt in daily life. I begin to create a world inside the story that blends emotions like anger, sadness, and beauty that I felt in moments in life.

 

You are a rising star in the literary world as you won the grand prize for full-length novels at the 4th Korean Science Literature Award in 2019 with A Thousand Blues. Please tell us how you feel and your future work plans.

 

The biggest thing the award got me to think about was that now I can write stories that I want. I’d better write more exciting stories, many of them! As I have several contracted novels, I would be steadily writing and releasing novels for the next five years. I am just so excited as I have drawn sketches about the stories. I would be mainly writing SF novels, but sometimes a bit of thrilling and historical elements could be added, too.

 

Last of all, please leave a message for our subscribers.

 

When I first decided to become a novelist, my most desperate goal was to write a story that could linger in one’s heart, at least one. And now I know that it is the most difficult thing to do. But there’s no going back, and I will continuously work on writing stories that are remembered by at least one reader. I hope you could send me support and encouragement on my journey towards that goal!

 

 


Organized by Lee Ji-Hyeon

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