"I'm Waiting for You," by Kim Bo-young

for adult division, 2024 essay competition


Adult division PROMPT for “I'm Waiting for You,”

Ursula K. Le Guin, probably the greatest woman Science Fiction writer of the 20 th  century, said many things about the nature of the genre. Consider two of these statements: First, she said that all SF, like fantasy, is metaphor. Secondly, she said that SF stories, while being speculative and extrapolative, needed to build on solid scientific principles. But she also pointed out that SF stories are permitted to contain a certain amount of what she termed inadequately-explained “PSG” (“pseudoscientific garbage”) as part of the genre backdrop as a kind of “given.” PSG would include such elements as faster-than-light travel and the transporter beam in Star Trek.

Kim Bo-young’s epistolary Science Fiction story, “I’m Waiting for You,” is a poignant human drama made all the more intense through its use of SF elements. What established PSG does it rely on as genre conventions and what solid scientific principle does it develop or extrapolate upon? How do those features in her story, combined with the emotional drama, make it all the more effective by the end? And—if all SF is metaphor—what is the underlying metaphor in “I’m Waiting for You”?



I'm Waiting for You (46 pages)


- The story had been posted during the competition period with the written permission from Harper  Collins Publishers; Permissions Agreement: HC 129637 -

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