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

for senior division, 2024 essay competition

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

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. Kim has been a screenwriter, a game developer, and a script advisor, most notably for the international hit, Snowpiercer.
The SF genre has a long literary lineage in the West while it is a relatively recent phenomenon in South Korea due to Korea’s modern political and economic history. And yet, given how rapidly Korea has developed, the SF genre (among others) has had explosive growth in the past two decades.
SF is a genre that very much builds upon itself, and you will have noticed that “I’m Waiting for You”—while it may not allude to many Western SF literary classics—clearly references Western SF films. Two of the more obvious influences are the recent The Martian and the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Kim has said that her access to SF literature was limited in her youth because she grew up under the administrations of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo- hwan, two military dictators, but even during those years many Western SF movies were popular in Korean theaters.)
What filmic influences do you see in Kim’s story, and how are those influences built upon or referenced to create the unique drama of “I’m Waiting for You”? (Pick only one or two films to reference in your analysis.)


I'm Waiting for You (46 pages)


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

This book is also available on Amazon.