“Writing science fiction in a third world country can sometimes feel like a spectator’s game,” Sang Joon Park, the translator and co-editor of Readymade Bodhisattva, shared with the audience at the Readymade Bodhisattva launch event on February 20th. It was a full house at the Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall black box theater at the University of Southern California, with approximately 120 people attending the event. Kaya Press is fortunate to celebrate this exciting publication with science fiction and South Korean literature enthusiasts from various communities in Southern California.
Speaking at the event, science fiction columnist Gord Sellar read from the titular story in Readymade Bodhisattva–inquiring if robots have Buddha-like quality. Award-winning South Korean author and human rights lawyer Soyeon Jeong read an excerpt from her story, “Cosmic Go,” which is also featured in Readymade Bodhisattva anthology. Finally, American science fiction author Ted Chiang, known for his short story “The Story of Our Lives” — the basis for the film Arrival (2016), read from Readymade Bodhisattva story “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”, and reflected on the link between writing and storytelling. The audience and the speakers then engaged in a vibrant discussion on the significance of science fiction as a literary genre across transnational boundaries, moderated by Dr. Sunyoung Park, USC Professor and co-editor of the anthology.
Kaya Press would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has contributed their time and energy to ensure the success of the event: co-organizer East Asian Language and Culture department at USC, the Visions & Voices team, and all the volunteers. Thank you to all of the speakers, some of whom have traveled from across the globe, and also thank you to everyone who attended and purchased Readymade Bodhisattva on the very first day it was released!
All photo credits: Iman Fattah