STEM Students Turn into Science Fiction Writers

2021-02-03 478

– Ha-jin Lee’s The Continuity of Someone and Kyung-man Park’s Eclipse selected as winners of POSTECH Science Fiction Award
– “The strength of STEM students lies in depicting the scientific and technological details,” remarked Cho-yeop Kim, one of the judges of the contest.

The winners of the 1st POSTECH Science Fiction Award, hosted by POSTECH, were announced on January 28, 2021.

The Continuity of Someone, a short-fiction written by Ha-jin Lee (penname), a second-year student majoring in physics at the Kyungpook National University, was selected as the winner. For the flash fiction category, Kyung-man Park’s Eclipse was selected. Park is a second-year student studying electrical and computer engineering at Seoul National University. The POSTECH Science Fiction Award, Korea’s first SF contest for science and engineering students, is designed to provide opportunities for students to develop their sensitivity in the humanities through writing and to communicate with society.

The contest received great attention from STEM students since its inception as students from various backgrounds at home and abroad submitted their work. From September to December 2020, a total of 85 short fictions and 98 flash fictions were received, and the final winners were selected on January 28, 2021 after preliminary and final rounds.

Besides the prizewinning works, a KAIST computing master’s student Soo-jin Hwang’s Hole was selected as the runner-up in the short-fiction category and SeoulTech electronic engineering master’s student Han-na Lee’s Technology Makes People was selected as the runner-up for the flash fiction category. The judges of the contest were writers Cho-yeop Kim and Bora Jung, and book critic Sang-joon Park, all representing Korea’s science fiction field.

In her written interview with the organizer of the contest, Communication and Public Discourse Institute at POSTECH, Cho-yeop Kim stated, “The strength of STEM students lies in their depiction of the scientific and technological details when writing science fiction.” She added, “But at the same time, they should be careful not to let their scientific knowledge restrict their imagination.” She hoped that the POSTECH Science Fiction Award will become a great opportunity for STEM students who wish to take on new challenges.

Winners of the short fiction and flash fiction categories will receive 5 million won and 3 million won each, while runners-up will receive 2 million won and 1.5 million won each along with the POSTECH President Award certificate. POSTECH Communication and Public Discourse Institute, the organizer of the contest, plans to publish a collection of the winning works with Hubble, a prominent publishing company specializing in science fictions.