Tower / The Flowering

Event Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021 19:00(EST)
Friday, November 5, 2021 08:00(KST)

The link to join the YouTube Live will be emailed to you 2 hours before the event

Time Part Details


Part I

About the author : Bae Myung-hoon / Jeong So-yeon

Part II

Bae Myung-hoon / Jeong So-yeon and Tower / The Flowering

About Bae Myung-hoon

Bae Myung-hoon

Bae Myung-hoon began writing fiction around the age of twenty with no intention of debuting as a novelist. However, his literary career took off in 2005 when he won the Science Technology Creative Writing Award for his short story “Smart D.” After majoring in International Relations at university, Bae worked for a research company in the field of futurology, which, in turn, led to his fascination with the wider world and science fiction.

At the time of his literary debut, Korea’s science fiction had yet to gain widespread popularity. Over the course of several years, he established himself as a key figure in the limited sci-fi scene of Korea. In particular, his 2009 novel Tower created quite a sensation in the mainstream literary world. The English translation of Tower was published in the UK in February, 2021.

Bae is a full-time writer with nearly twenty publications under his belt, including the full-length novels Archeological Psychicists, The First Breath, and Launch Something! Many of his works explore human society in a scholarly yet humorous way. Since last winter, he has been engaged in a research project on a governance system for Mars Settlement at the request of the Korean Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.

About Jeong So-yeon

Jeong So-yeon

Graduating from Seoul National University with a degree in social welfare and philosophy, in 2005 Soyeon Jeong began her writing career by winning the Science and Technology Creative Writing Award for her short story “Cosmic Go.” She has been translating and writing fiction ever since. Her stories have been included in the Science Fiction anthologies Finding Lost Concepts, A Million Light Years of Solitude and Dad’s Space Journey, she has translated Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, New Skies edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, New Magics, an anthology of YA speculative fiction, and What’s in a Name by Ellen Wittlinger, as well as other works. Additionally, a science essay of hers appeared in the anthology Ask from the Unknown and Answer from the Boundaries and a research paper of hers appeared in the collection A Leap of Imagination and Knowledge

About Tower


Tower comprises six interlinked stories set in the fictional world of Beanstalk, a 674-story skyscraper that functions as a city state. The 2,408-meter-tall tower inhabited by some 500,000 people is an independent nation with its own army and currency. The gated community thrives within the intricately woven matrix that stretches horizontally and vertically. The virtual world of Tower vividly embodies modern life in terms of power dynamics and its everyday mechanisms. In short, the building is a remarkably accurate representation of the world in which we live. First published in 2009, the novel became an instant bestseller. It was deemed to have opened up new possibilities for Korean science fiction, and sold over 10,000 copies in its first year alone. The author revised several passages, and published a new edition in 2020. The English translation of Tower came out in February 2021.

About “The Flowering”

“The Flowering”

The narrator recounts the story of her older sister resisting a system that monopolizes and controls data and information. The older sister hatches a plot to paralyze the state’s control by distributing organic routers that use flowers. In the end she is caught and locked up in prison. The narrator talks about the hardship she faced being a family member to a “reactionary.” However, by smuggling out router seeds through a bathroom vent in the prison, the narrator is able to finally come to an understanding with her older sister, and is able to finish what her sister started.

Discussant Lee Yoon Ha

Lee Yoon Ha

A Korean-American SF/F writer who received a B.A. in math from Cornell University and an M.A. in math education from Stanford University, Yoon Ha Lee finds it a source of continual delight that math can be mined for story ideas. Yoon’s novel Ninefox Gambit won the Locus Award for best first novel, and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Clarke awards; its sequels, Raven Stratagem and Revenant Gun, were also Hugo finalists. His middle grade space opera Dragon Pearl won the Locus Award for best YA novel and was a New York Times bestseller. Lee’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as F&SF,, and Clarkesworld Magazine, as well as several year’s best anthologies.

About AAWW


The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) is devoted to creating, publishing, developing and disseminating creative writing by Asian Americans, and to providing an alternative literary arts space at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice. Since our founding in 1991, we have been dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. At a time when migrants, women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ people are specifically targeted, we offer a new countercultural public space in which to imagine a more just future.



LILY PHILPOTT runs and manages events, fellowships, and workshops at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. She has many years of experience curating literary programs in New York City. Previously, she served as the Public Programs Manager at PEN America, where she launched the PEN Out Loud event series with the Strand Book Store, co-curated a summer event series with the Brooklyn Museum, and coordinated Lit Crawl NYC. She has also worked on public programs and development events at the Guggenheim Museum and the New York Public Library, respectively, and is a member of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s International Literature Committee and an Advisory Board Member of the U.K. based publisher And Other Stories.

Interview with Bae Myung-hoon