Neha Patil (Editor)

I Meet Her

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Original title  "그녀를 만나다"
Publisher  Opus Press
Publication date  2015
Author  Kwak Jaesik
Language  Korean
Media type  Print (Paperback)
Originally published  2015
Country  South Korea
Published in  The Final Last of the Ultimate End

"I Meet Her" (original Korean title: "그녀를 만나다") is a science fiction short story by Korean author Kwak Jaesik, officially first published in 2010 anthology titled as "Daddy's Space Trip", and included in his 2015 collection "The Final Last of the Ultimate End". In the story, a man recently recovered from a terminal disease, now waiting for his girlfriend, recounts his experiences in hospital and in recovery institute.

Contents

Plot Summary

A man who had a terminal disease decided to get a whole body transplant surgery, removing his brain from his original body and transplanting it to a new brainless body, which was cloned from his cell. He gets the surgery and it seems to be successful.

He is moved to a recovery institute, adapting himself to his new body. He suffers for mild amnesia and partial motor disturbance, but he works hard to get better, waiting for the day to meet his girlfriend for the first time after the surgery.

When he finally meets his girlfriend, he feels happy, knowing all his feeling and memories about her are right and the interaction with her is natural enough. But his girlfriend looks sad.

It turns out that the surgery was splitting his brain into 2 pieces and transplanting them into 2 different bodies, to achieve the safer result from the redundancy. Hence now there are 2 independent separate people formed from one original person. All the activities in the recovery institute were parts of a test to decide whom to be a person to inherit the original identity. Even the meeting with the girlfriend was also a part of the test.

The protagonist turns out to be a loser in every aspects of the brain activity and continuity, except the only one part, that is the memory and the interactivity with spouse. Therefore, the other person gets the original identity and the protagonist gets a brand new identity as a newly born person.

A few months later, he becomes a surfer, that he has always dreamed to be since long before the surgery. He feels quite stable in his new life. But after coincidentally encountering the other person and his girlfriend, he realizes that he still loves her.

Critical response

In an article published in Science Times, Jangwon Go praised it, mentioning "being close to essence of science fiction, and raising an interesting question about nature of human existence". But he also criticized its "too explicit speech at the end of the story".

References

I Meet Her Wikipedia


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