An important and distinctive characteristic of the emergence of South Korean science fiction for an adult readership is its flourishing in digital space, predominantly written by the new generation of middle-class, techno-savvy youth beginning in the late 1980s. This article, which terms these science fiction texts from the late 1980s through the 1990s “techno-fiction,” begins by examining how contemporary literary critics viewed both science fiction and the practice of digital writing as concerning symptoms of “postmodernity” that threatened older aesthetic axioms of the literary field. For these critics, techno-fiction signified the empirical facts not only that increasing numbers of texts were being produced via the mediation of computer technology but, even more concerning, that the larger, politico-economic transformation of informatization was radically restructuring the cultural landscape and everyday cultural practices. Building on these critics’ calls to pay attention to the rising middle-class habitus and related cultural techniques to better understand the state of literature and culture in the age of information, and set against the backdrop of state-initiated and neoliberal processes of informatization, this article closely examines how these middle-class youth grew up to become key players in the production and consumption of techno-fiction.

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