TOXIC by Lydia Kang ***Guest Post - Learn about the culture of Hana's world -- Giveaway***
by Lydia Kang
Genre: YA Scifi
Release date: November 6th 2018
Cyclo, the first and largest biological ship of its kind, is dying. A small crew of mercenaries have handed over the rights to their life to document the death of the ship, but the abandoned ship is anything but abandoned—one girl has been left behind.
Hana has known nothing but the isolation of a single room and the secret that has kept her there for seventeen years. When she meets Fennec, the boy assigned to watch her, she realizes that there is a world she has yet to experience but she is doomed to never meet.
When crew members begin mysteriously dying, Hana and Fenn realize that they are racing against the death of the ship to find a way to survive—unless someone kills them even before Hana’s truly had a chance to live.
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Guest post on the critical elements of Hana's world (culture/ food, drink, weather, etc)
by Lydia Kang
Hi there! Lydia Kang here. Thank you for hosting me today, Jena!
I’m going to speak a little on the culture that surrounds Hana’s world. The book is peppered with references to Korean lacquered chests inlaid with mother of pearl; rich Korean soups and hot steaming rice, and short stories by Korean authors.
But wait! Doesn’t the book take place in space? That’s right.
Readers will learn early on that Hana was secretly created on the living bioship, Cyclo, by her mother, who is a bioengineer in charge of creating and maintaining the human population on Cyclo. As the number is very regimented, there are no allowances for having biological children just for the luxurious sake of one person’s drive for procreation.
So when Hana is created, she is kept secret. Her mother, Dr. Um, decides to make her in the image of herself—racially East Asian, and raises her ethnically as a Korean girl. Hana is surrounded by objects that belong to her mother and ancestors. And all along, Hana questions what it means to be Korean, or to be human, when she has been created in such an artificial way. And for what purpose? For what destiny?
I also chose their names very carefully. “Um” is my mother’s maiden surname. And “Hana” is also the Korean word for the number one. It’s beautiful and isolating and unique, all at once.
I hope you enjoy the splashes of Korean culture, and how Hana navigates these objects and bits of her ancestry into defining who she is. I know it gave me a lot to think about myself, being an American born Korean woman who often feels very far away from my ancestral roots.
About the Author
Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.
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