Soft Science, Poems by Franny Choi (Korean) - Paperback


Soft Science explores queer, Asian American femininity. A series of Turing Test-inspired poems grounds its exploration of questions not just of identity, but of consciousness--how to be tender and feeling and still survive a violent world filled with artificial intelligence and automation. We are dropped straight into the tangled intersections of technology, violence, erasure, agency, gender, and loneliness.

Loosely inspired by the movie Ex Machina and the character Kyoko (an Asian sex robot whose creator removes her language capabilities in order to protect his company's trade secrets). It's a take on language, race, and gender; about survival under capitalism; about power and intimacy, especially with others whose bodies make them strange. Though the book isn't just about robots (or just about that movie), Kyoko is "one of the godmothers of the book," and haunts it throughout. About the author in Choi's words: "Franny Choi is a queer, Korean American pottymouth. . .about a 5.5 on the Mulan butch-femme scale." Choi is super enthusiastic, energetic, and ready to tour. She has already dreamed up a book launch in Detroit, MI, and also plans to tour the northeast.

Franny Choi is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has been a finalist for multiple national poetry slams, and her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Senior News Editor for Hyphen, co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.