Teenager's labour of love prompts futuristic tale

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am


The year is 2304 and the world has descended into a dystopian wasteland. People function without love; a concept that has been nullified by the predominance of 'technologies, riches, war ... and nothing more'. Brainwashing and torture by top- secret organisations run rife.

It is a story that would befit the minds of George Orwell or H.G. Wells, and, as it turns out, a teenage girl from Hong Kong.

Clemence Yung, at 13, is launching her first book in July, to coincide with the Hong Kong Book Fair. The 50,000-word novel, Out of Love is being published by Sun Ya Publications in English.

Yung has long been obsessed with the idea of a world without love. 'When I was in primary school, I thought a lot about what would happen if there was no love,' she said. 'I'm afraid that we are putting love second to material things and that is so horrible.'

She felt compelled to put her ideas on paper and developed a plot to illustrate the dangers of forgetting about love. She then furiously wrote it down during her school holidays. She sent her finished manuscript to a variety of publishers, and Sun Ya was the first to respond in only three weeks.

'When I found out it was getting published I was really excited,' Yung said. 'I was surprised and grateful.'

The protagonist of Out of Love is Livy, an adolescent girl who has been kidnapped from the present day to become part of an experiment conducted by the leaders of the future world to bring back the 'long-extinct fuel of life-love'. The story centres on whether she will be able to escape.

Yung's dream is to study philosophy at university and become a full-time author - something that should be achievable if the opinion of Sun Ya Publications is to be considered.

'We chose to publish the book because the content is good and we wanted to let other children experience this talented girl,' a company spokesman said.