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Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.
ALL YOU NEED IS KILL Buy Now!

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA

THE LORD OF THE SANDS OF TIME Buy Now!

THE LORD OF THE SANDS OF TIME
ISSUI OGAWA

ZOO Buy Now!

ZOO
OTSUICHI

USURPER OF THE SUN Buy Now!

USURPER OF THE SUN
HOUSUKE NOJIRI

BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL Buy Now!

BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL
KOUSHUN TAKAMI

BRAVE STORY Buy Now!

BRAVE STORY
MIYUKI MIYABE

THE BOOK OF HEROES Buy Now!

THE BOOK OF HEROES
MIYUKI MIYABE

YUKIKAZE Buy Now!

YUKIKAZE
CHŌHEI KAMBAYASHI

LOUPS-GAROUS Buy Now!

LOUPS-GAROUS
NATSUHIKO KYOGOKU

SLUM ONLINE Buy Now!

SLUM ONLINE
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA

THE NEXT CONTINENT Buy Now!

THE NEXT CONTINENT
ISSUI OGAWA

THE STORIES OF IBIS Buy Now!

THE STORIES OF IBIS
HIROSHI YAMAMOTO

HARMONY Buy Now!

HARMONY
PROJECT ITOH

ROCKET GIRLS Buy Now!

ROCKET GIRLS
HOUSUKE NOJIRI

THE OUROBOROS WAVE Buy Now!

THE OUROBOROS WAVE
JYOUJI HAYASHI

SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE Buy Now!

SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE
OTSUICHI

DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD Buy Now!

DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD
NORIKO OGIWARA

MARDOCK SCRAMBLE Buy Now!

MARDOCK SCRAMBLE
TOW UBUKATA

ROCKET GIRLS: THE LAST PLANET Buy Now!

ROCKET GIRLS: THE LAST PLANET
HOUSUKE NOJIRI

MIRROR SWORD AND SHADOW PRINCE Buy Now!

MIRROR SWORD AND SHADOW PRINCE
NORIKO OGIWARA

GOOD LUCK YUKIKAZE Buy Now!

GOOD LUCK YUKIKAZE
CHŌHEI KAMBAYASHI

ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST Buy Now!

ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST
MIYUKI MIYABE

THE CAGE OF ZEUS Buy Now!

THE CAGE OF ZEUS
SAYURI UEDA

TEN BILLION DAYS AND ONE HUNDRED BILLION NIGHTS Buy Now!

TEN BILLION DAYS AND ONE HUNDRED BILLION NIGHTS
RYU MITSUSE

MM9 Buy Now!

MM9
HIROSHI YAMAMOTO

THE NAVIDAD INCIDENT: THE DOWNFALL OF MATÍAS GUILI Buy Now!

THE NAVIDAD INCIDENT: THE DOWNFALL OF MATÍAS GUILI
NATSUKI IKEZAWA

THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE Buy Now!

THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE
HAIKASORU

METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS Buy Now!

METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS
PROJECT ITOH

GENOCIDAL ORGAN Buy Now!

GENOCIDAL ORGAN
PROJECT ITOH

Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? Buy Now!

BELKA, WHY DON'T YOU BARK?
HIDEO FURUKAWA

VIRUS Buy Now!

VIRUS
SAKYO KOMATSU

SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE Buy Now!

SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE
TOH ENJOE

Noble V: Greylancer Buy Now!

NOBLE V: GREYLANCER
HIDEYUKI KIKUCHI

THE MELANCHOLY OF MECHAGIRL Buy Now!

THE MELANCHOLY OF MECHAGIRL
CATHERYNNE M. VALENTE

Apparitions Buy Now!

APPARITIONS
MIYUKI MIYABE

The Battle Royale Slam Book Buy Now!

THE BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK
HAIKASORU

BATTLE ROYALE REMASTERED Buy Now!

BATTLE ROYALE REMASTERED
KOUSHUN TAKAMI

Edge Of Tomorrow Buy Now!

EDGE OF TOMORROW
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA

All You Need Is Kill Graphic Novel Buy Now!

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL GRAPHIC NOVEL
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA
NICK MAMATAS
LEE FERGUSON

Phantasm Japan Buy Now!

PHANTASM JAPAN
HAIKASORU

Asura Girl Buy Now!

ASURA GIRL
OTARO MAIJO

Dendera Buy Now!

DENDERA
YUYA SATO

Red Girls Buy Now!

RED GIRLS
KAZUKI SAKURABA

Gene Mapper Buy Now!

GENE MAPPER
TAIYO FUJII

GOTH Buy Now!

GOTH
OTSUICHI

HANZAI JAPAN Buy Now!

HANZAI JAPAN
HAIKASORU

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 1: Dawn Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 1: DAWN
YOSHIKI TANAKA

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 2: Ambition Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 2: AMBITION
YOSHIKI TANAKA

The Gate of Sorrows Buy Now!

THE GATE OF SORROWS
MIYUKI MIYABE

Saiensu Fikushon 2016 Buy Now!

SAIENSU FIKUSHON 2016
TOE ENJOE, TOBI HIROTAKA, TAIYO FUJII

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 3: Endurance Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 3: ENDURANCE
YOSHIKI TANAKA

Orbital Cloud Buy Now!

ORBITAL CLOUD
TAIYO FUJII

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 4: Stratagem Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 4: STRATAGEM
YOSHIKI TANAKA

A Small Charred Face Buy Now!

A SMALL CHARRED FACE
KAZUKI SAKURABA

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 5: Mobilization Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 5: MOBILIZATION
YOSHIKI TANAKA

SISYPHEAN Buy Now!

SISYPHEAN
DEMPOW TORISHIMA

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 6: Flight Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 6: FLIGHT
YOSHIKI TANAKA

The Thousand Year Beach Buy Now!

THE THOUSAND YEAR BEACH
TOBI HIROTAKA

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 7: Tempest Buy Now!

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES, VOLUME 7: TEMPEST
YOSHIKI TANAKA

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Excerpt, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, v7: Tempest

On January 12, leading the entire fleet that was under his command, Lutz departed from Iserlohn Fortress. The fleet was composed of more than 15,000 vessels, and the embarkation of this stately swarm of light flecks was picked up by the Yang Fleet right away—though since this was being done for show, that was only natural.

“Admiral Lutz has left Iserlohn.”

On January 13, that report from Bagdash was greeted with cheers and whistles among the crew of the Yang Fleet. Another of “Yang Wen-li’s miracles” was on the verge of coming to pass, and it was how well theyfought that would determine whether or not it came true. Voices rose up calling for an advance celebration, and in no time bottles of whiskey were passing from hand to hand, each soldier drinking in turn.

In the midst of such a cheerful, fearless crew, not even calm, imperturbable Merkatz—whom some even called “the Yang Fleet’s only gentleman”—could maintain the dignified aloofness of his imperial days. Although he just touched his lips to the drink for appearances’ sake, when he awkwardly raised aloft a small flask of whiskey, the applause and the cheers grew even louder, and that was when he opened his mouth with something important to say.

“We have Lutz acting in accordance with our plan, but Lutz must also think that he has us acting according to his plan. He is an outstanding tactician, and the fleet he commands is ten times the size of ours. Unless we can gain control of the fortress before he turns around and overwhelms us, our chance for victory will be lost forever. The battle to capture the fortress will commence immediately. Vice Admiral von Schönkopf, I’d like to ask you to command the front line.”

“You can rest assured, Admiral. Just leave it to me.”

Von Schönkopf saluted, showing not a hint of apprehension. In that year of SE 800, he would turn thirty-six, a graceful gentleman in his prime. Watching him, Julian was remembering Yang’s explanation of the plan to capture the fortress.

“…Lutz is a fine admiral. He understands just how important Iserlohn is, so even if the kaiser orders him to mobilize, it’s possible that he’ll stay put and beg him to reconsider. And even if he departs Iserlohn per the kaiser’s command, there’s no telling when he might catch on to our plan and turn back. That’s why we’re letting him know up front what our plan is. If he sits there and doesn’t mobilize, there’s nothing we can do, but depending on how we leak the intel, we can probably make him think that he’s catching us in a trap. And to catch us in that trap, it will be necessary for him to be a certain distance away from the fortress. The farther away he moves, the easier it gets for our plan to succeed. You may think I’m relying too much on cheap tricks, but cheap tricks are what we need… so that Lutz can see through them…”

Lutz fell splendidly into Yang’s trap. At that time, the orthodox tactician—who under normal circumstances would have led a large force and an impregnable fortress to crush Yang’s group head-on without resorting to stopgap tricks—was 800,000 kilometers from port, watch­ing on the screen of his flagship as the Yang fleet bore down on the fortress.

“They’ve fallen for it, those wandering bandits.”

Kornelias Lutz was hardly what might he called a frivolous man, but just this once, he couldn’t contain the joy that was bubbling up inside him. At long last, Yang Wen-li, that living treasure trove of trickery and ingenious plans, was about to become ensnared in his own trap, and the knee of the Imperial Navy would soon weigh heavily against his neck.

His joy, however, was not to be long-lived. Though he waited and waited, the white column of Thor’s Hammer—the fortress’s main cannon, capable at any moment of erasing those impertinent enemies from the sky at point-blank range—never roared forth. The commanding officer’s eyes were locked on the screen, while behind him, his staff officers were exchanging uneasy and suspicious glances.

“Why isn’t Thor’s Hammer firing?” Lutz shouted. A nervous, agitated sweat dampened the brow of the Imperial Navy’s intrepid admiral. His carefully timed, intricately constructed plan was beginning to collapse like a wall of sand.

###

On the other side of an 800,000-kilometer void, the tension inside Iser­lohn Fortress had rapidly grown into worry, followed by panic. Operators flooded the comm channels with a mixture of screams and curses, and their fingers raced vainly across their keyboards as though they were amateur pianists.

“It isn’t working!”

“No response!”

“Control is not possible!”

Their cries resounded against one another. Numerous transmissions had been broadcast from the rapidly closing Yang Fleet. One of them that Iserlohn’s computers picked up was a string of words no operator could have considered a normal transmission—“For health and beauty, have a cup of tea after every meal”—and in that instant, all defensive systems immediately went down.

Vice Admiral Wöhler, entrusted by Lutz with the vital mission of defending the fortress, could feel something akin to a toothache shooting through his mental circuitry. The sense of victory he had felt up until a moment ago had been purged from his body, replaced by the oppressive weight of a nightmare presaging doom.

“Break off computer control and switch over to manual! Fire Thor’s Hammer at all costs!” The orders caught in his throat, and wouldn’t eas­ily leave his mouth.

Despair transformed into sound, and leapt from the operator’s mouth.

“It’s no good, Commander! It’s impossible!”

Understanding and terror invaded Vice Admiral Wöhler’s right and left lungs, and finding it increasingly hard to breathe, he sat there frozen in the command seat.

That keyword for disabling the fortress defenses had been the seed of Yang Wen-li’s magic trick—one he had planted one year ago, when he had fled from the fortress. Even so, what an absurd pass phrase! For his part, Yang felt he had worked very hard to come up with an utterance that carried no risk of being used in Iserlohn’s official transmissions dur­ing the next few years—although not even he could have put up a strong argument for it in terms of stylishness and taste.

Clearly, there had to be another phrase to unlock the systems, but as a practical problem, discovering it was an impossibility.

When the Imperial Navy had recovered Iserlohn, a large number of ultra-low-frequency bombs had been discovered. It had been believed that the fleeing Free Planets’ forces had tried and failed to detonate the fortress. However, when he thought about it now, that had actually been an exceedingly clever feint, designed to divert the Imperial Navy’s eyes from the real trap.

“The enemy is about to storm the port!”

“Close the gates! Don’t let them inside!”

Although the order was given, the reply was not hard to guess. When he heard the operator’s cry that the gates couldn’t he closed, Wöhler stood up from the command seat, and gave the order to prepare for hand-to-hand combat. The air inside the fortress vibrated with the sound of alarms.

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THE THOUSAND YEAR BEACH giveaway contest winners!

The Thousand Year Beach is out today! Go buy it…unless you’re one of our four winners! And they are…

Jason, who got sentimental about William Gibson’s Neuromancer!

Jim Rion, who was interested in Tad Williams’s Otherland and its use of the Xhosa language.

Intern Jessica selected John Austin as a winner, perhaps because rather than despite the fact that his answer was just “?” (We get it, the intern wants more challenging assignments.)

Finally, Tatianna, for not just talking about The Matrix, but also The Animatrix!

Thanks everyone for playing, and enjoy your time on The Thousand Year Beach!

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THE THOUSAND YEAR BEACH giveaway contest

We are back, with our latest title, TOBI Hirotaka’s The Thousand Year Beach! A story of a long-abandoned virtual reality environment—think something like a TinyMUD or Second Life, but utterly immersive—facing an invasion from inexplicable outside forces, the book is already getting a bit of a buzz. Subscription box Page Habit has selected The Thousand Year Beach as its June science fiction title and we’re looking to help spread the word further with one of our giveaway contests!

You may know the drill by now: respond to this post with a little essay, anecdote, or poem about your favorite book, comic, film, or videogame that focuses on Virtual Reality. Write it up in English, Japanese, Spanish, German, Chinese, or Greek—we ship anywhere! (But we don’t ready every language, just those listed.) On Friday we’ll pick the four answers we like best and ship out the copies.

Are you ready for some mind-blowing SF that is also a literal “beach book”? Get to commenting!

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Excerpt for The Thousand Year Beach

Jules lay back against the rocks.

Jules was unable to get a certain thought out of his mind.

Could that old man be my papa?

When exactly had this idea taken up residence in his head?

He did not know.

I’m resident of this Realm, this virtual resort space, thought Jules. Just an NPC AI, built in from the beginning.

My thoughts, my memories, my body—all a precisely designed set of objects running on the Realm’s system.

But Papa’s different.

Papa’s a guest.

An unidentifiable face in the crowd of thousands who lived in the real world but held memberships in the Costa del Número. Papa used his membership to come to my house, after choosing our Realm of Summer out of countless other Realms and reserving the open role of my papa.

The Realm had many open roles like this. As long as they weren’t already in use, anyone with Costa del Número membership could fill them, regardless of sex or age.

And in that way, a new Papa sat at Jules’s table every day.

His family shared a range of summer pleasures with “Papa.”

But not that old man. So what’s this mysterious kinship, almost like a bond of blood, that I feel around him? More…


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