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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

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Recent Comments
  • Julia S.:
    Great reviews, Michelle. You sold me!
  • Marc M.:
    Reading this right now….thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for bringing this to to the US.
  • Timothy J.:
    These were all quite good. Congrats to all the winners!
  • Zack:
    and that last one that actually “awaiting moderation” isn’t approve, wonder how many other...
  • Zack:
    My introduction with LotGH may not be the same as most people, it did not start with unicorn and rainbow. I was...
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Excerpt from SAIENSU FIKUSHON 2016

From “A Fair War”
by Taiyo Fujii

 

A killbug was a drone used to indiscriminately kill in the name of ETIS’s fight for an independent nation in the Xinjiang territory. Their small frames were fitted with AK-47 stocks and receivers made in small-scale Tibetan factories, and short, unrifled barrels capable of ring 7.62 mm rounds. Like the PLA’s Bingfeng MUCAVs, the drones were killing machines equipped with internal AI capable of seeking and destroying targets by their own will.

The cheap gunpowder available to the killbugs wouldn’t provide enough velocity for the bullets to penetrate reinforced concrete. If my memory was correct, the drone only carried twenty rounds. Even if it decided to expend it all in one blind volley, as long as we kept our heads below the windowsill, we would be all right.

Diving for the window had been the right course of action.

I signaled with my hands to let Wen, Jinzhu, and Aypasha know that we had a killbug outside. But when I looked across the office, I saw something that left me stunned with disbelief.

Across the of office, Bateer stood, his mouth hanging open. He, and the rest of the staff, were staring in bewilderment at us four crouching beneath the windows. I began to shout, “Wodao!— “Get down!”—but realized that they would be unfamiliar with military speak.

Plainly, I said, “Bateer, everyone, duck your heads! It’s coming to the window. A killbug is out there.”

A few slowly lowered their heads, but Bateer simply looked out the window with a confused expression. No, duck first, I thought to him, then look.

As I was about to speak up, a breeze came into the room. I heard two sounds: a door opening, and a voice speaking in thick Japanese.

“Good morning!”

It was Kuma, the head of the company. He picked a hell of a time to show up at work.

His stocky frame draped with a relaxed beige suit, the boss grabbed the brim of his white hat and was making a show of doffing it as his gaze landed on my signaling hand.

Now in gruff, Shanghai-accented Chinese, he said, “Outside the window?” He squinted in that direction. “That’s a PLA Bingfeng—No, wait. An ETIS killbug, then? Wouldn’t have thought to see one coming here.”

From his breast pocket, Kuma withdrew a pink tube roughly the size of a cigar and pointed it at the window.

“You four best move away from the window, just in case. I’m gonna fry that thing.”

I didn’t understand what he was doing, but he said it so forcefully that we obeyed without a word, moving away from the window and ducking down even lower.

His thick thumb, with hair coming all the way down to the second knuckle, pressed against part of the tube.

The sound of the thing, like a peanut shell bursting open, sent my hair standing on end.

“Ow, ow, ow!” Kuma said with a grimace as he tossed the pink cylinder to the ground.

The tube rolled to a stop near my feet, where it sent out wisps of smoke and the acrid smell of burning plastic.

“You’re not supposed to use it without gloves,” Kuma explained, walking to the window next to me. He put his hands on the sill.

I picked up the smoldering pink tube. It carried a label marked Ying-xiang (Bug Fumigant) followed by usage instructions that extolled its effectiveness against killbugs.

I couldn’t tell if it had broken naturally through use or if it had broken when Kuma dropped it. On one end, a triple-A battery peeked out from the loosened cap. As I was inspecting the device, Kuma spoke.

“It’s an EMP. Look for yourself.” He gestured out the window with his chin.

I stood and followed his sightline out the window, where the killbug was gradually dropping altitude in search of a place to land.

“Its sensors are all dead,” my boss explained. “CPU’s probably fried, too.”

“This thing, it’s called a ying-xiang?” I asked. I pulled two triple-A batteries from the husk. “I never would have thought something with this little power could make an EMP strong enough to fry a killbug.”

Kuma’s eyes widened. “Well, look at you, soldier. I didn’t know you talked. All I ever hear you say is shi.”

“What? I mean, maybe three months ago, sure, but I’ve adjusted.”

“I suppose so. No offense,” Kuma said with a chuckle. His eyes followed the killbug. “Those little drones are made with cheap components. Each killbug costs about eighty dollars to make—that’s what, five hundred yuan? But even their blind fire will kill people in a crowd. They can shoot through windows, and if they crash, the ammonia in their fuel cells sprays out everywhere and makes quite a stink. As far as cost-performance ratio goes, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Before I could respond, someone else spoke up from behind me.

“That was . . . a killbug? It was after us?”

I turned and saw it was Bateer. His face looked ashen and blood-drained, and his eyes were wide.

“Yeah,” I said. “But we’re safe now.”
I don’t know if he just didn’t hear me, but the next thing he did was duck in a panic. Losing balance, he stumbled over his chair and toppled to the ground on the other side. Likewise, the other staff finally got around to crouching.

Kuma let out a good belly laugh.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from THE GATE OF SORROWS

But the girl was afraid of one building, the only one that never had any lights, ever. It was right in front of her, out the window. She could see it in the rain-smoked light from the other buildings. Hulking, dark, alone. Mama had taught her how to count. One, two, curl your fingers. Or stick them out and count out loud. Counting that way, the scary building was a little more than three traffic lights from the apartment. The girl wanted to count the buildings between, but she ran out of fingers and didn’t know what to do next. So she counted the traffic lights.

The building was peculiar. Mama had told her it was for business, but it had a different shape from the ones that made up the forest, and it was different from the nearer ones that seemed to be made of glass.

To the little girl, the building looked just like the can of cookies one of Mama’s customers had given her a long time ago. There was a picture of Mickey Mouse on the outside, and cookies that tasted like cocoa nestled beneath the lid.

This shape is called a cylinder. They don’t always have cookies. They hold all kinds of things. Tea, or candy.

The little girl could see the round building whenever she looked out the window, like a dark pillar between her and the sparkling buildings in the distance.

One, two, three. She had counted the number of stories on her fingers, with Mama’s help. The building had four stories.

It looks like no one is using it.

Mama had told her no one was living there, probably.

The building was empty. That’s why the lights didn’t go on. No one was going in and out. The little girl had never seen anyone open or close the windows in the daytime.

The roof of the building was a little bit funny. There was no railing. Instead, it was surrounded by a notched wall. The was a gap in the wall, at the left edge of the roof. There was something in the gap.

At first she thought it was a somebody. That was the afternoon of the day they had moved to this apartment, before she found out the building was dark at night. Mama! Mama! Look, somebody is sitting up there!

At first her mother was surprised too. She scrunched her eyes up and tilted her head this way and that.

That’s not a person. It’s some kind of a bronze statue, Mana. It must be a roof decoration.

A bronze statue. A decoration.

Like the ones in the park, remember? That one’s a little funny though, isn’t it?

It was funny. The little girl had never seen anything like it. She had said somebody was sitting up there because that’s just how it looked. But it wasn’t a somebody. It couldn’t be, because it had wings.

What was it, this something squatting on huge legs, hunched over, brooding on the roof of that black pillar?

In the girl’s eyes, that something was a monster out of the darkness, like in movies on TV or a picture in a book, a monster that spread its wings and rose into the air, slashing people with hooked claws. She wanted to take a closer look, even climb up to that roof. But maybe it would move if she got too close to it. It was a monster, after all.

The girl looked at the monster every day. She wanted to be sure it hadn’t moved, that it wasn’t getting closer, that monster brooding in the center of the view she loved to look at from the window.

The girl looked out the window, wrapped in her mother’s coat. The only trace of warmth in the freezing room was the fog of her breath. The monster was there now, in the winter storm and silver rain. Sometimes it disappeared in the sheeting downpour. Whenever that happened, the girl squinted to make sure it was still there.

The monster is there. It’s just a statue. It’s not scary or anything.

On the floor behind the little girl, her mother—the only person in the world she could rely on, and who herself was desperately in need of someone to rely on—was dying of pneumonia. Her five-year-old mind did not understand that death was near. She was too young to understand what death was.

But instinctively, as a creature that lived, she knew death was close. It was coming for her mother, coming to take away her single mother, worn out by years of toil and hard luck, to leave her only child, who had only ever heard her name spoken by her mother, alone in the darkness of this tiny room.

Death was coming. She could feel it. She wanted to snuggle up to her mother, but it was forbidden. All she could do was look out the window.

But she could be a sentinel. She could watch to see how close death was.

The monster would show her. If it moved, if it spread its wings, if it kicked off into the sky from that gap-tooth rampart, she would know.

Maybe she had been wrong to stare at it every day. Maybe looking at it so much made it notice her and Mama.

Her mother was wracked by another violent coughing fit. Then her throat made a different sound. It was like the wind blowing through the gap in the window frame. A creaking hiss.

The rain poured down the glass. Everything was blurred. The girl wiped the glass with a little hand. The freezing window raised goose bumps on her arms.

The monster would come. It would start to move. What would be scarier, to watch or turn away? She would hide in her mother’s bed, put her back close against her mother’s back.

Mama, the monster is coming!

In vain, her mother gasped for air.

That was when she saw it.

An enormous darkness descended onto the roof of the black pillar. It seemed to drop from the sky and alight by the hulking statue.

Yes, it moved. It didn’t just appear, like pushing a switch. It didn’t come out of the shadows. It came down from the sky.

It came from the sky!

Out of the swollen clouds, beyond the sheets of silver rain.

This new darkness was bigger than the squatting monster. The inky silhouette was shaped like a person. Its hair was long. Its arms and legs were long too.

And like the monster, it had wings.

Intern Michelle Reviews…the StoryBundle

 

If you follow us on social media, you know that we are currently running a Story Bundle for some of our most popular and acclaimed ebooks—you can buy five or all ten ebooks for your own price. Thanks to Intern Michelle, we were able to get the package together right away, and she wanted to share her thoughts on the books with you! Buy the bundle, and tell us what you think!

 

The Final Bundle Countdown

By: Michelle Yee

 

With eight days left of Haikasoru’s first storybundle, there’s still time to get many of Haikasoru’s favorites, including Project Itoh’s Genocidal Organ and Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s Slum Online. Of course, the bonus books are equally impressive, especially Legend of the Galactic Heroes Vol. 1: Dawn.

 

With that in mind, let’s begin our short journey through the amazing books that make up Haikasoru’s first sci-fi bundle!

 

The Battle Royale Slam Book

 

I recently finished Battle Royale before reading this slam book so I do understand how all the essays relate to the story. Other than that, I don’t think it’s necessary to read Battle Royale before reading this book. While many of the writers constantly reference back to it, what really makes these stories interesting is how they all manage to bring in their own personal experiences. From John Skipp’s childhood recollection of dying kids to Jason Ridler’s discussion of professional wrestling, these contributors that come from all parts of the world are able to share how this crazy riveting story about children killing each other, has managed to change their lives.

 

The Future is Japanese

 

Since the title of the anthology of stories is called The Future is Japanese, you would expect these stories to have that futuristic techno tone, but to my pleasant surprise, I found myself imagining that these events could happen tomorrow or even by the end of today. Hugo Award-winning short story “Mono No Aware” by Ken Liu is a delight not just because there’s pictures of kanji scattered throughout the story, but also because of how heart-wrenchingly real it is.

 

Genocidal Organ

 

Dark, graphic and bloody from the first sentence, Project Itoh’s first novel takes you in for a ride through the dark references to Alice in Wonderland to the world of the afterlife. The story is as grim as the war on terror that creeps through the lives of the main character, but it still manages to pull you in due to the ingenious use of a multitude of genres from espionage to mystery to horror.

 

The Lord of the Sands of Time

 

What starts off as a historical novel about a young queen and her faithful servant quickly spirals into the story of the mysterious Messenger O who travels across time on a mission to unite different eras to defeat the future rampant alien invasion. Similar to his time jumps, the chapters themselves jump from different periods of his life, inviting the reader to piece together the enigmatic Messenger O and the people he meets along the way.

 

Slum Online

 

A novel for the modern age, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, author of hit novel All You Need Is Kill, creates the picture of young adolescence in Etsuro Sakagami, an awkward college freshman in real life and a formidable fighter in the combat MMO Versus Town. With the rise of social media platforms, online gaming and popular apps like Pokemon Go, it’s easy to get lost in the world of virtual reality. At any stage in life, we’re always searching for a sense of direction and reason for living and so we follow Etsuro on his journey to find his own life all the while finding ours.

 

 

Paying a little bit more for the bonus books is completely worth it, especially since you get another series of books that are equally amazing as the original bundle. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t a drag at all to get the bonus books; they were well worth the trouble.

 

Harmony

 

When I first looked at the Table of Contents, I thought I accidentally pulled up a chatroom before I realized that I was reading Harmony. Set years after the original events in Genocidal Organ, Project Itoh immediately draws you into the story of the perfect utopian future of Japan and the three girls that try to commit suicide to defy it. Scratch that—make that one girl that dies and the two girls that try to understand their lives afterwards. A thought-provoking commentary on society, this Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation winner makes us look at utopias in its entirety, all the while raising questions that make us question ourselves.

Gene Mapper

 

How far would you go to save your rice crop? Gene mapper Hayashida would go across Asia with a hired gun-hacker to do so. Taiyo Fujii’s world may be a future where reality is arranged through biology itself, but the idea of genetically modified food isn’t new. In fact, what makes this book so involving is the fact that reality can go in this direction. Gene Mapper pushes us to think about humanity’s consistent use of technology and what that does to society.

 

Hanzai Japan

 

Haikasoru’s most recent anthology, this collection brings together crime and mystery stories with the usual flair of science fiction and fantasy. Exploring different aspects of the fantastical, technology and psychology of both the detective and the criminal, Hanzai Japan makes for an entertaining series of short stories that can bring even the most uncaring reader to life. My personal favorite would have to be Carrie Vaughn’s “The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife,” a story about a girl who will do anything to win her high school band contest and manages to solve a mystery along the way.

 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Vol 1: Dawn

 

In humanity’s distant future, the monarchic Galactic Empire and democratic Free Planets Alliance fight in a continuous war, led by their respective military heroes: ambitious Reinhard von Lohengramm and strategic Yang Wen-li. Fans had petitioned the Legend of the Galactic Heroes series to be translated for a long time and I can see why. Engaging and action-packed with hints of Western space dramas, I find myself not being able to choose a side. Maybe in the next few novels, I’ll finally be able to make my decision. If you liked this book, Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Vol 2: Ambition just came out in bookstores, so check that out!

 

Phantasm Japan

 

As editor Nick Mamatas says in the introduction, “Phantasm Japan seeks to use the fantastic not to mystify, but to demystify,” and this anthology does just that. By incorporating the fantastical with science fiction, it blends together with the stories of ancient Japan and the mystical yokai that come along with it. However, my personal favorite story has to be Tim Pratt’s “Those Who Hunt Monsters.” Lighthearted and powerful, it is a modern exploration of racism and the face it hides behind, magical beings included.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 2: Amibition

Charge and retreat.

During the space of eight hours, Reinhard’s armored grenadiers charged nine times into Corridor Six and nine times were beaten back.

Among the high-ranking officers of the imperial military, including both pro- and anti-Reinhard factions, no man had killed as many people with his own hands as Ofresser. Born a low-ranking aristocrat, this man had reached the highest echelons of the imperial military not through political power, and not through tactical wizardry, but simply through the sheer amount of rebel blood he had spilled. This man had flooded Corridor Six with the gaseous explosive known as Seffl particles, denying his opponents, and his allies, the use of even light firearms. Determinedly using only his body and his physical strength, he kept on fighting to send one more, just one more opponent, to death.

His tomahawk, as though making its own the gruesome desires of its owner, smashed the bodies of Reinhard’s men, reducing them to blood-splattered chunks of meat.

Both Mittermeier and von Reuentahl were men far removed from what might be called squeamishness. Even they, however, could not help averting their eyes from the scene as a soldier with one leg chopped off at the knee was trying desperately to drag himself away with both hands, and Ofresser simply walked up to him and smashed in his head with his giant, blood-fouled tomahawk. More…


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