Haikasoru

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Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.
All You Need Is Kill Buy Now!

ALL YOU NEED IS KILL
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA

Available on the eBook! The Lord of the Sands of Time Buy Now!

THE LORD OF THE SANDS
OF TIME
ISSUI OGAWA

Available on the eBook! Z00 Buy Now!

ZOO
OTSUICHI

Usurper of the Sun Buy Now!

USURPER OF THE SUN
HOUSUKE NOJIRI

Available on the eBook! Battle Royale: The Novel Buy Now!

BATTLE ROYALE: THE NOVEL
KOUSHUN TAKAMI

Brave Story Buy Now!

BRAVE STORY
MIYUKI MIYABE

Available on the eBook! The Book of Heroes Buy Now!

THE BOOK OF HEROES
MIYUKI MIYABE

Available on the eBook! Yukikaze Buy Now!

YUKIKAZE
CHŌHEI KAMBAYASHI

Available on the eBook! The Stories of Ibis Buy Now!

THE STORIES OF IBIS
HIROSHI YAMAMOTO

Available on the eBook! Loups=Garous Buy Now!

LOUPS-GAROUS
NATSUHIKO KYOGOKU

Available on the eBook! Slum Online Buy Now!

SLUM ONLINE
HIROSHI SAKURAZAKA

Available on the eBook! The Next Continent Buy Now!

THE NEXT CONTINENT
ISSUI OGAWA

Available on the eBook! Harmony Buy Now!

HARMONY
PROJECT ITOH

Available on the eBook! Rocket Girls Buy Now!

ROCKET GIRLS
HOUSUKE NOJIRI

Available on the eBook! Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse Buy Now!

SUMMER, FIREWORKS, AND MY CORPSE OTSUICHI

The Ouroboros Wave Buy Now!

THE OUROBUROS WAVE
JYOUJI HAYASHI

Available on the eBook! Dragon Sword and Wind Child Buy Now!

DRAGON SWORD AND WIND CHILD
NORIKO OGIWARA

Available on the eBook! Mardock Scramble Buy Now!

MARDOCK SCRAMBLE
TOW UBUKATA

Available on the eBook! Rocket Girls: The Last Planet Buy Now!

ROCKET GIRLS: THE LAST PLANET HOUSUKE NOJIRI

Available on the eBook! Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince Buy Now!

MIRROR SWORD AND SHADOW PRINCE
NORIKO OGIWARA

Available on the eBook! Good Luck, Yukikaze Buy Now!

GOOD LUCK, YUKIKAZE
CHŌHEI KAMBAYASHI

Available on the eBook! ICO: Castle in the Mist Buy Now!

ICO: CASTLE IN THE MIST
MIYUKI MIYABE

Available on the eBook! The Cage of Zeus Buy Now!

THE CAGE OF ZEUS
SAYURI UEDA

Available on the eBook! Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights Buy Now!

TEN BILLION DAYS AND ONE HUNDRED BILLION NIGHTS
RYU MITSUSE

Available on the eBook! MM9 Buy Now!

MM9
HIROSHI YAMAMOTO

Available on the eBook! The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili Buy Now!

THE NAVIDAD INCIDENT: THE DOWNFALL OF MATÍAS GUILI
NATSUKI IKEZAWA

Available on the eBook! The Future is Japanese Buy Now!

THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE
HAIKASORU

Available on the eBook! Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots Buy Now!

METAL GEAR SOLID: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS
PROJECT ITOH

Available on the eBook! Genocidal Organ Buy Now!

GENOCIDAL ORGAN
PROJECT ITOH

Available on the eBook! Belka Why Dont You Bark Buy Now!

BELKA WHY DON'T YOU BARK?
HIDEO FURUKAWA

Available on the eBook! VIRUS Buy Now!

VIRUS
SAKYO KOMATSU

Available on the eBook! Self-Reference ENGINE Buy Now!

SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE
TOH ENJOE

Available on the eBook! Self-Reference ENGINE Buy Now!

NOBBLE V: GREYLANCER
HIDEYUKI KIKUCHI

Available on the eBook! Self-Reference ENGINE Buy Now!

THE MELANCHOLY OF MECHAGIRL
CATHERYNNE M. VALENTE

Available on the eBook! Apparitions Buy Now!

APPARITIONS: GHOSTS OF OLD EDO
MIYUKI MIYABE

Available on the eBook! Battle Royale Slam Book Buy Now!

THE BATTLE ROYALE SLAM BOOK
HAIKASORU

Available on the eBook! 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

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The 2014 Haikasoru Gift Guide

What better present is there than a book? Not only does it show that you think the gift recipient is intelligent, you get to show off your own taste and sophistication as well. That’s what they call a win-win situation. We have a wide assortment of books, and appeal to several different audiences, so here is our recommendation list for this holiday season.

What should you buy for:

A junior high or high school student

High school students need Battle Royale Remastered, our new translation of the cult classic, and the non-fiction companion title The Battle Royale Slam Book. Imagine the year-end term papers anyone so outfitted could write. Sometimes these poor things are told to read a book over winter break, and write a reaction paper, with sources! (The Slam Book is good for that.)

“Okay teacher, I will. I will.”

Someone who doesn’t actually like to read

All You Need Is Kill: The Graphic Novel. It has pictures. It’s a Western-style comic book. It makes a good gift bundle along with Edge of Tomorrow and the manga, and perhaps even the film DVD. It’s a transmedia experience with a very low word-count.

My ahead-of-the-curve friend who already reads everything, hears about all the new writers first, and is impossible to shop for

They need a copy of Phantasm Japan, which has stories by some of the best new writers, and is anchored by a stunning illustrated novella by Dempow Torishima. It’s…well, it’s hard to describe. No matter who your avant friend is, he or she will be surprised.

Young people who love science

Did you know that all our books are still in print? That means Rocket Girls and Rocket Girls: The Last Planet are still available! Ready for a wacky adventure with solid science grounding? These are the books for you. Highly recommended for anyone who loved Andy Weir’s novel The Martian.

My uncle who won’t stop talking about conspiracy theories and the end of the world at our family parties and just ends up upsetting everyone

Shut him up with a copy of Virus. It’s a thriller, like a Japanese Michael Chrichton novel, by Japanese science fiction grandmaster Sakyo Komatsu. This book has everything…submarines, nuclear weapons, fast cars, two billion corpses, biochemical warfare, real science, international cooperation at the South Pole, and hunger-mad politicians! And it’s long enough that Uncle Herbie will probably fall asleep with it tented up on his stomach somewhat early in the evening. Snoring is better than going on about the gold standard and chemtrails all night, isn’t it?

Old-school types who still tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve

People do that? Yes, or they used to. Still somewhat common in The United Kingdom. For some creepy yet all-ages fun, you need our ghost story collection by Miyuki Miyabe Apparitions.

My creepy cousin who just sits at the dinner table with everyone else and doesn’t eat or make a sound

Definitely Asura Girl. Say no more.

Happy shopping, and happy holidays!

ASURA GIRL winners!

We had a lot of great responses to our latest giveaway. So, who won a copy of the wild thriller Asura Girl?

First winner is Scott for citing extreme horror legend Ed Lee and his infamous Bighead. This is almost like an intervention! Scott, here’s another book for you to read, so you won’t have to read Bighead again!

Next up is Nathan, who read a children’s book about Satanic Ritual Abuse—that is, a book designed to help kids deal with the abuse, which ended up being a weird case of mass cultural hysteria. Very freaky, Nathan!

A couple of people mentioned Welcome to the NHK, but we liked Ken’s. Glad you’re feeling better, Ken!

And finally, Natalya, who reminds us that often the wildest books we read are the ones we read as tiny children.

Thanks everyone who entered, and try us again next time. Also, on Twitter, the @VizMedia account is running its own Asura Girl sweepstakes using the hashtag #wildreads—no skill needed there, just name the wildest book you’ve ever read and you have a random chance of winning!

It’s the ASURA GIRL giveaway contest!

Asura Girl by Otaro Maijo comes out tomorrow, and this week we’re giving away four copies! Asura Girl is one of the strangest books we’ve ever published—a hyperactive thriller with plenty of sex, violence, and everyone’s favorite thing: typographical trickery. (We took extra time to make sure all the unusual fonts and layouts would show up properly on your Kindles, NOOKs, and iPads.)

This time our essay question is an easy one: what’s the wildest novel you’ve ever read? “Wildest” can mean anything: weirdest, raunchiest, most thrilling, most disturbing, most “out there.” You convince us that the book you name is a wild one! Just leave a comment on this blog post—and make it a good one, we’re looking for quality, not just picking at random—and four lucky winners will get a free copy of Asura Girl! We ship anywhere, will read submissions in English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German, or Greek, and will accept bad poetry as well. Winners announced Friday afternoon!

Let us know what you think!

Phantasm Japan Q/A with Joseph Tomaras

Phantasm Japan runs the gamut of the genre of fantasy, from retellings of classic tales to pop culture subversions to terrifying visions of a future so extreme that humanity is unrecognizable (and much slimier). One of the most interesting stories, structurally, is “Thirty-Eight Observations on the Nature of the Self” from new writer Joseph Tomaras. He’s published several stories online, but Phantasm Japan is his dead tree-debut. He talks, a lot, with editor Nick Mamatas here:

How did you first come across the Japanese concepts you used in your story?

It was in some listicle about “untranslatable words”. It may even have been in Cracked, of all places. Being a former philosophy major, I am drawn to metaphysical concepts, like a magpie to shiny objects. I deposit them in my brain, and pick them out occasionally to gawk at them. Occasionally, they resonate with something that I have observed in social reality. My encounter with tatemae and honne was particularly timely, as I’ll explain when I get to your question about Maine. To map that resonance between concept and reality you need an instrument that is more sensitive than, say, an essay, which is better at mapping correspondences than resonances, showing how the concept describes reality. Resonances are more about situations where the concept provides us with a way of understanding reality that transforms the reality by intensifying already latent phenomena. The instrument for mapping the resonance is fiction, the writing of a story.

Most newer writers tend to stick to tried and true structural formulae and traditional themes. You went for an innovative list-structure “Thirty-Eight Observations on the Nature of the Self” and dove right into a theme that most genre fiction magazines warn people against submitting. What the heck, Joseph?

I am only a new writer with reference to short fiction as a form. My job in the grants office of a small college requires great volumes of writing, not just of grant proposals or portions thereof, but policy documents, institutional correspondence, etc., and that has been the case with all my jobs for the last fourteen years. Bureaucratic spoor is the prose that we all speak without knowing it. Against that background noise, people whose job it is to write persuasively–not just grant writers, but marketers, advertising copywriters, and the like—are the unacknowledged poets of our age, evoking intimations of the sublime through descriptions of measurable objectives and project outputs.

Nor is my experience with persuasive writing limited to the “day job;” for a comparable span of time, anonymously or pseudonymously, I have written reams of prose published through various blogs, internal bulletins, small-circulation magazines, and episodically photocopied leaflets, on the margins of the already marginal radical left. Since the type of radicalism to which I had formerly wed myself, Trotskyism, is a kind of alternate history in the field of political action, the transition to speculative modes of fiction was almost a given.

I never set out to make a career for myself in the writing of fiction. I enjoy the work I do, for which I am paid much better than most working writers, and I suspect at times that my off-hours would be better spent campaigning for candidates of the Maine Green Independent Party than trying to submit my work for publication. It’s just that in the last three years, I have written more than twenty stories. I re-read them periodically to try and convince myself that they suck. Too often, I fail at that, and find myself still enjoying the piece and wishing that more people could read it. So I am trying, for now, not to let all that work go to waste, acting as a kind of Yenta the Matchmaker for my brood. I may never write another story, or I may live another fifty years and write a few hundred more. I write what I want, or what I feel compelled to write, and if it gets published, wonderful!

As for the theme: Many, though not all, of my stories draw upon past traumas, though usually they undergo more than a bit of sublimation and transfiguration along the way. I certainly understand why a magazine editor, weary of lazy depictions of traumatizing events, might impose a blanket ban on such themes. (I prefer it when such taboos are clearly stated in the guidelines, rather than left for the reader to infer.) But the net effect of such bans is to silence much of human experience.

You moved to Maine a few years ago and it is the setting for a couple of your stories. Was it difficult to place a Japanese cultural concept within such an archetypically American setting?

I made it easy on myself by setting it in Maine. For one thing, it seems like I have an easier time selling my stories set in Maine than those in other settings. I have multiple guesses as to why that might be the case, each of which is probably at least partly true. It is, as the Althusserians say, overdetermined.

But there are also some similarities between Japan and Maine. They have in common a relatively high degree of xenophobia. The statistics on both are well-known. Japan has the smallest immigrant population of any wealthy nation, proportionally, and is second only to the U.S. in the proportion of its citizens who speak no second language well. Maine, in turn, is the whitest state in the U.S., and has the smallest proportion of immigrants of any state. There is, further, the Maine concept of “from away.” It is a status that is easy to assume and near impossible to shed. The husband of a former dean of mine once told me that, though his family had lived in Maine since colonial times and he had lived here nearly all his life, he would always be “from away” since he had had the misfortune of being born in Massachusetts. Even my infant son, born in a freak April snowstorm, will always be under suspicion of being “from away,” what with his foreign-sounding surname and New Yorker parents. (The story of my origins is more complicated than it is interesting, but for all practical purposes, I am a New Yorker.)

I encountered the conceptual dyad at the core of the story, honne/tatemae, just as we were getting ready to move into our house, in a small town that is not named “North Glamis” (for there is no such town). I was anxious as to whether we would get along well with our neighbors, in a place where getting along well with one’s neighbors was both possible and necessary in ways it had never been in the City. There was more cause for such anxiety than simply being “from away”. For example, the town in which I live is, by some measures, the wealthiest in the state, and yet I am a communist. The place practically defines heteronormativity, yet I identify as queer (even though my life is, to all appearances, as heteronormative as any). To the extent that I try and get my writing published, I put this stuff out there. The anxiety was, in part, an anxiety about being found out and the impact that could have on my family.

It would be impossible to write a story about the honne (the true self) set in New York City. New Yorkers don’t give a fuck about anyone’s true self. If it ever shows, they’ll just assume it’s another constructed front (tatemae), put on for some sort of performative advantage. Mainers, though they would rather not be exposed to the true self, if it shows, they’ll talk.

The first version of the story was terrible, too many correspondences and not enough resonances, too much like an essay. I knew I would have to radically rewrite it for it to ever be worth publishing. Around the time I started rewriting it for Phantasm Japan, my parents were going through an ugly and overdue divorce, in the course of which things came to light about my father that showed him to be an even greater asshole than I had hitherto believed him to be. There is nothing in the story that is crudely camouflaged autobiography or family tell-all, but the situation enabled me to be more creative in thinking about the manifold ways in which relations between fathers and sons, or between spouses, or between a person and his community, can fall apart when someone loses track of their own desires.


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