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Archive for July, 2011

Sakyo Komatsu, RIP

Sad news today. Sakyo Komatsu, author of the classic Japan Sinks, has died at the age of eighty. Japan Sinks is one of the most important SF novels to be translated into English from the Japanese, and it combines the scientific rigor of hard SF with the sort of social speculation and commentary one might otherwise find in the work of writers such as J.G. Ballard.

Condolences to all of Mister Komatsu’s family, friends, and fans.

THE CAGE OF ZEUS – SAYURI UEDA

Fortia sat before the computer terminal and endured Dan Preda’s barrage of instructions for several moments.

“There’s been an incident in the docking bay. It’s likely the terrorists are behind it. The infirmary and lab were hit as well. I have a feeling the terrorists may have infiltrated the station during the commotion. I want you to keep the access door to the special district secure. Even if someone on the staff requests access, I want you to check with control first.”

“How many of them are there?”

“We don’t know.”

“Just what was the security staff doing?”

“Let’s just say they dropped the ball.”

“Utterly useless,” said Fortia. “We would have fared better if we’d been the ones carrying the guns.”

“What’s done is done. Just stay alert.”

Fortia ended the transmission and went into the next room.

Album was sleeping in the double bed with the covers pulled over eir head.

“Wake up,” said Fortia, patting Album on the cheek several times. “Nap time is over. We have to issue an alert.”

(more…)

Summer, Fireworks, And a Sale!

We have a lot to celebrate around here at Haikasoru—this is our second anniversary! We love bringing you the best science fiction and fantasy from Japan, and are pleased with the response we’re getting from manga fans, readers of SF, literary award juries, and even Hollywood. We’ve decided to do a little celebration. Good Luck, Yukikaze comes out tomorrow, and to make sure all our readers are up to speed on the saga of humanity’s war against the JAM, we’ve put the ebook of the original Yukikaze on sale!

For the rest of the month, the Kindle and iBook and SONY editions will be a mere $3.99!

Anniversaries are a time to look forward, and back, and summer is a time for reading—whether it’s on the beach or before school starts and work crowds out leisuretime, we’ve got some titles you should consider.

In Japan, summertime, not autumn, is the traditional season for spooky stories. That’s part of why Otsuichi named his first published story Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse. It’s the goosebumps that’ll keep you chill on a hot summer night, don’t you know.

Hugo-nominated fan writer and critic recently wrote of the book, I generally don’t care for horror, on account of horror protagonists generally being imbeciles who deserve their fate, and I only read this because I vowed to read all of Haikasoru’s line. I was very surprised to discover that in fact I liked this one quite a lot….I am quite pleased to have discovered Otsuichi’s fiction, which I never would have thought of seeking out under normal circumstances, and I will acquire any other books by him that I encounter.

Of course, here in the United States, summer is a time not for horror, but for weddings! (Well, maybe that is a special kind of horror of its own…) Extravagant weddings are a big deal in Japan as they are here in the US, but Issui Ogawa tops them all with The Next Continent, the story of one woman’s vision of building a wedding chapel on the moon. Hard SF in the West isn’t known for its emotional resonances, but Ogawa’s book isn’t just for engineers, it’s for engineers…and for lovers! Check it out.

Summertime also means that school’s out and summer jobs are necessary. Why not check out Rocket Girls and Rocket Girls: The Last Planet (both are available as ebooks now as well). If I were one of those marketing people, I’d say that “Yukari and Matsuri find that their summer jobs as astronauts are out of this world!” but I’m not so I’ll only say, “Yukari and Matsuri find that their summer jobs as astronauts are in low-Earth orbit!”

Summer is also a time for tackling those big projects. It doesn’t come much bigger than this epic of post-cyberpunk noir and wacky anime hijinks (yes, both!) in our three-books-in-one-volume monster Mardock Scramble.

Every teen prostitute turned murderous cyborg needs a little yellow mouse for a best friend. Ibookstore users can also download the bonus novelette, “Useful Monsters” for free!

That will keep you busy for a bit. Be sure to check us out regularly for news and fun contests!

ICO—it’s real!

Well well, look what came in the morning mail:

It’s the advance copy of ICO: Castle in the Mist. You can get it next month, or…if you’re feeling lucky, in our giveaway contest that we’ll launch just as soon as we get the first box of twenty here at the office?

EXCITED??!?!

Yeah, you’re excited.


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