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Archive for November, 2011


Takebashi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo: Japan Meteorological Agency HQ—

A jittery reporter on the flatscreen TV was saying, “The child—no, the kaiju with the appearance of a child—just sat down in the Nagara riverside road and is holding a car, pushing it back and forth, playing with it like a toy. Oh! She’s lifted it up now. Oh, that’s really high. There doesn’t appear to be anyone inside, but . . .”

Kurihama fumed. “Enough of her face! Show us below her neck! Below her neck!”

“Chief,” Toshio said soothingly, “you know they can’t. It’s broadcast TV.”

Yuri grumbled, “Really, this doesn’t give us anything.”

Five hours had passed since the kaiju was first sighted, and all the networks had teams of reporters on-site—but all of them broadcast images with a digital mosaic obscuring the girl’s body below her neck. It was self-censorship, each network independently coming to the same conclusion—an uncensored image might have run afoul of child pornography laws. But even so, it was frustrating for the MMD not to have full knowledge of the kaiju they were dealing with.

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Last night, I went to the famed Berkeley, California bookstore Moe’s Books to hear writer Jonathan Lethem and editor Pamela Jackson talk about the new book The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. As the name “Haikasoru” itself hints, we are great fans of Philip K. Dick, and his Hugo Award-winning novel The Man in the High Castle (high castle=haikasoru), and Dicks’ exegesis has been a long time coming. The house was packed with fans!

In 1974, Dick had a religious experience (check out the comic strip summary by R. Crumb) in which he “realized” that the Roman Empire had never fallen. He spent the rest of his life trying to come to terms with his vision, and he left behind nearly 9000 pages of material—letters, graphs, and other writing—trying to come to philosophical and theological terms with his experience. He did this while still being a prolific writer of science fiction novel. The three novels of the VALIS trilogy hint at his religious experience, but the exegesis itself has gone unpublished…until now.

Of course, Lethem pointed out right away, it’s not the whole exegeis. The new book is only about 1000 pages long, and has annotations and remarks from the editors and from scholars as well. So maybe a tenth of the two file cabinet drawers worth of material is represented in the book.

Two of Dick’s daughters were present as well. Laura Leslie and Isa Dick Hackett had conflicted memories of their father, and both only made a few comments, but they were interesting. Leslie noted that her father wasn’t “crazy” or “schizophrenic”, and that the exegesis shows a grasp of philosophy that few people have. Hackett relayed an anecdote in which her father, having described seeing an angel, burst into tears.

It was a very strange night about a very strange book. And that strangeness reminded me of the many joys of science fiction.

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I get questions, lots and lots of questions. And now I can finally answer, “YES!” to one of them.

“Are your book going to ever be available for the NOOK?”

YES! Here’s Cage of Zeus, for example, and Harmony, and many others are on there. We’re setting up an ebook page with buttons for Kindle, NOOK, SONY eReader, and Apple iBooks which should be up in a day or two, but for now, go to the NOOK store and get to clicking!

(Sadly, a search for “Haikasoru” on the NOOK store doesn’t just spit out all of our titles.)

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Nothing beats book release day here at Haikasoru HQ. Today, the brand-new hardcover The Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights is out. The cover glows in the dark! If you’re not into mass and weight, the screen of your e-reader glows in the dark as well. Those links will be up in a few days.

If you’re buying for a young adult, definitely check out the new paperback edition of The Book of Heroes. All the fun and excitement of the hardcover, but cheaper and easier to lift! Locus magazine is excited about it, and gave the book a little shout-out in their monthly New in Paperback column.

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