Haikasoru

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EXCERPT [Archive]

Dendera

Makura Katsuragawa placed her hand over her nose as if to cover up the ravages of frostbite. “You’ve been saved,” she said.

“Saved? What does that mean, saved?” Kayu Saitoh asked.

“Well, this isn’t Paradise, if that’s what you mean.” Makura Katsuragawa grinned. “We’re on the other side. Of the Mountain, that is. The Mountain’s between us and the Village. So the Villagers won’t find us here. It’s a good place. Now isn’t that a comfort?”

Kayu Saitoh had never thought about life outside the Village during the seventy years that she had resided there, so Makura Katsuragawa’s words gave her a new shock. She understood vaguely on a theoretical level that there were places outside of the Village, of course, but the idea that she herself was no longer in the Village was beyond her comprehension, in the same way that she understood that birds could fly but couldn’t imagine flying herself.

“So you Climbed the Mountain too, right, Kayu?” Makura Katsuragawa lowered her face. “I was mighty sorry to see you in the state you were, collapsed in a heap at the top. But everything’s all right now. We dragged you along to Dendera.”

“Den . . . dera?”

“That’s what we call this place. When I was dumped in the Mountain eighteen years ago I was all afeared and cold, the crows were pecking at me, but then the people of Dendera saved me, just like you. Sasaka Yagi and Naki Sokabe and Nokobi Hidaka all Climbed the Mountain that year too, and all of them were rescued as well.”

“This place . . . has been here since before you Climbed the Mountain?” Kayu Saitoh asked. (more…)

Asura Girl

There was a kid in my sixth-grade homeroom named Takashi Nizaki. He was really smart and got good grades, but at times he could be a sadistic bully and a bit schizo. He would be friends with you one day only to cut you dead the next. He was smart and good at sports, and he could talk circles around everybody, but there was something a bit spooky about him. Still, he ruled the class. The only one who could stand up to him was Masaki Urayasu from the class next door, and when Urayasu was beating the crap out of Nizaki, it was Urayasu’s friend, Yoji Kaneda, who waded in to break it up. (more…)

Phantasm Japan Excerpt

From “Those Who Hunt Monster Hunters” by Tim Pratt

The following was found posted in the profile section of user AmericanRonin48 on a popular online dating site. The user is no longer active.

The monster hunter owns several samurai swords and often wears a fedora. He likes to practice with his wooden sword in the backyard—the neighbors complain when he practices shirtless with bare steel—and though he’s never taken a kendo class, he watches a lot of instructional videos on YouTube and believes if tested by a master he’d rank at least fifth dan. He speaks enough Japanese to impress a non-Japanese-speaking date at a sushi restaurant, and loves the films of Kurosawa, the entire Zatoichi series (he sometimes practices with his wooden sword while blindfolded), and classic anime, from before it became popular in the West. He hasn’t mastered the trick of catching a fly with chopsticks yet, but he’s working on it.

His favorite thing in the world is sleeping with Asian girls, or at least it was until he discovered the pleasures of hunting monsters. (more…)

All You Need Is Kill Graphic Novel

All You Need is Kill Graphic Novel Excerpt


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