Haikasoru

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THE NAVIDAD INCIDENT: THE DOWNFALL OF MATÍAS GUILI [Archive]

The 2012 Haikasoru Holiday Shopping Guide

It’s nearly year’s end, and so we thought we might write about our 2012 titles, and how they’ll make great presents for your loved ones. Or, you know, for yourself. We won’t tell.

Do you or any of your friends or relatives love Godzilla? Ultraman? H. P. Lovecraft? Mythology? The TV show The Office? The zany pseudosciences of UFOs, Bigfoot and other cryptids, and such like that? Get them a copy of MM9 by Hiroshi Yamamoto. This book combines office hijinks with ancient monsters and some quick scientific thinking. It was also a TV show in Japan:

Also, check out the show’s closing credits:

It’s a very fun book, and a breeze to read despite the scientific speculations.

For fans of Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, or magical realism in general, check out The Navidad Incident by Natsuki Ikezawa. The fantasy element here is light, but strange—there’s a ghost and a mysteriously busy runaway bus. This book is a sort of genre-in-the-mainstream title about the politics of the developing world in the postcolonial era. And hardcover books make for wonderful gifts. Finally, the title! Navidad, get it?

Any hardcore SF fan who wants to keep up with the new writers in the field needs a copy of our anthology The Future Is Japanese. Ken Liu’s short story “Mono No Aware” has already been selected for reprinting in an annual best-of anthology, and this book also features stories by Catherynne M. Valente, Ekateria Sedia, and top Japanese writers including Project Itoh and Issui Ogawa. The anthology got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and is acclaimed generally. If you or yours are interested in the field of SF at all, this book is for you.

Got any gamers in your family or social circle? Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots by Project Itoh is what they need. More than just a novelization by some hack, Itoh was both a hardcore fan of the Metal Gear series and one of Japan’s leading science fiction novelists. This novel is a tribute to the game.

Speaking of one of Japan’s leading science fiction novelists, Project Itoh’s Genocidal Organ is my personal favorite of the year. It’s military SF, it’s about the power of memes—not cat pictures from the Internet, but ideas and how the flit from brain to brain—and it’s a wickedly dark comedy. For fans of Itoh’s Harmony, this book details the “Maelstrom” that leads to the Utopian society of that novel. Speaking of, check out the Hungarian book trailer for Harmony:

Any friend or family member interested in the work of contemporary military SF writers like David Drake or John Scalzi, or the satirical flourishes of Kurt Vonnegut, should check out Genocidal Organ and Harmony.

Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa is for dog-lovers, history buffs, space buffs, and lovers of fine literature. What other book combines the secret lives of dogs with the drama of the Space Race and the world-changing events of the Cold War? No other novel, of course! Have you seen the author’s passionate readings? We’ve made two videos:

and

These really sum up the book in a way a blog post cannot.

Finally, out today, is Virus by Sakyo Komatsu. Komatsu is a true grandmaster of Japanese SF—he’s the author of the famed Japan Sinks, and this classic from the 1960s is a SF disaster thriller of the sort that Michael Crichton used to write. It’s a hardcover, so naturally an excellent present—if you or anyone for whom you are buying a gift loves the genreish/mainstreamish thrillers of Crichton of Stephen King or Tom Clancy (Virus includes a lot of scientific and military information) this is the book to buy this month.

So get shopping!

Anniversary Giveaway Winners!

Thanks for all the wonderful responses—I loved the in-depth discussions of some of ours books. If you’re not a Haikasoru completist already, I hope you check out some of the contest entries and use the comments as recommendations for further readings. And now, the winners:

Brockton e. for his thoughts on Mardock Scramble. Apparently, we’ve turned him into a gambling addict! Sorry, Brockton.

Alex, for his love of the world-building in Loups-Garous. That book is one of my favorites as well, and I always felt it a bit under-appreciated. So I’m glad he liked it!

Kate C., who is a fan of Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse. Listen to what she says; I’d love to publish more j-horror.

Carrie L. who wants the nation of Navidad to be real. The Navidad Incident is a great book—hardcover magical realism! Impress your friends!

And finally Seth E. for his extensive comments on the process of novelization and Ico: The Castle in the Mist.

Thanks for all your great comments; it was a wonderful well to celebrate our anniversary! Winners, we’ll contact you this afternoon.

Two neat reviews of THE NAVIDAD INCIDENT

Our latest hardcover, the magical realist epic The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili got a couple of positive reviews in the leading trade journals, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly:

LJ says, in part (second item):

Verdict: Ikezawa, who won the prestigious Tanizaki Jun’ichiro Prize for this title, pushes the boundaries of storytelling and gives us a new vision of magical realism, merging the surreal with real-world dirty politics and humor. This mysterious and suggestive novel will attract readers who enjoy fantastical and surreal fiction.

Publishers Weekly writes:

Despite ghosts, mysterious disappearances, and magical priestesses, the book is as much a leisurely commentary on post-colonial dictatorships as it is a work of magical realism. Readers are treated to rambling digressions on topics like the importance of buses in Navidadian life or Guili’s past history and love life. Still, Ikezawa’s newest (after A Burden of Flowers) has its own strange, meandering charm, giving readers a glimpse into the legacy of colonization from a Japanese perspective.

For the curious, both these magazines review books for librarians and book-buyers (that is, bookstore staff charged with selection which books make it to the shelves). So, if your local bookstore or library doesn’t have The Navidad Incident yet, it likely soon will! And you can always ask for it!

The Navidad Incident is here!

The Navidad Incident hits bookstores today. Is it lunchtime yet? Go out and buy a copy! We also have Kindle and NOOK editions available today. SONY and Apple will be along in a bit.

Not convinced? Check out short excerpt in Words Without Borders or, if you’re in the mood for more, check out our Scribd page for a longer excerpt with proper page layout, a map, and other neat stuff!


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