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Happy Monday!

Good news for Kindle-owners: Rocket Girls, Rocket Girls: The Last Planet, and The Stories of Ibis are now all available on Kindle! Availability on the Apple iBookstore is coming soon as well.

Speaking of Ibis, congratulations to author Hiroshi Yamamoto for winning the Seiun Award in Japan for his novel Kyonen wa iitoshi ni narudarou (Last Year Will Be a Good Year). Haikasoru stalwart Issui Ogawa also won a Seiun this year, for his short story “Arisuma ou no aishita mamono” (King Arisuma’s beloved Demon). All right!

A whole bunch of reviews!

Let’s see, over at the popular science fiction blog Bibliophile Stalker, it must be Haikasoru Week, because there are three reviews up since Sunday.

On Loups-Garous: Kyogoku makes the reader question the dystopic elements of the setting; the characters feel mortal and just when you’ve left your guard down, a twist in the plot keeps you unsettled.

On Slum Online: …excels in conveying the virtue of humble accomplishment, of proving to yourself that you’re the best, even if the public isn’t necessarily aware of it.

On The Next Continent: It harkens to conventions of a certain genre of science fiction [hard SF] and yet is nonetheless infused with Japanese optimism and culture. (I think this is the first review of The Next Continent I’ve seen, so I’m especially happy.)

Meanwhile, over at Otaku USA, we have reviews of different titles.

On The Stories of Ibis: I firmly believe in the importance of fiction and mythopoeia in helping people understand themselves, others, and the world around them, and in providing a safer environment to come to grips with complex, troubling issues…

On Usurper of the Sun: This frequently fascinating debate on alternative forms of consciousness permeates the novel, twining with the time limit until the Builders arrive in the solar system to provide the main narrative thrust.

Well, what are you waiting for? Consume!

Who loves ya baby? The DENVER POST, that’s who!

Just came across this double-review of our hot new books, The Stories of Ibis, and Slum Online over at the Denver Post’s occasional science fiction column.

Ibis got the nod as an “excellent novel” “infused with the history of American science fiction.” Heck, that’s what I’ve been saying for months now! Columnist Fred Cleaver also dug Slum Online and especially enjoyed the novelette “Bonus Round”, which Sakurazaka wrote especially for you, to give Haikasoru readers a little something extra. (“Bonus Round” appeared in a Japanese-language anthology at almost the same time as our novel hit the shelves.)

Two out of three books reviewed in a leading newspaper’s book page are ours. The future is Japanese after all.


Hiroshi Yamamoto, whose The Stories of Ibis is out now, is a master of science fiction. Which isn’t simply to say that he is an excellent writer, but that he has mastered the many modes of science fiction. Ibis encapsulates everything from the world of Star Trek fanfiction to anime superheroes, from serious sociological SF to crazy robot battles—but there’s more to the genre than Yamamoto can fit into one book. One subgenre of special importance in the Japanese idiom of science fiction is kaiju, or “strange beast.” You know, giant monsters.

How giant are these monsters you ask? Check out these teeth marks:

That’s the cover to MM9, another of Yamamoto’s novels. MM stands for monster magnitude, and 9…well, that’s a pretty large magnitude. What we’re excited about is not just the existence of this novel, but the fact that it is going to be adapted into a live-action TV show along the lines of the Godzilla films or Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman show. (And I have to say that I love that the URL for the show is nine m’s.) Ultraman was iconic enough to be integrated into science fiction’s Hugo award in 2007, when the awards were held at the first-ever Japanese Worldcon:

It’s a big deal.

MM9‘s tagline is in English and it suggests that the show will have a bit more going on than the usual rubber-suited shenanigans we might be used to from the old (and often Bowdlerized) films that made it to the US: You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or everything is a miracle.

That sounds like the sentimental and challenging science fiction master we know. Here’s hoping that the MM9 TV show can make it over to the West in some form or fashion. We’ll take everything, with a side-order of intelligent robots. Check out Ibis—there are a couple of giant monsters in there as well!

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