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Kindle eBook SRP: $8.99 USA
Trim: 5 1/4 x 8 ISBN: 978-1-4215-3643-9
In the future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. This perfect world isn't that perfect though, and three young girls stand up to totalitarian kindness and super-medicine by attempting suicide via starvation. It doesn't work, but one of the girlsTuan Kiriegrows up to be a member of the World Health Organization. As a crisis threatens the harmony of the new world, Tuan rediscovers another member of her suicide pact, and together they must help save the planet...from itself.
Keikaku (Project) Itoh was born in Tokyo in 1974. He graduated from Musashino Art University. In 2007, he debuted with Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organs) and took first prize in the "Best SF of 2007" in SF Magazine. He is also the author of Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots, a Japanese-language novel based on the popular video game series. After a long battle with cancer, Itoh passed away in March 2009. Itoh wrote Harmony while in the hospital receiving treatment for the disease.
“We will begin playback now,” Edison Carter said. The screen went black.
“I’m not sure when they’ll play this, so let me wish you a good morning, a good day, and a good evening.”
It was a female voice, heavily modulated.
There was no picture. Only the words VOICE ONLY in the middle of the screen.
I closed my eyes. Maybe that way I could hear a kernel of the real person—which could very well have been Miach Mihie. Besides, if there were no picture, what was the point of looking at it?
A lot of people have died.
A lot of people ended their own lives all at the same time.
I’m sure it was shocking.
I’m sure you’re frightened at the possibility of seeing someone die before your eyes.
We did this.
Our methods are, at present, a secret.
However, the framework for the method is already inside you, inside each of your brains.
It’s too late to take it out now.
You are all our hostages.
Winner! (of Special Citation)
A picture is worth 1000 words:
Everything’s Coming Up Harmony
In the old days of publishing, back before inventory was considered nothing but a burden and the midlist an evil to be destroyed, an editor could work to slowly build up a book’s reputation. It might take months to find the right reviewers, the proper bookstore buyer, the best way to get some media attention for the title, but it could happen. Then came the miseries of the 1980s and 1990s—we had more books than ever to choose from, but good luck keeping them on the shelves for more than ninety days, or in print for more than a year or two. If a book wasn’t a hit, it was toast. Plenty more where that came from, after all, and tons of authors suffered.
These later days of the Internet do seem to be changing the game once again. Ebooks don’t involve inventory, and online booksellers can keep millions of titles more or less active, even if the brick and mortar stores run out of or return their titles. And word travels so fast—one good review can excite dozens of other people to not just read a book, but then blog about it, Tweet it, or tell their friends in a dozen different countries. And months after initial release, a book can find new life, as Harmony is doing.
So please, if you happen to like one of our books, hit the Internet and tell the world. You never know who might be listening…
HARMONY nominated for the Philip K. Dick award!
It’s been a great couple of weeks for Harmony by Project Itoh. First it got a great review by io9.com on New Year’s Eve, and thanks to a million people having gotten Kindles and iPads for Christmas a week before became an ebook hit! Then io9.com named Harmony one of its best books of the year. And io9.com is not alone in its appreciation—Harmony was also just nominated for the Philip K. Dick award! Here is the list of nominees:
YARN by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
CHILL by Elizabeth Bear (Ballantine Books/Spectra)
THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS by Alden Bell (Henry Holt & Co.)
SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy (Eos)
THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK by Mark Hodder (Pyr)
HARMONY by Project Itoh, translated by Alexander O. Smith (Haikasoru)
STATE OF DECAY by James Knapp (Roc)
It’s great to see some other independent presses on the list, and we’re especially happy given the nature of the award, which is for the best paperback original science fiction title of the year. Poor Philip K. Dick wrote tons of books, nearly all of which were paperback originals or paperback only (he miiiight have had a book club title or two) back in the days when paperback originals were basically considered disposable junk.
Of course, today Dick is widely appreciated by fans, critics, and Hollywood, and by us…what is “Haikasoru” after all but a Nipponized pronunciation of the words “High Castle”? As in The Man in the High Castle. As in that PKD book about the Japanese taking over San Francisco and the western United States. As in, you know, us!
So we’re thrilled. See you science fiction fans in Seattle at Norwescon 34 and congratulations to the other nominees!
Harmony reviews or, we meant to do that!
Here’s a very brief review of Harmony’s ebook edition.
One shouldn’t really “answer” reviews, but in this case I’ll make an exception only to avoid further confusion—in Harmony the story is told partially through HTML (or rather, futuristic emotional-textual markup language or ETML) thanks to the technology in the narrator’s brain. So if you see a page full of HTML in the book, just read it and you’ll see what I mean. Our online excerpt has a sample of the sort of thing you might see. It’s an honest mistake; our ebook production staff started flagging all the HTML when they first started creating the ebook version. I suppose that’s the risk one takes when one tries to be a little avant-garde.
In better news, The Manga Critic has also reviewed the book, writing, in part: Harmony is a solidly entertaining book, offering a judicious mixture of globe-trotting action, social commentary, and suspense to engage all but the hardest science fiction fans, and a surprise ending that neatly resolves the main plot while raising new, thought-provoking questions. Recommended. And it’s fuuuuull of HTML, so check it out!