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Trim: 5 1/4 x 8 ISBN: 978-1-4215-3233-2
In the near future, humans will communicate almost exclusively through online networks face-to-face meetings are rare and the surveillance state nearly all-powerful. So when a serial killer starts slaughtering junior high students, the crackdown is harsh. The killer's latest victim turns out to have been in contact with three young girls: Mio Tsuzuki, a certified prodigy; Hazuki Makino, a quiet but opinionated classmate; and Ayumi Kono, her best friend. And as the girls get caught up in trying to find the killerwho might just be a werewolf Hazuki learns that there is much more [to their monitored communications] than meets the eye.
Born in Otaru, Hokkaido. Studied at Kuwasawa Design School. After working at advertising agencies, he established his own design studio. He still works as art director, designer, and bookbinder for various projects. He is also an expert in yokai (Japanese folklore of monsters and ghosts).
“That’s… the elevated freight road. What they used to call the highway.”
“It’s the North-South Line,” Ayumi said nonchalantly. “It’s bright,” Mio said, and she lowered her binoculars.
“It’s the lamps on the side of the road. This makes everything look a lot brighter.”
“You can’t see without that thing?”
“Human eyes aren’t that good. If you can see it, that means you’re the unusual one, Kono.”
Mio shrugged, bored, and approached Ayumi, holding the piercing between her fingertips and bringing it up near Ayumi’s cheek.
She wasn’t sure what it was reflecting—Hazuki thought maybe the moonlight—but for a moment, the pink stone glittered.
Ayumi moved only the pupils of her large eyes over to where the object reflected light.
“What about this?” she said.
“This was left at my house.”
“Isn’t it yours?”
Mio leaned in toward Ayumi.
Ayumi suddenly dropped her shoulders as if they lost all strength, and crossed her arms. She compared facial expressions on Hazuki and Mio.
“You came all the way here… for that?”
“Was that wrong?”
“It’s fun,” Mio said as she walked around Ayumi.
“Yeah. Isn’t it, Makino?”
What does fun feel like? Hazuki wondered.
But before she could answer her question, Ayumi plucked the piercing from Mio.
“This thing.” Ayumi stared into it.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that,” Mio said.
“Then we’ll just have to put it on you after you’ve died,” Ayumi said.
Mio narrowed her eyes.
“I’ll let you because you’re special. But if it’s not yours or Makino’s, whose is it?”
“This is Yabe’s.”
Yuko Yabe… soaked by the rain, pale skin. Pink pupils.
It matches her pink contacts, Hazuki thought.
“You mean that Yabe?”
“You know any other Yuko Yabes?”
“No… but why would Yabe’s piercing be in my house? I don’t even know what she looks like. I’ve never connected with her online and her house is nowhere near mine.”
Her house was far from hers?
If Mio said so…
But that day… Yuko Yabe was in Section C, where Mio lived. Moreover, that girl with the drenched pink hair was the one who told Ayumi and Hazuki exactly which building Mio lived in. What was that all about? Was that some kind of mistake?
Could have been a mistake, Hazuki thought.
Just because they’d seen and heard her didn’t make it a reality.
“It’s my fault.” Ayumi said unexpectedly.
“I had a physical exchange with Yuko Yabe a couple nights ago.”
“Real contact? You met?”
“Liar,” Hazuki blurted out.
“Liar?” Ayumi made a puzzled look.
Ayumi didn’t meet with people.
Ayumi hated being looked at directly.
Ayumi would never exchange words directly with someone.
Ayumi had never even made eye contact with Hazuki.
Yuko Yabe and Ayumi…
Loups-Garous anime is out!
In Japan, this past Saturday, the anime of the novel Loups-Garous was released in theaters! I’m sure it’ll take, uh, minutes for it to be pirated, but if you want to play fair, why not check out the book first? Then when you do see the anime legally one of these days, you can sniff and act all superior and say, “Oh, the book was better.”
Please enjoy the trailer:
Incidentally, I just found a review of Loups-Garous in, of all places, that internal bulletin of the international ruling class, The Financial Times. It’s actually a very interesting look at several works of SF in translation available in the UK, as all our titles are. It reads, in part:
Kyogoku meditates on a society so fixated on homogeneity and surveillance that there is scant room for freedom of self-expression any more. In a sterile, anodyne urban landscape, the generation gap yawns wider than ever; old and young seethe with mutual mistrust and antagonism. The loups-garous of the title – French for “werewolves” – are wayward youths, shapeshifting from respectful obedience to untamed, psychotic ferality, breaking free from societal constraints. As such, they reflect Kyogoku’s fascination with yokai, traditional Japanese fables. In this novel and his earlier The Summer of the Ubume, he’s exploring how folkloric monsters such as ghosts and werewolves might manifest in a rational, superstition-free era.
Now that’s some reviewin’!
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 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!
Loups-Garous—Teen Girls Who Actually Do Stuff
Loups-Garous is probably one of our more challenging titles. it’s a mix of SF and mystery in the Japanese mode, with endless tiny elements slowly coming together to create a major total and final effect. In the past I’ve described it as a 600-page haiku. At the same time , however, it’s about a handful of teenage girls—a super-genius; one who dresses all in pink, even down to her contact lenses; an illegal immigrant martial artist; a poor li’l rich girl; and…well, that last one is a spoiler. And they don’t spend all their time talking about boys either.
So, intense and thoughtful social satires written with an avant-garde rigor, but featuring teenybopper protagonists…how does one “slot” that in the marketplace? Our friends at The Innsmouth Free Press, an online magazine of Lovecraftian fiction, has a suggestion in its positive review of our book!
I heartily recommend it to parents with teenagers. It’s bound to produce more interesting dialogue than “Who does Bella love: Edward or Jacob?” Hell, at least there’s a super-genius hacker girl who does stuff. A hell of a lot better than smelling tasty.
Well parents? You have your orders! Go save your children from Twilight with a little Loups-Garous!
Loups-Garous Is a Very Strange Book…
How strange is Loups-Garous, our forthcoming novel by Natsuhiko Koyogoku? Well, here’s the author blurb we got today!
“Loups-Garous shows us a weird future, complete with A Clockwork Orange-style lingo, that’s scarier than the monsters.” — Carrie Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author of Kitty’s House of Horrors.
Teen girls, A Clockwork Orange, two great tastes that go great together. I’m especially thrilled by this blurb as I’ve been following Carrie’s career for just about ten years now, since finding some of her eerie and wonderful short stories in the now sadly defunct magazine Talebones.
Loups-Garous is coming your way in May. Check it out.