Haikasoru

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Four Years Into The Future!

by nickmamatas

Four years ago, Haikasoru was launched. Remember our early photo essay at Borderlands Books? We released our first two titles, All You Need Is Kill and The Lord of the Sands of Time, simultaneously, and since then have greatly enjoyed bringing you the best in Japanese science fiction and fantasy. We thought we might review some highlights:

* All You Need Is Kill has to be the big news. The novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka has been adapted into the Warner Bros. film Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, which will be released in June 2014. Given the number of popular science fiction novels that have waited decades for a film adaptation, we’re thrilled to have helped with this success in just a few years. Tom Cruise is also attached to star in an adaptation of Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi.

* We’ve had books nominated for, and even winning, a wide variety of literary awards. Project Itoh’s Harmony won the Special Citation for the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original, and Good Luck, Yukikaze won Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award. Otsuichi’s ZOO was nominated for the Shirley Jackson award. Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa is a current SF&F Translation nominee. And, then there’s…

*The Future Is Japanese, our first anthology, requires its own award bullet point. The anthology was an experiment for us, as we published fiction by Western authors for the first time. Ken Liu’s short story “Mono No Aware” has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, and Sturgeon awards. Project Itoh’s “The Indifference Engine” was nominated for a Shirley Jackson. “Autogenic Dreaming: Interview with the Columns of Cloud” by TOBI Hirotaka, is up for an SF& F Translation Award. The anthology itself, as a whole, was nominated for a Locus Award. Stories by David Moles, Catherynne M. Valente, Pat Cadigan, and Rachel Swirsky have all been selected for reprinting in various year’s best annual anthologies.

*Haikasoru editor Nick Mamatas was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form in 2011. Reno is a hell of a party town.

*We’ve reached thousands of new readers thanks to mainstream recognition: Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale, refurbished and dressed up for a Haikasoru re-release, moved beyond the bookstore and into airports, newsstands, and virtually everywhere else. A rave review on NPR launched Ryu Mitsuse’s Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights to the top of our personal charts. (PS: the hardcover glows in the dark!)

*We also branched out into selected tie-in work. We were thrilled to publish Project Itoh’s Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots and Miyuki Miyabe’s ICO: Castle in the Mist—these novels not only celebrated some cult classic videogames, they stood on their own as works of art.

And now, as we enter our fifth year, we’re still experimenting. We just released our first book by a Western author, Catherynne Valente’s The Melancholy of Mechagirl, and we’re hard at work on our first graphic novel. Not a manga translation, a homebrew adaptation of All You Need Is Kill is coming your way next spring. We’re also entering the field of non-fiction with a collection of essays on one of our favorite novels: The Battle Royale Slam Book!

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8 Responses to “Four Years Into The Future!”

  1. Lauren Gallo says:

    Nice job, Nick and VIZ Team!

  2. Jetse says:

    Many congratulations with all the successes in the first four years of HAIKASORU, and here’s to hoping many good years may follow!

    While I certainly haven’t read all HAIKASORU’s titles, my favourite so far is Toh Enjoe’s SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE. I hugely enjoyed it, and was greatly surprised/intrigued by a recent SFF World interview with Toh Enjoe where he said that in the translation his characters seem ‘happier, healthier’, while in the Japanese version ‘the characters seem to be surrounded by something like layers of thick walls’.

    Unfortunately, with my Japanese being extremely poor, I can’t compare, but it does make me wonder. I suspect there’s a lot of dry humour in SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE that many western readers may not catch.

    As always, YMMV. But please keep up the great work!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here’s to four more years!

    (and hopefully GinEiDen as well)

  4. Steve Crell says:

    Yepp agree with that, Legend of the Galactic Heroes or GinEiDen would be awesome. I can just imagine that licensing is too expensive, but it would a huge success to see that masterpiece in English one day. Maybe another publisher is clever enough to get his hands on that :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not sure why there’s still no GinEiDen. It’s not like there’s no demand.

  6. Otis says:

    Obligatory comment about GinEiDen.
    I’d really like to find out why the series has been so elusive in the west. Does Yoshiki Tanaka not want his work over here or something?

  7. Mubin Hamid says:

    That is great news.

    All you need is kill and Yukikaze are one of my favorite books.
    However, Yukikaze could be tricky to make. The depth and explanation you get in the book is not possible to put in a 2 hour long movie. However I hope they wont try to push everything into a 2 hour movie but make it a trilogy.

    Anyway, its great news.

  8. Morgan Blackhand says:

    I’ve been waiting for GinEiDen too. Makes no sense to me to publish novels of japanese space opera without going for the number one series.


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