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And the winners are…

Thank you for all your entries! They were great to read, but here are the ones I liked best.

For SF, the winners of The Ouroboros Wave are:

ジュンジャ (A poem! I had to appreciate that)

and…

GrimJim! (I liked the phrase “epistemic challenges”)

Our winners of Dragon Sword and Wind Child are:

Molly T (for not wanting to “blown out into the yawning, star-filled blackness”-who could blame her!)

and Flory (for her clever defense both SF and fantasy).

I’ll be writing you all in moments to get mailing addresses and thanks again. I’ll do it again in January when Mardock Scramble comes out!

NOTE: I sent email to the email addresses on the comment. If that’s not an email address your normally check, please check it now and write back to me.

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Ubukata Hits America!

We hope some of you were able to make it to last weekend’s New York Anime Festival, which featured the world premiere of the anime based on Mardock Scramble—novelist and screenwriter Tow Ubukata was in the house!

Ubukata chatted with fans, signed autographs, and held a press conference on Sunday—Toonzone did pretty well with a Q/A:

Q: What do you find most appealing about the science fiction genre?

TOW UBUKATA: The main appeal is the relationship between the human and society, and when you introduce technology like time machines in it, how does that change society. You can tell a story on two different levels, you can tell a drama of the person and the drama of the society, and the story of the person and the society.

Definitely click on that link for more—there are none of those “spoilers” that so bedevil Internet people in the interview, so enjoy!

I personally haven’t seen the anime yet—which is subtitled The First Compression and is based on only the first third of the book we’ll be releasing in January (so ha ha, I know how it ends and you don’t!)—but I will be watching tomorrow at a lunchtime showing here in the High Castle. In the meantime, here’s a new cut of the trailer, which you can actually watch at work without embarrassment.

We’re all quite excited that Mardock is joining our line-up!

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Neat Yukikaze review

Over at Strange Horizons Andy Sawyer struggles a bit with Yukikaze before deciding that Yukikaze may be a popular action-adventure story, but there is a profound and sophisticated ambiguity here, an insight which is hardly new but which does raise Yukikaze from being a simple novel about, essentially, a “magic weapon” to a human tragedy.

It is a tricky book, Yukikaze, especially for a Western audience. In the West, military science fiction is most often presented in the adventure mode, with a prominent secondary concern being tactics, the use of hard science, and occasionally a look at contemporary geopolitics. Yukikaze, perhaps because Japan has abandoned its triumphalist military culture, is a bit more existential than a lot of (but by no means all) Western military SF. Our other military title, All You Need Is KILL has a similar theme about futility and loss, even though it’s essentially a comical novel for younger readers. Of course, part of making a book that people will want to buy is coming up with that proper mix of adventure and philosophizing; too much of the former and you end up with the sort of dross people won’t read because they’d rather watch it on TV, too much of the latter and you alienate the audience for popular fiction.

As I am currently knee-deep in edits for Good Luck, Yukikaze, I’ll say that Sawyer’s suspicions about the themes of the series are spot on. More will be revealed soon!

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Oh man, is it October already?

I’m still writing 2008 on my checks! Yeah, not even 2009…

Anyway, here’s a neat interview with me on the subject of Japanese science fiction in translation, and specifically all our neato books. It’s pretty in-depth.

JR: What attracted you to the ad – apart from, I assume, the idea of loads and loads of cash, like all editors get?

NM: There aren’t many opportunities to run one’s own science fiction imprint available. For the most part, that’s not the kind of position filled by an external search—people work their way up from fan to intern to assistant latté fetcher to slush reader to editor to senior editor…and then basically your boss has to DIE to get that final job running the show.

Read the rest here!

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