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The 2012 Haikasoru Holiday Shopping Guide

It’s nearly year’s end, and so we thought we might write about our 2012 titles, and how they’ll make great presents for your loved ones. Or, you know, for yourself. We won’t tell.

Do you or any of your friends or relatives love Godzilla? Ultraman? H. P. Lovecraft? Mythology? The TV show The Office? The zany pseudosciences of UFOs, Bigfoot and other cryptids, and such like that? Get them a copy of MM9 by Hiroshi Yamamoto. This book combines office hijinks with ancient monsters and some quick scientific thinking. It was also a TV show in Japan:

Also, check out the show’s closing credits:

It’s a very fun book, and a breeze to read despite the scientific speculations.

For fans of Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, or magical realism in general, check out The Navidad Incident by Natsuki Ikezawa. The fantasy element here is light, but strange—there’s a ghost and a mysteriously busy runaway bus. This book is a sort of genre-in-the-mainstream title about the politics of the developing world in the postcolonial era. And hardcover books make for wonderful gifts. Finally, the title! Navidad, get it?

Any hardcore SF fan who wants to keep up with the new writers in the field needs a copy of our anthology The Future Is Japanese. Ken Liu’s short story “Mono No Aware” has already been selected for reprinting in an annual best-of anthology, and this book also features stories by Catherynne M. Valente, Ekateria Sedia, and top Japanese writers including Project Itoh and Issui Ogawa. The anthology got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and is acclaimed generally. If you or yours are interested in the field of SF at all, this book is for you.

Got any gamers in your family or social circle? Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots by Project Itoh is what they need. More than just a novelization by some hack, Itoh was both a hardcore fan of the Metal Gear series and one of Japan’s leading science fiction novelists. This novel is a tribute to the game.

Speaking of one of Japan’s leading science fiction novelists, Project Itoh’s Genocidal Organ is my personal favorite of the year. It’s military SF, it’s about the power of memes—not cat pictures from the Internet, but ideas and how the flit from brain to brain—and it’s a wickedly dark comedy. For fans of Itoh’s Harmony, this book details the “Maelstrom” that leads to the Utopian society of that novel. Speaking of, check out the Hungarian book trailer for Harmony:

Any friend or family member interested in the work of contemporary military SF writers like David Drake or John Scalzi, or the satirical flourishes of Kurt Vonnegut, should check out Genocidal Organ and Harmony.

Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa is for dog-lovers, history buffs, space buffs, and lovers of fine literature. What other book combines the secret lives of dogs with the drama of the Space Race and the world-changing events of the Cold War? No other novel, of course! Have you seen the author’s passionate readings? We’ve made two videos:


These really sum up the book in a way a blog post cannot.

Finally, out today, is Virus by Sakyo Komatsu. Komatsu is a true grandmaster of Japanese SF—he’s the author of the famed Japan Sinks, and this classic from the 1960s is a SF disaster thriller of the sort that Michael Crichton used to write. It’s a hardcover, so naturally an excellent present—if you or anyone for whom you are buying a gift loves the genreish/mainstreamish thrillers of Crichton of Stephen King or Tom Clancy (Virus includes a lot of scientific and military information) this is the book to buy this month.

So get shopping!

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Yukikaze or, The New Hawtness

It’s been cold here in the Bay Area, cold enough that we’ve actually seen a few flakes of snow in the wind coming over the wharf.

Wait, did someone say snowy wind? Why that reminds me of something else that showed up today!

Behold, the advance copies of Yukikaze, the classic of military SF from Japan. Chohei Kambayashi’s classic spawned a sequel and a very popular anime series. We’re thrilled to bring you this first English-edition and just in time for…well, not the holidays, but in time to use any gift certificates you may receive for the holidays. Yukikaze can be pre-ordered now, but will be in stores in mid-January.

Check out with military SF legend David Drake and Hammer’s Slammers author had to say about Yukikaze:

Yukikaze may be the perfect bridge between anime and the sort of military SF which I write. The novel is a clean, detached look at war and warriors: fast-moving, poetic, and precise even when describing passion. A remarkable book, unique in my experience.

Well, what are you waiting for? I mean, other than when the book is released next month! Add it to wishlists and add a postscript to your letter to Santa today.

David Drake likes Yukikaze! Excitement abounds!

We just got in a great blurb from the legendary writer of military SF, David Drake. Check it out:

Yukikaze may be the perfect bridge between anime and the sort of military SF which I write. The novel is a clean, detached look at war and warriors: fast-moving, poetic, and precise even when describing passion. A remarkable book, unique in my experience.

Dave Drake, author of Hammer’s Slammers

I hope we can fit the whole endorsement on the cover. It’s awesome! Yukikaze will be published in January, so now you all have something to buy with the bookstore gift certificates you’ll get for whatever winter holiday you celebrate.

It’s almost like we planned it that way…

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