Housuke Nojiri « Haikasoru: Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.

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Two new books! OH MY!

Well, it’s the 21st of September, and you know what that means! Two new Haikasoru titles are on bookstore shelves and in stock at your favorite online retailer, today. Check ’em out:


Star Trek: The Motion Picture-era Mr. Sulu has his copies. Do you have yours?

Just in time for school—Rocket Girls! The latest from Housuke Nojiri, author of Usurper of the Sun, features hard science and teen girls. The series of books is also an anime. See?

I’ve heard the anime described as “The Right Stuff meets Sailor Moon” but I’d call the novel Gossip Girls if the titular girls had brains in their heads and real jobs. Surely, much better heroes for teen girls!

And then we have Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by our resident “strange one” Otsuichi, just in time for Halloween. (We love timing things properly around here.) This book contains Otsuichi’s debut novella, and an entire other novel in Black Fairy Tale. We were thrilled when ZOO was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection, and we’re hoping that we might get some more nominations this year—we have a novel, a novella, and a novelette in the same book, and together that makes Summer a collection. Dare we sweep the categories? Pick up a copy and see if we have a chance!

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Housuke Nojiri on why space is the place

Hey all, I’m back from vacation, and waiting for me on my desk when I got in this morning was the cover flat for Rocket Girls by Housuke Nojiri!

That means I should be getting my advance copies from the printer in a week or so! (The only other step left is to get an actual unbound copy of the interiors. I flip through all those to make sure that there are no horrible errors like a repeated or missing page, and then I sign off on it.) Very exciting.

I know that a number of you are anticipating this novel, as you’ve seen the anime, which looks very cute and which a clever person might be able to find snippets of online.

But for people who are looking forward to some science in their science fiction, we’ve found something to whet your appetites as well—an interview with Nojiri by JAXA, the Japanese space agency, published in English!

Do check out
Housuke Nojiri, the Future of Space Exploration
.

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Twofer Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and we have two of everything!

TWO hits in the world of science fiction. The first is this neat-o interview with yours truly over at the World SF blog: An Interview With Nick Mamatas, in which I am so clever I say things like:

And the translator, unlike the author, cannot simply do wholesale rewrites to make something work. We’re playing a hand that has already been dealt. Then there’s the issue of translator skill; few have the ear of a novelist. That’s when I come in. I’ve managed to find some excellent creative translators, but can also nudge and pull and yank and tug at the work. So far I haven’t had to put in any footnotes to explain this or that untranslatable term or cultural reference, though part of my luck there has been the immense cultural exchange between Japan and the English-speaking world over the past two decades thanks to video games, manga, and anime.

Click here to read more.

We’re also thrilled that the January issue of Locus Magazine has reviewed Usurper of the Sun. The review isn’t online and I’m not about to key in the whole thing, but here are some highlights:

…based on John Wunderley’s translation of Housuke Nojiri’s Usurper of the Sun, [Haikasoru] promises to be a fascinating program…The main provocative idea that Nojiri introduces here has to do with the nature of mind and perception, and what he calls the difference between adaptive and non-adaptive intelligence, but to say more would be to reveal the story’s most intriguing surprise. With that in his basket, a tightly focused narrative line that marches us relentlessly through 35 years of future history, and a genuinely engaging heroine, he’s acquitted himself well.

Not only do we have two publicity coups, we have two new books out today! Here’s my shakeycam pic of The Book of Heroes out in the wild.


Yes, sadly it is in the manga section and not either Science Fiction/Fantasy or Young Adult, so keep an eye out!

And we also have Yukikaze hitting shelves today. Don’t have a snap of that book yet, but people are reporting buying it. This guy seemed to like it. I mean, he SHAT BRICKS. That’s positive, right?

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Some quick links

Quite busy today, so here are just some things for you to click on.

Want to brush up on your Japanese reading comprehension skills in a few seconds a day? Why not follow some Haikasoru author twitter feeds? Nojiri and Ogawa both tweet regularly:

That’ll be less exhausting than reading textbooks!

Speaking of Nojiri, his Usurper of the Sun got a sweeeet review here. It reads, in part:

Usurper is a mini-anthology of classic SF concepts: the logistics and physics of a Dyson structure and nanomachinery; the insignificance of life’s place in the universe, which science only makes more profound as time goes by; and the way a giant external threat could theoretically serve as a unifier for a divided mankind. The latter’s been explored in everything from Watchmen to Theodore Sturgeon’s short story “Unite and Conquer”. Arthur C. Clarke gets a nod on the cover blurb, and Nojiri’s spare, direct writing style brings to mind Clarke’s work (and Asimov’s) as much as the high-science subject matter does.

This was great to read as, so far anyway, many of the reviews our titles have been getting have come from readers and critics very interested in manga and Japanese fiction. It was interesting to get some feedback from a reviewer very well-versed in Western SF.

Somewhat related, here is an interesting article on the pitfalls of a company trying to bring Japanese fiction to a wider audience in the US from the Manga Critic.

Finally, some formerly super-secret stuff: next year will see the release of Loup-Garous Natsuhiko Kyogoku. Aaaand, there will be an anime coming out as well in Japan. May 2010 will be your chance to read the book and be all snooty when your friends check out the anime. You can say, “Well, in the far superior original novel, THIS happens, not THAT!”

That’s all for today. See you midweek with some more substantive stuff. Now back to the comma mines!

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