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The 2014 Haikasoru Gift Guide

What better present is there than a book? Not only does it show that you think the gift recipient is intelligent, you get to show off your own taste and sophistication as well. That’s what they call a win-win situation. We have a wide assortment of books, and appeal to several different audiences, so here is our recommendation list for this holiday season.

What should you buy for:

A junior high or high school student

High school students need Battle Royale Remastered, our new translation of the cult classic, and the non-fiction companion title The Battle Royale Slam Book. Imagine the year-end term papers anyone so outfitted could write. Sometimes these poor things are told to read a book over winter break, and write a reaction paper, with sources! (The Slam Book is good for that.)

“Okay teacher, I will. I will.”

Someone who doesn’t actually like to read

All You Need Is Kill: The Graphic Novel. It has pictures. It’s a Western-style comic book. It makes a good gift bundle along with Edge of Tomorrow and the manga, and perhaps even the film DVD. It’s a transmedia experience with a very low word-count.

My ahead-of-the-curve friend who already reads everything, hears about all the new writers first, and is impossible to shop for

They need a copy of Phantasm Japan, which has stories by some of the best new writers, and is anchored by a stunning illustrated novella by Dempow Torishima. It’s…well, it’s hard to describe. No matter who your avant friend is, he or she will be surprised.

Young people who love science

Did you know that all our books are still in print? That means Rocket Girls and Rocket Girls: The Last Planet are still available! Ready for a wacky adventure with solid science grounding? These are the books for you. Highly recommended for anyone who loved Andy Weir’s novel The Martian.

My uncle who won’t stop talking about conspiracy theories and the end of the world at our family parties and just ends up upsetting everyone

Shut him up with a copy of Virus. It’s a thriller, like a Japanese Michael Chrichton novel, by Japanese science fiction grandmaster Sakyo Komatsu. This book has everything…submarines, nuclear weapons, fast cars, two billion corpses, biochemical warfare, real science, international cooperation at the South Pole, and hunger-mad politicians! And it’s long enough that Uncle Herbie will probably fall asleep with it tented up on his stomach somewhat early in the evening. Snoring is better than going on about the gold standard and chemtrails all night, isn’t it?

Old-school types who still tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve

People do that? Yes, or they used to. Still somewhat common in The United Kingdom. For some creepy yet all-ages fun, you need our ghost story collection by Miyuki Miyabe Apparitions.

My creepy cousin who just sits at the dinner table with everyone else and doesn’t eat or make a sound

Definitely Asura Girl. Say no more.

Happy shopping, and happy holidays!

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PHANTASM JAPAN table of contents revealed!

We don’t have a product page or a cover yet, but we were so excited about Phantasm Japan, our fantasy anthology follow-up to our award-festooned The Future is Japanese, that we just had to share. Check it out:

Gary A. Braunbeck: “Shikata Ga Nai: A Bag Lady’s Tale”
Nadia Bulkin: “Girl, I Love You”
Quentin S. Crisp: “The Last Packet of Tea”
Project Itoh: “From the Nothing, With Love”
Yusaku Kitano: “Scissors or Claws, and Holes”
Jacqueline Koyanagi: “Kamigakari”
Alex Dally MacFarlane: “Inari Updates the Map of Rice Fields”
Zachary Mason: “Five Tales of Japan”
Miyuki Miyabe: “Chiyoko”
James A. Moore: “He Dreads the Cold”
Lauren Naturale: “Her Last Appearance”
Tim Pratt: “Those Who Hunt Monster Hunters”
Benjanun Sriduangkaew: “Ningyo”
Seia Tanabe: “The Parrot Stone”
Joseph Tomaras: “Thirty-Eight Observations on the Nature of the Self”
Dempow Torishima: “Sisyphean”
Sayuri Ueda: “Street of Fruiting Bodies”

We’re very pleased—we’ve got New York Times best-seller Zachary Mason; international fan favorite Miyuki Miyabe; horror legends Gary A. Braunbeck and James A. Moore (I wonder if they share the same middle name); the fiction debut of Lauren Naturale; one of the final short stories of Project Itoh; and an extremely surreal “New Weird” novella by Dempow Torishima, illustrated by the author himself.

Phantasm Japan, coming this autumn! Prepare yourself!

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It’s the APPARITIONS giveaway contest!

Halloween is over, but the nights are growing longer and the trees are bare-branched and bony. It’s still ghost season, friends, and you’re in luck! I’ve got four copies of Miyuki Miyabe’s historical ghost story collection Apparitions to give away! See?

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Miyabe is already well-known to you, dear readers. We’ve published three of her fantasy novels so far, and her thrillers are also available in English. But Apparitions, a collection of ghost stories about the Edo period and its mercantile system, is different. It’s creepy and it’s kooky. And all you need to do to win a copy is to tell me of your favorite ghost story—a fictional one, something you experienced, a local legend—right here in the comments to this post in about 50-100 words. As always, we also accept senryu and haiku and other poetic forms, as well as entries in Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, and German. Then on Friday at around noon, we’ll pick the four we like the best and send out the books. We ship anywhere, so don’t worry about the cost if you live on some other continent.

Let’s get spooky!

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Finally, the ICO giveaway contest

Well, we had a great time at Worldcon. We did not win the Hugo, but we met lots of great people, had two wonderful panels on Japanese and cross-cultural science fiction, and made novelist N.K. Jemisin jump up and down and glee by presenting her with a copy of ICO: Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe.


The new hotness.

And now it’s your turn to jump up and down! We’re giving away four copies of ICO, to the readers with the best answer to this question:

What makes ICO such a great videogame anyway. Describe why it stands out from the pack to someone not familiar with modern gaming.

Of course, we’ll take answers in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Greek, or French. You have till Friday at noon, Pacific, to post your answer as a comment to this blog post. Then we will select four winners and send those free copies out immediately. You don’t need to be in the US to play—we ship everywhere!


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