Haikasoru

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Look what came in today’s mail!

Why yes, it is the advance copy of Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince! Coming your way next month. Feel free to use this photo as a guide to the size of the old crappy book you’ll need to throw away in order to make room for this one!

We also got our first ever Publishers Weekly review for a Haikasoru title, with this week’s Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince capsule: larmed at the transformation of her childhood friend and at the carnage that follows Oguna, the iron-willed Toko begins a quest that will take her across the empire in search of the pieces of Misumaru neckace, itself the manifestation of godly power. Ogiwara avoids the temptation to write a simple quest story; the representations of divine power are more burdens than gifts, weighing possessors down with obligation and terrible temptations… the review reads in part. Check it out!

A Week of Links!

It’s been quite, eh? Over at the Haikasoru Week and lots of fun was to be had.

The brand new Tow Ubukata novelette “Two Hundred Below”, a Mardock Scramble adventure, went live on Tuesday.

Wednesday saw this neat and insightful review of both Rocket Girls and Rocket Girls: The Last Planet.

And on Thursday, we had a short essay on Japanese science fiction by me.

Oh, and speaking of me, and speaking of the end of the week, the World SF Blog also encouraged Beatrice.com’s Ron Hogan to publish my interview with Cathy Hirano and Jim Hubbert. Ms. Hirano translated Dragon Sword and Wind Child and the forthcoming Mirror Sword and Shadow Prince for us, and Mr. Hubbert has been quite busy: he translated The Lord of the Sands of Time, The Next Continent, and The Ouroboros Wave for us. Gotta catch ‘em all!

Mardock is everywhere!

A couple of pics of Mardock Scramble for ya!

Turn your monitor on its side for this one by translator Edwin Hawkes himself:


Right next to Jack Vance, in his local Waterstones over in the United Kingdom!


And here it is in Kinokuniya in Tokyo, in the foreign-language section. Note the yellow-covered Japanese title—it’s a magazine, actually, containing a list of ten must-read mysteries, many of which are also on the display. Also interesting is the call-outs for Orange Prize winning books. (The Orange Prize is awarded to women’s writing.)

Finally, here’s a neat review of Mardock Scramble, which reads, in part, Oefcoque comes across as a mixture of Stuart Little and T-1000 from Terminator 2…and if that wasn’t weird enough, the names of many of the characters are based on wordplays or references to certain recurring themes. Such as eggs.

PS: We had a couple of votes for a Facebook page for Haikasoru. If this interests you leave me a comment. If the demand is high enough, I’ll be sure to make one for you all.

HARMONY nominated for the Philip K. Dick award!

It’s been a great couple of weeks for Harmony by Project Itoh. First it got a great review by io9.com on New Year’s Eve, and thanks to a million people having gotten Kindles and iPads for Christmas a week before became an ebook hit! Then io9.com named Harmony one of its best books of the year. And io9.com is not alone in its appreciation—Harmony was also just nominated for the Philip K. Dick award! Here is the list of nominees:

YARN by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade Books)
CHILL by Elizabeth Bear (Ballantine Books/Spectra)
THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS by Alden Bell (Henry Holt & Co.)
SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy (Eos)
THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK by Mark Hodder (Pyr)
HARMONY by Project Itoh, translated by Alexander O. Smith (Haikasoru)
STATE OF DECAY by James Knapp (Roc)

It’s great to see some other independent presses on the list, and we’re especially happy given the nature of the award, which is for the best paperback original science fiction title of the year. Poor Philip K. Dick wrote tons of books, nearly all of which were paperback originals or paperback only (he miiiight have had a book club title or two) back in the days when paperback originals were basically considered disposable junk.

Of course, today Dick is widely appreciated by fans, critics, and Hollywood, and by us…what is “Haikasoru” after all but a Nipponized pronunciation of the words “High Castle”? As in The Man in the High Castle. As in that PKD book about the Japanese taking over San Francisco and the western United States. As in, you know, us!

So we’re thrilled. See you science fiction fans in Seattle at Norwescon 34 and congratulations to the other nominees!


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