Haikasoru

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宇宙恐怖物語

sfterrortales-japanese1

Recently a coworker went to Kayo Books in downtown San Francisco and scored a mint-condition first-edition copy of Science Fiction Terror Tales. Lucky! This book, containing stories by Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein and others, is semi-famous for connecting the dots between science fiction and horror fiction. Author Mike Resnick, for one, credits it for sparking his life-long interest in the weird and bizarre.

Undoubtedly Science Fiction Terror Tales inspired many kids around the world as well. It was even translated into Japanese at one point. Which leads us back to a discussion we had previously on the Haikasoru blog: Why are we publishing a book of horror short stories? The answer is: why not? We’re thrilled to include ZOO by Otsuichi in our catalog. As Nick wrote earlier, “There’s a long tradition of horror being published alongside (and even as) SF and fantasy… the appeal is often broadly similar.”

I definitely needed a vacation

Here in the US it was Labor Day weekend, and I inexplicably spent my spare Monday on a hike through the glorious hills of Berkeley, marching through the 300-acre Ecological Study Area. If you like stunning views and having to slide down steep fire roads on your butt, I fully recommend it.

For me though, I’d hear the bells of The Campanile and think to myself, “Oh yeah, Usurper of the Sun has a few scenes down on the campus. I wonder if I should contact someone there so they’ll know.” Well, instead I just decided to blog about it.

Then there was the treachery of the last bit of the hike. It’s like a death trap, especially if one’s shoes lacked traction as mine did. (Seriously kids, buy some books. Papa needs a new pair of hiking boots!) And even as I tried to avoid twisting my ankle or landing face-first, I thought, “Is it going to take me a week to die? Will my blood taint a river’s water red like in ‘Seven Rooms’ by Otsuichi?” You know, the story from ZOO, a book which, by wild coincidence, is also out next week?

I know, I know, it’s sad to be so obsessed with work. I feel lucky that I even have a job, especially one I looove (well, except for the commute!) but even on Labor Day? Even amidst the beauty of the natural world? Even my dog was laughing at me!

deca durabolin before and after

The Present is Japanese or, LAUNCH!

One of the great things about living in San Francisco is that there are many excellent independent bookstores. Given that today was the day that the first two Haikasoru titles shipped to stores, we decided to celebrate by hanging out at Borderlands Books, one of the best bookstores in the city and one of the best specialty shops for science fiction, gmail login fantasy, and horror in the whole country. We popped in a bit early and waited for the books to arrive.

Masumi and books
Here’s Masumi scoping out the state of the field amongst the well-stocked stacks of Borderlands.

Borderlands is a not just a great local store, but a national institution. When I moved here from the East Coast, Borderlands was my first stop. Before groceries. Before anything.

crazy postcards
See? Postcards! Mail ’em to your friends.

Locals know that one of the store’s great attractions are its hairless cats, Ripley and Ash. Indeed, there’s a sign put out on the register when the cats arrive, because some people come in just to check out the cats. Personally, they freak me out.

Ash, the semi-hairless hairless cat

But Ash took a liking to VIZ editor Eric “I eric and cat

Before the long, the moment had arrived!

Carrie and The Lord of the Sands of Time
Behold, The Lord of the Sands of Time!

And what should happen but that one of the customers was intrigued by these new selections!

Buying all you need is kill
They certainly aren’t holding in their laughter because I asked them to hold up All You Need Is KILL for a contrived photo-op. It’s the joy of finding a new book to read!

And here’s the first person to EVER buy a Haikasoru title. (Well, the first person to buy one in front of me while I had a cellphone camera handy.)

Smug guy
If he looks smug, it’s because he’s awesome.

And now friends, go forth and CONSUME!

Coming soon: a Q/A with Seth, who bought the first book, and what he thought of it!

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electrofitness

SF in SF

Around here, the initials S.F. stand for science fiction and San Francisco. And when it comes to San Futuro, I root for the home team every time. That’s why my favorite Trek movie is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and my favorite Philip K. Dick novel is The Man in the High Castle.

Because I live in the Bay bubble, I always perk up when San Francisco is mentioned in the books I read. And when it pops up in a science fiction novel, I stand at attention like a tap on the shoulder from the Full Metal Bitch.

Back in 2006, Dennis O’Neil wrote a novel about The Question, a minor league superhero with a major league pedigree (the character was created by comic book artist Steve Ditko). O’Neil’s novel sailed under my radar until earlier this year when I spotted it on the shelves of a used bookstore in Berkeley. In case you’d like to order it, the book is called DC Universe: Helltown.

Anyhoo, I’m not saying the novel was good or bad, but it did provide one LOL moment. Vic Sage (aka The Question) finds himself in San Francisco on Christmas day. Alone and bored, he decides to see a movie on Market Street. If you know San Francisco at all, you know the only movie theaters on Market Street three years ago were adult theaters. Ah yes, the perfect way for a superhero to celebrate Christmas—watching porn in San Francisco. I wonder what The Question’s pals in the JLA would think if they found out?

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