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A web browser that threatens to conquer the world. The longest, loneliest railroad on Earth. A North Korean nuke hitting Tokyo, a hollow asteroid full of automated rice paddies, and a specialist in breaking up “virtual” marriages. And yes, giant robots. These thirteen stories from and about the Land of the Rising Sun run the gamut from fantasy to cyberpunk, and will leave you knowing that the future is Japanese!
Catherynne M. Valente
From “Autogenic Dreaming: Interview with the Columns of Clouds” by TOBI Hirotaka
“I didn’t kill her. She did it herself,” Jundo says.
“She used your knife to stab herself in the throat.”
“That’s right. Mrs. Tsuge used my knife. Thank you—I hadn’t thought of that name for a long time. Yukiko Tsuge.”
“Your teacher had no reason to kill herself, of course. She had a warm family life with a husband, a daughter in fourth grade, and a son in kindergarten. She was happy.”
“She had her reasons. We all do. I just gave her a little encouragement.”
“You manipulated her. No threats, no hypnosis, just conversation—”
Jundo had the ability to drive people to suicide with nothing more than conversation. This he confirmed in writing before his death. If it struck his fancy, he could make you take your own life, no matter who you were.
Seventy-three victims. His final testament bore a list of their names.
© 2009 VIZ Media, LLC