Hiroshi Yamamoto, whose The Stories of Ibis is out now, is a master of science fiction. Which isn’t simply to say that he is an excellent writer, but that he has mastered the many modes of science fiction. Ibis encapsulates everything from the world of Star Trek fanfiction to anime superheroes, from serious sociological SF to crazy robot battles—but there’s more to the genre than Yamamoto can fit into one book. One subgenre of special importance in the Japanese idiom of science fiction is kaiju, or “strange beast.” You know, giant monsters.
How giant are these monsters you ask? Check out these teeth marks:
That’s the cover to MM9, another of Yamamoto’s novels. MM stands for monster magnitude, and 9…well, that’s a pretty large magnitude. What we’re excited about is not just the existence of this novel, but the fact that it is going to be adapted into a live-action TV show along the lines of the Godzilla films or Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman show. (And I have to say that I love that the URL for the show is nine m’s.) Ultraman was iconic enough to be integrated into science fiction’s Hugo award in 2007, when the awards were held at the first-ever Japanese Worldcon:
It’s a big deal.
MM9’s tagline is in English and it suggests that the show will have a bit more going on than the usual rubber-suited shenanigans we might be used to from the old (and often Bowdlerized) films that made it to the US: You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or everything is a miracle.
That sounds like the sentimental and challenging science fiction master we know. Here’s hoping that the MM9 TV show can make it over to the West in some form or fashion. We’ll take everything, with a side-order of intelligent robots. Check out Ibis—there are a couple of giant monsters in there as well!