Haikasoru

 

Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.
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THE THOUSAND YEAR BEACH

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ISBN: 978-1-9747-0009-7

A MILLIENNIUM AFTER THE LAST HUMAN GUESTS ABANDONED A VR RESORT, A NEW VISITOR HAS ARRIVED...

Synopsis

Designed in imitation of a harbor town in southern Europe, the Realm of Summer is just one of the zones within the virtual resort known as the Costa del Número. It has been more than a thousand years since human guests stopped coming to the Realm, leaving the AIs alone in their endless summer. But now all that has come to a sudden end, as an army of mysterious Spiders begin reducing the town to nothing. As night falls, the few remaining AIs prepare for their final, hopeless battle… War in the virtual world begins on the shores of The Thousand Year Beach.

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TOBI HIROTAKA

TOBI Hirotaka was born in 1960 in Shimane Prefecture. He was the winner of the Sanseido SF Story Contest while a student at Shimane University. From 1983 to 1992 he actively contributed short stories to SF Magazine. After a hiatus of ten years, he returned in 2002 with his first full-length novel. The Thousand Year Beach (Grande Vacance) took Second Prize in SF Magazine's Best SF 2002. In 2004, Kaleidoscape, his collection of revised and new works, took top honors in that year's Best SF in the magazine, and the 2005 Nihon SF Taisho Award. The title story from the collection, “Kaleidoscape” also won the 2005 Seiun Award for Best Japanese Short Story of the Year. “Autogenic Dreaming: Interview with the Columns of Clouds” earned TOBI his second Seiun Award for Best Japanese Short Story in 2010 and appeared in English in The Future Is Japanese, and his third for “Sea Fingers” in 2015, which appeared in English in Saiensu Fikushon 2016. He is also the author of Ragged Girl, a sequel to The Thousand Year Beach. His latest collection, Autogenic Dreaming, won 2017 Nihon SF Taisho Award and the first prize in the year’s Best SF in SF Magazine.

TOBI HIROTAKA

Excerpt

Jules lay back against the rocks.

Jules was unable to get a certain thought out of his mind.

Could that old man be my papa?

When exactly had this idea taken up residence in his head?

He did not know.

I’m resident of this Realm, this virtual resort space, thought Jules. Just an NPC AI, built in from the beginning.

My thoughts, my memories, my body—all a precisely designed set of objects running on the Realm’s system.

But Papa’s different.

Papa’s a guest.

An unidentifiable face in the crowd of thousands who lived in the real world but held memberships in the Costa del Número. Papa used his membership to come to my house, after choosing our Realm of Summer out of countless other Realms and reserving the open role of my papa.

The Realm had many open roles like this. As long as they weren’t already in use, anyone with Costa del Número membership could fill them, regardless of sex or age.

And in that way, a new Papa sat at Jules’s table every day.

His family shared a range of summer pleasures with “Papa.”

But not that old man. So what’s this mysterious kinship, almost like a bond of blood, that I feel around him? More…


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