Haikasoru: Japanese Speculative Fiction

Viz has done it again.

Which is to say they’ve done something amazing, in my opinion, and it just goes to show how long I’ve been neglecting the major manga publishers when something like this slips by my notice.

Haikasoru is Viz’s new(ish) publishing imprint dedicated to Japanese speculative fiction. The tagline on the website reads “Space Opera. Dark Fantasy. Hard Science.”

Well, I’m in. In fact, I feel an online order coming on any time now.

Foreign SF/F (most notably by Japanese and Hispanic writers) has been an interest of mine for some time, but since it’s nigh impossible to get ahold of such books, I’ve had very little to read in that area. Japanese fiction in particular is difficult because I don’t read Japanese and, therefore, can’t simply import a book or two written in its native language (Spanish fiction I could at least read, though it might take a while to get through an entire book). I can think of very few Japanese science fiction titles (that is to say, novels rather than manga) that have been translated into English. Off the top of my head, I want to include The Crimson Labyrinth by Yusuke Kishi, but that’s really not an SF title at all–more of a survivalist thriller.

Needless to say, I’m excited about this, and I’ve already picked out which book(s) I’ll be ordering first. Their catalogue so far is short, and it shouldn’t be that difficult to catch up. But before I talk about their current line-up, let me point out one thing:

battleroyaleBattle Royale (by Koushun Takami) is being rereleased as a new, revised edition. It will include a new introduction, an interview with the Battle Royale filmmaker, and an afterword by the author. It’s due to release on November 17.

This is definitely on my birthday list. Sure, I have the original release of Battle Royale–I’ve read it and I love it. But who can resist a new edition with new material? Not I.

If you’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, then you must read this book. There’s so much more detail and story to take in. Granted, it’s quite long, and if you’re not accustomed to Japanese names, then you might get a little confused at first–but it’s certainly worth it.

Here are the other books being released by Haikasoru, in order of availability:

haikasorugroup

All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka–Available Now
Usurper of the Sun by Housuke Nojiri–Available Now
The Lord of the Sands of Time by Issui Ogawa–Available Now
Zoo by Otsuichi–Available Now
Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, (paperback release)–11.17.09
The Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe — 1.19.10
Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi–1.19.10

Stop by the Haikasoru website for more information and for summarizes of these titles.

~

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2 responses to “Haikasoru: Japanese Speculative Fiction

  1. This pleases me! And I’m very glad that they kept the “rifle” motif on the Battle Royale cover between the male and female figures. Luke pointed this out to me, and I hadn’t noticed it before on my copy. I’ve been meaning to check current copies in bookstores – apparently the rifle motif was pulled in recent years. But I’m so glad to see it, there, being all subtle and creepy.

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