Sunday, February 1, 2009

Preview of Haikasoru Science Fiction Titles

Last week I posted an announcement about the new science fiction imprint from ViZ Media that will be releasing translations of some of the best contemporary Japanese science fiction novels. Haikasoru will be publishing 12 titles per year starting this July.

Here is a preview of some covers and summaries of the first four titles.

© 2007 Issui OgawaThe Lord of the Sands of Time
by Issui Ogawa

Available in July 2009
Sixty-two years after human life on earth was annihilated by rampaging aliens, the enigmatic cyborg Messenger O is sent back in time with the mission to unite the humanity of past eras—during World War II and in ancient Japan, even back at the dawn of humanity—in order to defeat the alien invasion before it begins. But amidst a future shredded by war, love also waits for O. Will O save humanity only to doom himself? The Lord of the Sands of Time was nominated for the prestigious Seiun Award, the leading award for Japanese science fiction, the winners of which are selected each year by members of the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention.

© 2004 by Hiroshi SakurazakaALL YOU NEED IS KILL
by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Available in July 2009.

When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he finally sees something different, something out of place—a female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

© 2006 by OtsuichiZOO
by Otsuichi

Available in September 2009.

ZOO presents eleven stories of dark fantasy and science fiction by one of Japan’s hottest authors. "The White Hut In The Forest" is the story of a man with a hole in his head and a charming home made from some strange materials. "Song of the Sunny Spot" is a rendition of the classic story of the Earth's last man...and his charming companion. And in the book’s eponymous tale, a man sees his dead girlfriend’s corpse decompose, one gristly Polaroid snapshot at a time. ZOO sold over 740,000 copies in Japan and was also turned into a successful Japanese film.

by Housuke Nojiri
Available in September 2009.
When a ring appears around the sun, humanity seems doomed. One woman, a brave scientist named Aki Shiraishi, travels to the core of the solar system in a last-ditch attempt to save the world. A compelling new hard SF novel, Usurper of the Sun won a coveted Seiun Award in 2002 for Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year.


  1. Thanks so much for this post. THE LORD OF THE SANDS OF TIME sounds *amazing*.

  2. Ditto :)

    I love some of the stuff that comes out of Japan in other media so I'm looking at this very carefully and seriously hope they'll be half as good as they sound and look!

  3. Heather I am looking forward to trying these out. There is usually something fresh about translated SF because of the influence of the foreign culture.

    My son is a huge manga, anime fan but I haven't really followed it. These I will definitely try.


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