Japan

Flash Fiction

We are inundated by fiction. Every trip to the few remaining bookshops has more and more books marching along the shelves, magically procreating like the enchanted brooms in Disney’s Fantasia. There are so many books and so little time, especially wh... Read More »

Woman, You Make Me Sick and Other Adventures in Freefall

Woman, You Make Me Sick and Other Adventures in Freefall

These offputting objects killed the novel. Let's dance. 'Cos it's more fun reading in freefall. Read More »

Cat Heaven: Neko-sama in Animanga

Cat Heaven: Neko-sama in Animanga

There is a small fishing island in Japan, Tashirojima, which has been dubbed “cat heaven” because of the phenomenal amount of stray cats living there – there are more cats than people! It sounds, to me, completely idyllic – wh... Read More »

The Impossibility of Escaping the Palm of Buddha’s Hand

The Impossibility of Escaping the Palm of Buddha’s Hand

"Mortal, you have angered Shaka-sama and now Pigsy will eat your face." This is one of the improbable lines that is never spoken in the foundational saga of Buddhist fiction. Many other improbable lines are. Further out on the improbability spectrum:... Read More »

Jazz and Drama: A Kids on the Slope Review

Jazz and Drama: A Kids on the Slope Review

Image courtesy of crunchyroll.com Even casual fans of anime have heard of Cowboy Bebop, the jazziest, classiest, most sophisticated space opera anime to ever be created (whoops, my bias is showing).  Bebop’s director, Shinichiro Watanabe, and musical... Read More »

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The Galapagos Frontier Thesis

The formative American experience was the conquest of the western frontier. Would science fiction and fantasy exist without the frontier model? What does Japan's parallel conquest of Hokkaido tell us about the legacy of colonial expansion? Read More »

The First Poem Written in Space

The First Poem Written in Space

The real scandal is that it took anyone this long to write a poem in space. The solution is easy. Read More »

What is the Optimal Human Population? Lessons From the Novels of Stephen Baxter

What is the Optimal Human Population? Lessons From the Novels of Stephen Baxter

Are there too many people on the planet? Science fiction bears much of the responsibility for spreading this meme, which can be unpleasantly tinged with racism. But now and again a great science fiction author develops a more inspiring and pro-human ... Read More »

Why Doesn’t Fantasy Sell in Japan?

Epic fantasy is a hard sell in Japan. Why? A country so saturated in the fantastic seemingly ought to have an affinity for our beloved genre. But shared passions often get lost in translation. Read More »

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