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The Future is Japanese Paperback – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 365 pages
  • Publisher: Haikasoru (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421542234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421542232
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Contributors include cyberpunk legends Pat Cadigan and Bruce Sterling, New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente, the enormously popular and prolific Japanese writer Hideyuki Kikuchi, and hot new writers Rachel Swirsky, David Moles, and Ken Liu—who have won or been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards.

More About the Author

Ken Liu has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards and been a finalist for the Sturgeon and the Locus Awards.

His debut fantasy novel, THE GRACE OF KINGS, will be published by Simon & Schuster's Saga Press imprint in 2015. Saga will also release a collection of his short fiction.

A programmer as well as a lawyer, Ken has published stories in F&SF, Asimov's, Analog, Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed, among other places. Besides writing original fiction, he also translates fiction from Chinese into English.

He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughters. For more about him and his work, please visit http://kenliu.name.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Philip R Martin on September 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spend thousands of dollars on Amazon.com every year and this is the first review I have felt compelled to write, albeit a short one. From a few pages in, it was clear that this book was taking sci-fi in a very grounded direction, casting out much focus on sci-fi gadgetry and gimmicks in favor of a more human, emotional perspective. A fascinating read from beginning to end, this collection of short stories explores the fascination and reality of where science may take us, and how the human spirit will still endure. A powerful collection of fantastic writers all bound in one volume is something I rarely come across and thankfully the quality of writing as well as the honest perspective of the future shared by all writers has laid the path to a refreshing look into the often convoluted (and even at times overly-simplified), cliché world of sci-fi. In fact I would consider this book more science-possibility rather than science-fiction. Wonderful book that I hope inspires sic-fi writers and readers alike as we approach a fast-changing, tech-driven world that could use a little more heart.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EdM on April 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased this title on kindle for it was only 3.99. Ok for that price but would not recommend otherwise. Half the stories are good- authors such as Ogawa- but the other half are not even worth the time to read. The stories range from futures in space to traditional horror (the ghost story being really good to read) but the overall reading experience is lackluster. Perhaps the editor will have better stories if there is another anthology. The breakdown- 1.Mono no Aware (3 stars) a lone Japanese survivor aboard American spaceship after asteroid destroys earth. 2.Sound of breaking up (3 stars) time travel mash up that is very confusing at first. 3.Chitai (3 stars) Teens in mecha vs alien threat, could have been longer to better explain things. 4.Indiffence engine (3 stars) tale set in war ravaged Africa by Japanese author Itoh. 5.Sea of Trees (4.5 stars) Japanese ghost story. Story 6,7 (2 stars each) skip read. 8.Golden Bread by Ogawa (4 stars) future Yamato space soldier in Kalifornia asteroid colony where Japanese traditions are the norm. Story 9,10 (1 star each) don't bother-junk. 11.Mountain people (2.5) 12.Goddess of mercy (3) but split Japan is nonsense. 13.A web browser that wants to eat the worlds digital books- 0 stars - waste of time!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ria (Bibliotropic) on December 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Anthologies are hard to rate and review. With the writing styles of so many different contributing authors, you can get some very varied results, and a few bad apples can spoil the bunch.

I don’t mean to say that this collection contained bad apples. But as with many such books, some stories were better than others, and some seemed to just drag on and didn’t seem to have much purpose or direction. The ones that were good were good, exploring various sci-fi concepts from a Japanese perspective, with a Japanese setting, or involving Japanese characters. Some, however, seemed to have little in common with the main theme, and it seemed that their inclusion hinged solely on having a single character with a Japanese name, or were written by a Japanese author. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing that should have disqualified those stories from being included (For example, The Indifference Engine by Project Itoh was a superb offering), but they weren’t quite what I was expecting. I was hoping for more stories with a focus on Japanese culture and experience. And that may be my own problem, going into this with incorrect expectations, but it did colour my overall opinion of what I read.

There were a few stories in here that also felt flat, distant from the narrative, and I don’t know if that was the author’s intent or perhaps an issue that occured due to translation from one language to another, as some of the contributing authors originally had their works published in Japanese. I hesitate to make that kind of judgment call, since I can’t say for certain whether the problem was in the writing, the translating, or in it just not being my cup of tea. But it was due to these issues that I feel I can’t rate the book higher.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Theme anthologies often have one story that doesn't fit into the theme or the theme is so vague that any story fits the theme. The Future is Japanese has wide ambitious theme about science from and about Japan with a mix of Japanese and non Japanese writers. Editors Masumi Washington and Nick Mamatas took time and effort to collect the stories and put them in the proper order.

One of my favorite stories is Mono no Aware by Ken Liu where Hiroto is on a spaceship headed for a distant star when he confronts a problem in a very Japanese manner. While addressing the problem he recalls childhood memories.

I enjoyed every story in the anthology, but had some difficulty reading "The Indifference Engine" by Project Itoh. It is a well written story that focuses on a child soldier trying to adjust to a new post war life. The violence is absolutely necessary to properly show the viewpoint and motivations of a child placed in an impossible situation.

Overall, this is a great well though out anthology on the possible future of Japan from a diverse group of talented writers.
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