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Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime Paperback – November 15, 2007

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About the Author

Takayuki Tatsumi is Professor of English at Keio University in Tokyo. He is the author of many books in Japanese, including Lincoln??'s Bullet; A Reading of 2001: A Space Odyssey; Slipstream Japan; New Americanist Poetics; A Manifesto for Japanoids; Metafiction as Ideology; and Cyberpunk America.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081664974X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816649747
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams" is a collection of essays written about Japanese Science Fiction edited by Christopher Bolton, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., and Takayuki Tatsumi. These essays are split into two sections, the first one is "Prose Science Fiction", and the second section is "Science Fiction Animation". These essays discuss Japanese Science Fiction from its origins (oddly enough in detective fiction) to the anime of today, which has produced some extraordinary innovative storylines. The editors provide an interesting introduction to the book which discusses the organization and provides a good overview. Most of the essays were published elsewhere first. Only Chapter five appears to be original, but that doesn't mean that this book is not worthwhile.

The first section of this book covers the written form of Japanese Science Fiction, though the essays don't necessarily fit completely into the categories where they are placed. The first essay is by Miri Nakamura and is titled "Horror and Machines in Prewar Japan: The Mechanical Uncanny in Yumeno Kyusaku's `Dogura Magura'". This is an interesting chapter and provides insight into the use of machines in the fiction of the era. She has a wonderful discussion of how science fiction developed from detective fiction in Japan. This chapter is extremely important in seeing the origins of the genre in Japan, and one can easily see how key themes, such as the man-machine type stories have always played an important role in Japanese Science Fiction.

Chapter two is "Has the Empire Sunk Yet? The Pacific in Japanese Science Fiction" by Thomas Schnellbacher. This chapter helps build on the first chapter, and discusses the important theme of identity of the Japanese people in the storylines in Japanese science fiction.
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I bought this book because I was aiming to know more about Japanese cyberpunk, and I have not read through all the essays but the ones I have read are fantastic--informative but not too dense to be readable; I was thrilled to find a measured, academic article about something usually so removed from intelligent analysis as otaku/yaoi subculture. Aside from that, the bibliographies are tremendously informative in themselves, they pointed me to many other good sources (although not all of them are in English). I like this book too for treating with such depth and breadth Japanese science fiction in general, which tends to be reduced to a few popular anime and manga. Overall this is a great (and very welcome) essay collection.
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The present book is a must-read for those going into the field of research into anime, particularly SF anime, because it's got a lot of detailed and informative articles in it about the genre of anime. However, the first part on prose science fiction is more readable than the part on anime, which is laden with some highly technical and abstruse articles on the technicalities of anime (cinema) studies. Overall, a good read, but only for those at an advanced level of research.
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It was a great b
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This book does a good job in providing the history of cyberpunk anime/literary works. Like other books that explore posthumanism and cyborgs, this book is good to have in your collection.
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