The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories Most Americans would describe Japanese science fiction with one word Godzilla However true fans of the genre know that for decades Japan has been turning out some of the most innovative stories ever

  • Title: The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories
  • Author: John L. Apostolou Martin H. Greenberg Kōbō Abe Ryo Hanmura 星新一 Takashi Ishikawa Morio Kita Sakyo Komatsu
  • ISBN: 9781569801246
  • Page: 398
  • Format: Unknown Binding
  • Most Americans would describe Japanese science fiction with one word Godzilla However, true fans of the genre know that for decades, Japan has been turning out some of the most innovative stories ever published Unfortunately, those that make it into English are often difficult to find The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories, brings together the most outstanding shortMost Americans would describe Japanese science fiction with one word Godzilla However, true fans of the genre know that for decades, Japan has been turning out some of the most innovative stories ever published Unfortunately, those that make it into English are often difficult to find The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories, brings together the most outstanding short stories of this body of literature.Included here are thirteen stories, by both the big three of Japanese science fiction, Shinichi Hoshi, Ryo Hanmura, and Sako Komatsu and by the likes of Kobo Abe and Morio Kita, writers of mainstream fiction who occasionally delve into sci fi.

    One thought on “The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories”

    1. This was a welcome introduction to a different kind of science-fiction than the one I usually read. Whether it can be called science-fiction, though, I'm not so sure - these were stories ranging from (extreme) horror to the weird, the allegoric, many of them reminiscent of old Japanese folktales. However, this goes to prove the definition of the genre is very flexible among the world's cultures. There were a handful I liked more than others ("Standing Woman", "Triceratops"), but all of them, wit [...]

    2. I'm familiar with Japanese Science-fiction through animes and mangas; but these stories were really something else. The translation was weak overall and there were 2-3 of them that was lost in translation; but the rest were really unique in a creepy/gloomy way. The sheer strength of the ideas in the stories and the unique tone of each story made me really enjoy this collection.

    3. Years ago I read a fair amount of Japanese fiction (in translation), and always found it interesting. There was one story in particular that had always stuck in my mind, but I couldn't remember where I had seen it and hadn't found it since. Good news: It's in this collection -- although I'm pretty sure this is not where I had first seen it, as I remember it from several years before this was published. That story is Sakyo Komatsu's "The Savage Mouth", and it's as good as I remembered (and pretty [...]

    4. This is an odd anthology, but not in the way I expected. While I’d originally picked a different anthology for Japanese short fiction (which I may still get to this year), this was the first significant English-language anthology done of Japanese SF, way back in 1989, though some of it was translated much earlier, I think.I think it’s likely anytime you get to read something for a very different viewpoint culturally, you’ll get something odd, something weird. Bringing something from anothe [...]

    5. Early Sci-Fi, Nihon (にほん) Style .Science fiction has been published in Japan for over a hundred years, the first to really influence were the novels of Jules Verne, with the translation of Around the world in 80 days, published in 1878-1880, followed by his other works all of which were immensely popular. In fact the word kagaku shōsetsu (科学小説) was coined as a translation of "scientific novel" as early as 1886. Sci-Fi by japanese writers started to appear around the start of the t [...]

    6. This anthology of Japanese science fiction was first published in 1988 and is comprised of stories dating back to the 60’s, so in terms of my interest in comparing SF from other cultures, it doesn’t really give me an idea of what contemporary Japanese SF is like. What I did find interesting is that, similar to Anglophone SF of the same period, the protagonists are all male and female characters play little, if any, active roles in the stories. I can only assume that this has changed with tim [...]

    7. In the introduction, one of the editors notes that Japanese SF (or, at least at the time) tends not to care much for the future, and is more speculative about the present in the 'how did we get here' sense.And that sounds like a fair assessment. In a story that involves creating a life-like robot ("Bokko-chan"), the robot is a beautiful airhead that men become infatuated with because she parrots back whatever they say to her. (So, a hostess basically?) The tech isn't really the focus there. Bar [...]

    8. Japanese science fiction has always appealed to me in a different way than Western, Asimov-style fiction. Whereas western sci fi is more concerned with incorporating the hard sciences and thinking about what the future may hold, Japanese fiction is much more down to earth and fixated on the strange. The stories don't usually revolve around space marines or scientists, they revolve around regular people in unsettling circumstances. This is a really solid collection that hits everything from comic [...]

    9. I was really excited when I found another Japanese sci-fi anthology. The concepts of the stories in this book were often very interesting and inventive. However, I felt like I was missing a lot in translation. I liked a few of the stories. "The Standing Woman" because it was a unique snapshot of a disturbing future (where people and animals can be turned into plants). And "The Legend of the Paper Spaceship" not for the content, but because of the use of language.

    10. This book had several stories that were more like philosophical moral stories and a few that seemed to actually be Scifi related. That said, the stories in this book were very interesting. You just have to take your time while you're reading through it to make sure you are interpreting the content correctly.

    11. This is my first experience with short story science fiction. Not sure how I felt about it. a handful of the stories were pretty abstract so I didn't really follow them. "The Savage Mouth" was absolutely chilling. A handful of them were pretty clever. Don't know that I would make the effort to seek out more works by these authors though. At least not based on these stories.

    12. A lot of these stories were great. Deffinately more "speculative fiction" (ugh) or "magical realism" than science fiction though. The only ones I can remember off the top of my head are the one personifying a box and cosmic worm ouroboros.

    13. I loved these stories!!!!! Totally worth the shipping. So crazy and absurd and lovely. :) And in at least one story, totally f#@*ed up! :) Two thumbs way up. :)

    14. Clearly I'm in a science fiction streak this month. And not disappointing. These are great stories, great fantasies, great ideas. I especially loved the one with the abyssmal hole.

    15. Worth picking up just for "The Savage Mouth" and "Take Your Choice" by Sakyo Komatsu. Some stories are a little disturbing or high-handed, but all in all a very good collection.

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