I won a Japanese literary award in 2018 with a story collection including an SF novella about developing a decentralized transport protocol based on mastodon when/if Twitter obeys censorship laws by big countries.
The title of that novella is “On the Shoulder of the Giant Elephant”.
The story is starting on a commuting train, protagonist Fuzui (you may be noticed that it’s a synonym of my family name) found a tweet that Twitter is available in China. Fuzui had got surprised because it means that Twitter made the Chinese government read their user’s activities including private messages. Fuzui loved Twitter for a while. He developed an HTML client for Twitter, promoted Twitter in his working company and he communicated with many people including overseas. Fuzui loved the balance of Twitter, freedom between liberty, commercial opportunities between public responsibility. Not perfect but they showed the possibilities to communicating with all over the world.
But it had gone… Fuzui decided to make a solution using Mastodon, a decentralized SNS network solution. Fuzui started to develop end-to-end encryption…
I say it’s an SF, I love that work. I actually launched a server on writing days.
At the awards party, a famous Japanese writer Natsuhiko Kyogoku asked me if Twitter goes to there. I answered “Not now, but when they should earn as like standard company, they do”.
I hoped that my words were wrong, but the situation came.
Setting of Jovian-flu is on the floating city on the air of Jupiter in 23rd century. People used dozens of small machines inside of their body; extended muscles, memory supporting, hormone controllers, and ATP pumps for breathing electricity. Haruna, born in lunar city had moved to there because his pollution study was fault at moon, saw a woman got down at the stop of commuting train. With folding her body and shaking head means that, a small program named GCE-73 which was born in Jupiter cities had expanded to all implants computers of her. People around her got started to escape, GCE-73 infected via near-computer network, but didn’t move. When the person saw an attack of that computer bug, program had been infected to people standing in a meter range. Somebody called this infection as Jovian-flu…
Story of Jovian-flu is above. It’s good portion and I want you to read in translation.
The anthology is founded by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan. Past chair Jouji Hayashi got an idea and brought his plan to Japanese largest SF genre publisher Hayakawa shobo at last summer. Contributors are gorgeous. Current chair Haruna Ikezawa wrote an opening words and the last essay was contributed by the former chief secretary Kiyomi Kishima, introduction for works by Dohjin Miyamoto.
And the number of short story contributes is nineteen, eighty nine works are collected (Because of this large number is the final listed contributor Yusakku Kotano gave seventeen minimum fictions). ToC is below.
I’m going to attend the TV program, The Second World SF Writers Conference broadcasting in 26th Jan 2021 at 26:05 from Fuji TV. The theme of this program is a big issue, How Human Being Will be Ruined.
The theme is not on the edge of the current SFF literature, but the members are great. Headliner is Motoko Arai who debut as highschool student in 1977, and developed the Light Novel; sub-genre of Japanes SFF. She keeps publishing good novels. Second writer, Haneko Takayama is young and good SFf writer who won Japanese biggest mainstream literature awards Akutagawa Award. SFF folks might see her at several WorldCon. Third young guy is Satoshi Ogawa. He won Japan SF Grand Prize with his second novel. And me. We chatted about that big theme, How we are Human-Being will be Ruined?
As to titling of this program, the World, participants are not only Japanese. Ken Liu, Cixin and Kim Choeyop share their ideas about the theme on video messages. All of their words were great, as reading their works.
The staff works are perfect, hero-image is by Takehito Moriizumi, the comic is by Natsujiro Miyazaki, voice actress/actor are Yakushimaru Etsuko and Shohei Takagi, and sounds are done by Kensuke Ushio. I’m looking forward to watching it.
Update: All the program and additional part is uploaded on YouTube. Enjoy.
As titling second, we had another program in summer. Fuji TV archived on YouTube. Watch it below.
The latest novelette Height of the Moon is published in the January 2021 issue of monthly literature magazine Shosetsu-Gendai. An editor started a collection about travel from this issue, and he asked me to contribute. Thinking about travel was very interesting during this long quarantine for me. And more, writing about travel would be a great experience, then I agreed to write.
The setting year is 2019, the last year when we traveled often. The protagonist is experiencing stage making engineer Atae, 49 years old. In this story, he drove a road trailer truck to the northern part of Honshu island of Japan from Tokyo to carry stage pieces of equipment with a woman stage designer Atsuta. The conversation of them on that 400km road trip is the body of this novelette.
Atae started his carrier in the 90s’ when the Japanese financial situation was not so bad, he started stage designing using a higher salary of freelancer work, and got a stage jobs easily because there were many stage events was working. But in 2019, stage work is not a good job for stage designers like travel baddy Atsuta. After the 2000’s decade, Japan sank in finance, and all the cost around the stage was not changed in 30 years. Atae knows that kept stage as the exploitation of voluntary work.
Body discussion of them was smooth. Atae told Atsuta that the height of the moon is different in another country, and Atsuta responded in her professional stage designing around the projecting planetarium of her stage. but a call made them to the emergency. The CAD data of the hall which is used by Atsuta was different from the actual hall. One foot smaller than the data. They should re-make their stage equipment on the highway…
You may know that Atae is based on me, my first professional job was stage designing when I was a student at a university. I joined a team of stage designers and focused to develop stages well, or excess to quit the university. If I did not give up one stage of work without finishing, I would not start a computer engineering carrier and not write fiction.
Anyway, Hight of the Moon is published only in Japanese. I hope you may meet in the future.
The second issue of Augmented Sky was published on Digital Bungei-Shunju vol35 January 2021.
Augumented Sky is based on my personal history when I was high-school student. I lived in a dormitory of Kagoshima Kinkowan Highschool. The name of that dormitory is Seisui Ryo, where was managed by students with hard rules like the military. Students only have three by nine feet bed and studying desk in a small room living with other grades students.
The mission of the dormitory was set hardly: Second and first-grade students should support top-grade students to succeed in the entrance exams for good universities. Keep clean room, keep silent, and serve all the life. Of-course first-grade students work for room hardly. The dormitory was placed beside the high school, and when the volcano exploded, first-grade students should interrupt classrooms and running back to the room, and bring laundries back inside a room in order to keep out from ashes. Running, cleaning, and obeying were all for the first-grade students’ acts.
When I told my editor about that dormitory life, they grinned. “Give us in a serial novel, it should be great entertainment” “Is it interesting?” “Definitely” Then started.
The setting year is in 2024, a few years future available soon. I changed the name of the school and dormitory and added another mission for students in this novel. Dormitory made a team to develop a virtual reality presentation using game-engine, Beyond, and they submitted it to the tournament. That dormitory was known as a good team working hard to model, texturing, and lighting with by dormitory life. But that year, the dormitory team lost. The reason was clear, their concept was old. And second-grade student Mamoru, protagonist, was assigned next chair of the dormitory who should lead the contest in next year…
My contribution is the solar-punk novelette Just Like Migratory Birds, translated by Emily Balistrieri. This is a story about Chinese New Year traveling back to home habitat develops space travel. Yes, I mean it.
The protagonist is a Japanese animal scientist Tsukasa who waits at the space station for their Chinese partner who went back home to China for new year. Tsukasa thought, Chinese don’t go far from the lower orbit station of the Earth, because…Chinese engineers developed lower orbital transportation convenient, because, sigh…, yes because they should go back home town every year. This is why Chinese don’t go further than the Mars colonial. How I would discuss with him that I got a ticket to go another solar system…
It’s space development story, and our ethics goes, and a romance, enjoy.
I have two types of autographs. One is alphabets and another is Chinese characters. Both are script form. I’ve written alphabet autograph until 2017, but my novella collection Hello, World! let me consider writing autographs in vertical. The cool title page designed by Jun Kawana did not have a space to write the wide alphabet autograph.
That was a good opportunity to design a new autograph because Chinese autographs had been requested in the anglophone world.
The design was not easy because I write with my left hand. All the script characters pull lines, but I should push pens in. Then I researched the strokes in searching Chinese calligraphy databases. Finally, I found a good crown “艹” shape, a left bottom “月” one and right bottom “泰”. I merged three shapes into the first letter of my name “藤”.
Second character “井” is far from traditional script. Standard drawing order starts horizontal bars , of course draffing from left, but I connect three lines into one stroke. Starting from right top. Right vertical bar is shared last character ”洋”. Third character ”太” is same. All lines are connected, and it seems like ”L”
Anyway, I didn’t have enough autograph sesstion this year. Last time I had it was, joint semminar with an artist Ai Hasegawa. Even though I participate Con’s, autograph table is on the physical world.
Latest work published on e-book market, Kindle and Apple Books in Japan. The title is post pandemic fiction Distance Lies.
My challenge in writing this work was to sketch up the world after this pandemic finished. The most important one is that we will not be able to ignore infection diseases until now. We learned that staying home is the most effective way to guard our society against viruses or bacteria. This method works before the vaccine came.
I imagine if we found the micro-management method for quarantine for each disease. And I set an engineer protagonistwho operate statistical models of a citizen movement. And I described upcoming futuristic gadgets, antigen tattoo, exoskeleton for quarantine hotel staff, anti-sniper bullet system…
Of course fictions are not only for Projecting the future, I want to read drama rather than tech words. Protagonist Should fall into danger. I bring him to the refugee camp caught by new measles, and let e finds the strange fact around the diseases.
I hope you to read this in translation, in future.
This website is my several times starting one. The last one had gone back to the digital entropy seashore, forever, farewell. The server hosting company had kindly sent me several times they were going to remove my blog by missing payment with credit card renewal, but I missed those messages because I’ve set their mail as junk by the wrong operation. I hope WordPress.com to be stingy and greedy to tell me the payment alert strongly.
I’m Taiyo Fujii, a husband, a father of a boy, and a Japanese SF writer winning several awards in Japan. Born in 1971 in Amami island, a Japanese southern island 1,200 km away from Tokyo, moved to Tokyo in 1990, bought Macbook in 1992, took several jobs along with computers, and started to write fiction in 2012.