Essay, Where did you come from?

I started a short series of essays in the Nishinippon Shimbun on March 14, 2023. The planned number of installments is 50, so it will continue until around the middle of May.

The weekly illustrations are by Oga Mameo, who accurately captures the title that seems to flow down the river and the topics that fly here and there.

The title of the essay, “Where Did We Come From?” is based on Paul Gauguin’s oil painting “Where Do We Come From? Who are we? Where are we going?” The title is taken from Paul Gauguin’s oil painting, “Where Did We Come From? For me, science fiction is an act of facing these questions, but the full text is too long, so I have extracted only the opening question.

I usually try to face this question with fiction, but this time I will try to do it with “me” as the subject.

The series also appears on the Nishinippon Shimbun website in the “Where are you from?” corner of the Nishinippon Shimbun website.

On the step of Mastodon

Once I had a mastodon solo server., and rebooted this week.

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.

Rebooted will go on.

contributed a short story Jovian-flu for an anthology SF written for Post Coronavirus

I contributed a short story Jovian-flu for an anthology SF Written for Post Coronavirus (ポストコロナのSF) which will be published by Hayakawa Shobo in 15th April.

Book information of SF Written for Post Coronavirus

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.

小川哲「黄金の書物」/伊野隆之「オネストマスク」/高山羽根子「透明な街のゲーム」/柴田勝家「オンライン福男」/若木未生「熱夏にもわたしたちは」/柞刈湯葉「献身者たち」/林譲治「仮面葬」/菅浩江「砂場」/津久井五月「粘膜の接触について」/立原透耶「書物は歌う」/飛浩隆「空の幽契」/津原泰水「カタル、ハナル、キユ」/藤井太洋「木星風邪(ジョヴィアンフルゥ)」/長谷敏司「愛しのダイアナ」/天沢時生「ドストピア」/吉上亮「後香(レトロネイザル) Retronasal scape」./小川一水「受け継ぐちから」/樋口恭介「愛の夢」/北野勇作「不要不急の断片」


TV program, World SF Writers Conference

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.

Program site: the Second World SF Writers Conference

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.

Novelette Height of the Moon

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.

January issue of Shosetsu-Gendai. 20 or 40 literary magazines are published in Japan with/only paper copy.

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.