Exciting new books in 2010 from VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint

by Jeff

41IHK0VdaHL._SL160_ Exciting new books in 2010 from VIZ Media's Haikasoru imprintMedia Release — VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced several new titles to be published under its Haikasoru imprint the first half of 2010. Haikasoru is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

THE BOOK OF HEROES • by Miyuki Miyabe • Available January 19th

When her brother Hiroki disappears after a violent altercation with bullies, Yuriko discovers a magical book in his room. She learns that Hiroki has been possessed by the Book of Heroes, and that only she can save him. With the help of a monk named Sky, the dictionary-mouse Aju, and the mysterious Man of Ash, Yuriko sets out to solve the mystery of her vanished brother and save the world from the evil King in Yellow. A hardcover original!

Miyuki Miyabe’s first novel was published in 1987. Since then, she has become one of Japan’s most popular and best-selling authors. Miyabe’s novel BRAVE STORY (also available from VIZ Media) won a prestigious Batchelder Award for a children’s book in translation, awarded by the American Library Association. In addition to her fantasy fiction for young adults, Miyabe has written many crime novels for adult readers including The Devil’s Whisper, which was also translated into English.

YUKIKAZE • by Chohei Kambayashi • Available January 19th

In the midst of a war with an enigmatic alien host—a war with no end in sight—Second Lieutenant Rei Fukai carries out his missions in the skies over the strange planet nicknamed “Faery.” Attached to Tactical Combat and Surveillance Unit 3 of the Special Air Force, his mission is to gather information on the enemy and bring it back—reconnaissance no matter the cost. His constant companion in this lonely task is his fighter plane, the sentient FFR-31 Super Sylph, call sign: YUKIKAZE.

Chohei Kambayashi’s distinctive style and story approach, combined with a thematic focus on the power of language and humanity’s relationship with machines, has made him a favorite among many science fiction fans. He has won the prestigious Seiun Award four times, and in 1999 he won the 16th Japan Science Fiction award. YUKIKAZE has spawned an award-winning five-episode anime series, a popular manga series, several video games for the PC and Xbox, as well as many toys and collectables.

THE STORIES OF IBIS • by Hiroshi Yamamoto • Available March 16th

In a world where humans are a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity’s fall. The stories are the “seven novels” about the events surrounding the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At a glance, these stories do not appear to have any sort of connection, but what is the true meaning behind them? What are Ibis’s real intentions?

Hiroshi Yamamoto was born in 1956 in Kyoto. He began his career with game developers Group SNE in 1987 and debuted as a writer and game designer. His first hardcover science fiction release, God Never Keeps Silent, became a sensation among SF fans, and was nominated for the Japan SF Award. Other novels include Day of Judgment and The Unseen Sorrow of Winter.

SLUM ONLINE • by Hiroshi Sakurazaka • Available March 16th

Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who feels uncomfortable in reality, but when he logs onto the combat MMO game Versus Town, he assumes the personality of “Tetsuo,” a karate champ on his way towards becoming the most powerful martial artist around. While his relationship with new classmate Fumiko goes nowhere, he spends his days and nights online in search of the invincible fighter Ganker Jack. Floating in between real and virtual, Etsuro soon will find himself face to face with his most powerful opponent. Also included in this edition—the never before published novelette “Bonus Round.”

After a career in information technology, creator Hiroshi Sakurazaka published his first novel, Wizards’ Web in 2003. His 2004 short story, Saitama Chainsaw Massacre, won the 16th SF Magazine Reader’s Award.

LOUPS-GAROUS • by Natsuhiko Kyogoku • Available May 18th

In the near future, humans will communicate almost exclusively through online networks— face-to-face meetings are rare and the surveillance state nearly all-powerful. Even school children are only allowed to meet in the flesh on school grounds. So when a serial killer starts slaughtering junior high students, the crackdown is harsh. And despite all the safeguards, the killer’s latest victim turns out to have been in contact with three young girls: Mio Tsuzuki, a certified prodigy; Hazuki Makino, a quiet but opinionated classmate; and Ayumi Kono, her best friend. And as the girls get caught up in trying to find the killer – who might just be a werewolf—Hazuki learns that there is much more to their (monitored) communications than meets the eye.

Natsuhiko Kyogoku was born in Otaru, Hokkaido, and studied at Kuwasawa Design School. After working at advertising agencies, he established his own design studio. He still works as art director, designer and bookbinder for various projects. He is also an expert in yokai (Japanese folklore, of monsters and ghosts).

THE NEXT CONTINENT • by Issui Oqawa • Available May 18th

The year is 2025 and Otaba General Construction, a firm that has built structures to survive the Antarctic and the Sahara, has received its most daunting challenge yet. Sennosuke Touenji, the chairman of one of the world’s largest leisure conglomerates, wants a moon base fit for civilian use, and he wants his granddaughter Taé to be his eyes and ears on the harsh lunar surface. Taé and Otaba engineer Aomine head to the moon where adventure, trouble, and perhaps romance wait.

Creator Issui Ogawa is rapidly becoming known as one of Japan’s premier SciFi writers. His 1996 debut, First a Letter from Popular Palace, won the Shueisha JUMP Novel Grand Prix. A collection of his short stories won the 2005 Best SF Poll, and “The Drifting Man,” included in that collection, was awarded the 37th Seiun Prize for domestic short stories. Ogawa is also principal member of the Space Authors Club.

“2010 is an iconic year in science fiction literature and we’re very excited to kick it off with a pair of novels by two of the most prominent science fiction writers in Japan,” says Nick Mamatas Editor, VIZ Media. “Miyuki Miyabe’s latest offering features a young female protagonist drawn into a high-stakes fantasy adventure that will captivate fans of films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Spiderwick Chronicles. Connoisseurs of military SF also shouldn’t miss YUKIKAZE, which skillfully plays off of themes of human identity, individual isolation versus social integration, and the increasingly narrow gap between man and machine. We hope to make 2010 a great year for Japanese science fiction in English!”

For more information on Haikasoru please visit www.haikasoru.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages.

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