Shinji Kajio

“Much of Kajio’s most memorable work focuses on some aspect of time abyss, the collateral victims of time travel in its various forms, the people they leave behind or the investigators who must piece together their origins.”

Over at the Encyclopedia of SF, I write up the remarkable career of Shinji Kajio, who began by writing about War of the Worlds, and focusses recurringly on the mess people left when they went away.

Hideo Furukawa

“‘Comparing a Japanese writer with Haruki Murakami is the laziest move a reviewer can make,’ noted Iain Maloney in the Japan Times, ‘but with Slow Boat, Hideo Furukawa leaves critics no choice.'”

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I write up Hideo Furukawa, the post-modern author whose Inu-oh has just been announced as the next film project from Masaaki Yuasa.

Beaver Apocalypse

“‘Les Castors du Roi’ [The King’s Beavers] (2011) features Europeans and First-Nations peoples slaughtering beavers, which, in a moment of uplift, are seen pleading for their lives and praying for a divine intercession that never comes. With deliberate provocation, it has been hung in the Montreal Musée des Beaux-arts at the entrance to a gallery of seventeenth-century artwork that celebrates Canada’s early days of trapping and hunting, and the taming of nature.”

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I write up the absurd artwork of Kent Monkman, a year after running into his beaver holocaust in Montreal.

Apparitions

“Despite his deeply-held faith, Father Jacob is a professional cynic, happy to write off supposed miracles as mundane mental illnesses or coincidences, but also ready to discount actual miracles as works of Satanic misdirection. Alternately regarded as too traditional and also as too progressive by his various enemies, his story is riddled with delicious paranoia, particularly in relation to his baleful superior Cardinal Bukovak, who is ambiguously presented as either a gruff, careerist bureaucrat or a Satanic agent, depending on one’s perception.”

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I contribute several new entries, including an account of the career of the Japanese screenwriter and novelist Akinori Endo, as well as articles on Joe Ahearne’s two much-loved TV shows, Ultraviolet and Apparitions.

Shulamith Firestone and others

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I’ve contributed a few small entries on some utopian thinkers, including Liang Qichao, who imagined China in 1962 as a constitutional monarchy, Biheguan Zhuren, who imagined the Chinese occupation of the western United States, and Lu Shi’e, who thought a future paradise should be a place where men don’t have to carry umbrellas, as well as the radical feminist Shulamith Firestone (pictured), who called for women to be freed from the barbarism of biology. Also Dutch sci-fi in a cyberpunk Amsterdam from PJ Pancras. It’s all in a day’s work at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

Taiyo Fujii

“Characters… wear augmented-reality contact lenses, not to enhance their perspective but to deaden it against an onslaught of advertising and distractions. Fujii took this idea to a new level with Hello World (2018), in which hackers develop an ad blocker that can filter out government propaganda. This, in turn, proves to have revelatory and revolutionary implications in several foreign states, where the removal of fake news, spam and subliminal advertising creates conceptual breakthrough of immense consequence.”

Over at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, I contribute an entry on the Japanese author Taiyo Fujii.