Get Lost…

Although the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is only partly complete, interested readers can access the working text now at the website. I warn you now, with 3.2 million words up online already, it is a time-wasting machine. I’ve been writing entries on a number of Asian subjects, including a new contender for Japan’s first science fiction anime, a forgotten master of pre-manga art, and an ongoing effort to write entries for everybody who’s won a Seiun Award. Plus entries on all sorts of fun things, from Korean costume dramas to Chinese feminists, the science fiction of Yukio Mishima and the steampunk of Hitoshi Yoshioka. Since the Encyclopedia focusses on authorship, there are entries on the original creators of Sky Crawlers and Akira, 2001 Nights and Star Blazers. There are details of the Japanese variants of Flowers for Algernon and the translation of Neuromancer, Japanese experts on Jack the Ripper and the big names in yaoi.

And how much does this all cost you? Nothing. It’s all free. It won’t be finished for a year or so, but it’s being hosted and paid for by Gollancz as part of their SF Gateway. But I’m warning you: it’s a time hoover. Do not click on any of the above links if you haven’t got an hour or so to spare getting lost in the labyrinth.

Salon Futura #8

The latest issue of Salon Futura is online today, and includes my article on Yukinobu Hoshino, the manga artist behind 2001 Nights, the Professor Munakata series, and, much, much more. I’ve just written the entry on Hoshino for the forthcoming third edition of the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction, which now includes full bibliographies for Japanese subjects, so the article is the result of several days of cataloguing and poking around Hoshino’s publication record. My ongoing work on the encyclopaedia, however, amounts to an entire book-within-a-book about Japanese SF authors and winners of the Sei’un Awards, so you’ll see more in a similar vein someday soon. As for 2001 Nights, UK residents can catch it at the Sci Fi London all-nighter on 30th April.

Meanwhile, last week I dropped in on a London studio in order to see how things were going on the English audio recording of Musashi: Dream of the Last Samurai, which will be out from Manga Entertainment in July. I turned up for an afternoon session to discover that the studio’s previous occupant had left his trousers behind on the sofa. One wonders what kind of impression that must have made in Soho, if he was wandering around attired only from the waist up, like some celebrity version of Donald Duck. Luckily, of course, it was Soho, so I imagine nobody noticed.