Fantastic Adventures and Alien Worlds Await in Four New Science Fiction Releases from Viz Media's Haikasoru Imprint

Apr 12th 2010

New Novels By Some Of Japan's Best Sci-Fi Writers Set To Debut This Spring

San Francisco, CA, April 12, 2010 – Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the upcoming release of four new science fiction novels under its Haikasoru imprint. SLUM ONLINE, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and THE STORIES OF IBIS, by Hiroshi Yamamoto, will hit stores on April 20th. LOUPS-GAROUS, by Natsuhiko Kyogoku, and THE NEXT CONTINENT, by Issui Ogawa, will be released on May 18th.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences. The imprint launched in North America with a dedicated focus on Japanese science fiction.

SLUM ONLINE by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 · Available April 20th

Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who simply drifts through life, but when he logs on to the combat MMO Versus Town, he becomes Tetsuo, a karate champ on his way to becoming the most powerful martial artist around. While his relationship with new classmate Fumiko goes nowhere, Etsuro spends his days and nights online in search of the invincible Ganker Jack. Drifting between the virtual and the real, will Etsuro ever be ready to face his most formidable opponent?

Author Hiroshi Sakurazaka published his first novel, WIZARDS WEB, in 2003. His 2004 short story, “Saitama Chainsaw Massacre," won the 16th Japan SF Magazine Reader's Award and he has also been nominated for the prestigious Seiun Award, a Japanese literary honor that recognizes exemplary science fiction. Sakurazaka's other novels include CHARACTERS (co-written with Hiroki Azuma) and ALL YOU NEED IS KILL (also published in English by Haikasoru).

THE STORIES OF IBIS by Hiroshi Yamamoto
Price: $15.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 · Available April 20th

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 tales Ibis tells are science fiction stories about the events surrounding the development of artificial intelligence in the 20th and 21st 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 and began his career as a writer and game designer. He gained popularity with titles such as FEBRUARY AT THE EDGE OF TIME and the GHOST HUNTER series. Yamamoto's first hardcover science fiction release, GOD NEVER KEEPS SILENT, became a sensation among science fiction fans and was nominated for the Japan SF Award. His other novels include DAY OF JUDGEMENT and THE UNSEEN SORROW OF WINTER. In addition to working as a writer, Yamamoto is active in several literary capacities serving as editor of various classic science fiction anthologies and as president of To-Gakkai, a group of tongue-in-cheek "experts" on the occult.

LOUPS-GAROUS by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
Price: $16.99 U.S. / CAN $23.00 · Available May 18th

In the near future, humans communicate almost exclusively through monitors connected to 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 in designated communication centers. 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. As the girls get caught up in trying to find the killer— who just might be a werewolf—Hazuki learns that there is much more to virtual reality than meets the eye.

Natsuhiko Kyogoku has won many literary awards for his works including the 1996 Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Grave of Goblins, the 1997 Izumi Kyoka Award for Laughing Iuemon, the 2003 Yamamoto Shugoro Prize for Inquisitive Koheiji and the 2004 Naoki Prize for Going Around a Hundred Stories, the sequel. His novel, The Summer of the Ubume, was also published in English in 2009. In addition to working as a writer, Natsuhiko Kyogoku established his own design studio and still works as an art director, designer, and bookbinder for various projects. He's also an expert in yokai (monsters and ghosts of Japanese folklore).

THE NEXT CONTINENT by Issui Ogawa
Price: $16.99 U.S. / CAN $23.00 · Available May 18th

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

Issui Ogawa is known as one of Japan's most prominent science fiction writers. His 1996 debut, FIRST A LETTER FROM A POPULAR PLACE, won the Shueisha JUMP Novel Grand Prix. THE NEXT CONTINENT garnered the 35th Seiun Award. 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 Award for domestic short stories. Ogawa other works include LAND OF RESSURECTION, FREE LUNCH ERA, and THE LORD OF THE SANDS OF TIME (published by Haikasoru in 2009). Ogawa is also a principal member of the Space Authors Club.

For more information on Haikasoru please visit the dedicated website at 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. Contact Viz Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and website at www.VIZ.com.

LOUPS-GAROUS: Copyright © 2001 KYOGOKU Natsuhiko All rights reserved.
Originally published in Japan by TOKUMA SHOTEN PUBLISHING CO., LTD., Tokyo.
English translation rights arranged with OSAWA OFFICE, Japan through THE SAKAI AGENCY.

The Next Continent: © 2003 Issui Ogawa
Originally published in Japan by Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.
English translation © 2010 Viz Media, LLC


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