Science-Fiction Author Hiroshi Yamamoto Reports Cerebral Infarction
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Publisher Hayakawa Shobo published on Thursday the afterword by Hiroshi Yamamoto in the new edition of his Project Piano novel, where Yamamoto revealed that he has been suffering from cerebral infarction, and enjoins readers to treat the novel as his "last will and testament" as a "hard sci-fi writer."
Yamamoto stated in his afterword that he began suffering from cerebral infarction in 2014, and though he has recovered physically, his mental abilities for calculation and logic remain impaired, to the point that he has difficulty calculating addition of two-digit numbers. He compared himself to the final state of the character Charlie Gordon from the science-fiction story Flowers for Algernon. Yet his memory remains intact, and he can even remember specific details of objects, places, and events that inspired scenes in Project Piano.
Yamamoto recounted his love of the fanciful science fiction works of Murray Leinster, who dreamed up fantastical devices that could bend and break the limits of science to allow space travel or time travel, and even predicting a massive, Internet-like network of computers in his short story "A Logic Named Joe."
However, Yamamoto concluded that he can no longer write works like this. While he is undergoing treatment, he noted that there are no signs of him getting better. He reckoned that while he could still write novels, writing "hard sci-fi" (science-fiction stories based on scientific accuracy and achievable technology) novels, or novels that freely use math such as Project Piano, is now forever lost to him. He stated, however, that he still deeply loves the novels' main character Piano, and is proud to have written such a charming character. He concluded that readers should treat the novel as the last will and testament of "Hiroshi Yamamoto, the hard sci-fi writer."
Yamamoto's Project Piano novel centers on the protagonist named Piano, an idol singer who is also a lover of science. While she is a member of a popular idol group, she also collects various machines and electrical knick knacks from Akihabara to conduct experiments in her parents' garage. She struggles to climb the world of entertainment, while also trying to achieve her dream of going to space. Yamamoto and Hayakawa Shobo published the novel in 2014, and the new edition splits the novel into two books (first part seen right), both of which shipped on March 18.
Yamamoto was part of Group SNE, the cadre of creators that developed the Record of Lodoss War franchise; Yamamoto personally played the iconic character Deedlit in the fantasy role-playing game sessions that formed the core original story of the franchise. Viz Media published Yamamoto's science-fiction novels The Stories of Ibis and MM9 in 2010 and 2012.