Long before anime and manga fascinated young minds throughout the world, Japan's first science fiction writers emerged in the tumultuous post-war era. Their poignant, biting perspectives set the stage for Japan's globally successful fantasy media today.
Shinichi Hoshi was one of the best-known specialists in Japan in "essu effu" (SF, or science fiction). As in Britain, SF was looked down upon as a lowly form of art by the Japanese literary establishment, but Hoshi succeeded in writing 1,000 stories, a world record, by 1983.
My father always worked late. When I was young, I never saw him write. I used to think that writing was a profession that didn't require a lot of work. Every day, my father would wake around noon. Then he'd lay on the couch for a while, groggy, unclear. When I'd try to talk with him, he'd manage only a mumble: "Um..." or "Mu..."
I am - by no means - your typical science fiction fan. Like many moms, I don't like things that blow up, zip around at warp speed or vomit blue-green goo. Special effects do nothing for me. Multiple realities don't surprise me, either; I have three teenagers living at home, after all.
These extraordinary ideas are made ordinary, made very approachable, through his writing. He ends up not just presenting you with this new unusual world, but also making a joke out of it perhaps. Or perhaps making a story that is heartwarming or moving. Or makes you think…