November is Sci-Fi Month

Happy November! I cannot believe it’s already this late in the year, 2013 feels like it just got here.

In the interest of motivating myself to post on a more regular schedule on the blog again, I joined up the Sci-Fi Month celebration hosted by Rinn Reads.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have noticed that there’s been a transition in my interests and the type of posts written for this site. Tokyo Jupiter started off as an anime & manga blog, but in the past two months, I have become more interested in books (specifically young adult novels) and I figured, why not post my thoughts about those non-anime/manga things here as well? Joining Sci-Fi Month just seemed like a natural progression in change of the focus and direction of this blog.

If you’re new to this site, HELLO! My name is Anna and I’m a fangirl of wide and diverse interests. As I mentioned previously, anime & manga fandom have shaped my blog and my life, but I’m also interested in literature (from classics to literary fiction to YA and comics), cooking, travel, crafts, and culture. I’d like to think that I’m curious about many things, and would often find myself obsessed about a certain subject for weeks or months at a time before discovering a new thing and then shifting my interest to that. I enjoy learning and meeting people who are passionate and generous in their love for the subject.

I am not new to sci-fi, but I’ve just approached it from a different angle than what most people usually think when they hear the term. As a lifelong anime fan, my childhood was suffused with images of mecha, AI, space operas, and superpowered beings. Did I consciously know those were sci-fi? Probably not. They were just such a given. Did I know about Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics? Nope. But I knew about Astroboy and how robots in that world were governed by certain rules in how they were supposed to treat humans (though certain rules didn’t necessarily apply to Astroboy, of course). In a sense, being exposed to a wide variety of anime means that I’ve been exposed to almost all the possible sub-genres of sci-fi, because anime pretty much has them all.

Even without being fully aware that I was watching or reading sci-fi, why do I keep going back to it? Why do I like it so much? Sci-fi continues to interest me because it’s optimistic. My favorite stories, be they anime or literary, look forward into a future or an alternate universe other than the one we know now. Sci-fi imagines and creates, but do so with the human mind and spirit at its center. Even giant robots such as Gundam or Voltron cannot be run without the intervention of humans. That idea appeals to me a lot; that even with technology and science and advancement, that a fragile carbon-based human being needs to be there.

My goal for this month is to post about sci-fi in various incarnations and interpretations, from novels to movies to anime & manga, of course. I personally think it’s interesting how Japan has developed its own sense of sci-fi and how it’s both similar and different to what’s been defines as sci-fi in the US/UK. My tentative posting schedule is as follows:

November 05: Starship Troopers, Three Ways: Novel, Movie, Anime
November 08: Review of For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
November 12: Sci-Fi Manga
November 15: Review of the novel Paprika
November 19: Author spotlight: Octavia Butler
November 23: Publisher spotlight: Haikasoru
November 26: Review of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
November 29: My Favorite Sci-Fi Anime Movies

If you’re interested in reading other entries by various participants throughout the world, head on over to Rinn Reads and go at it! Wish me luck.

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13 thoughts on “November is Sci-Fi Month

  1. Haikasoru!

    Man, wonder if you had any luck reading their newer stuff. It’s all on my backlog but the little that I sampled sort of pushes me out of my comfort zone a little too much.

    • I’m still catching up on their older titles. I’m not too interested in the anthology written by non-JP writers even though the cover for that one looks great.

      • That isn’t too bad, the anthology, but I haven’t finished that. Self Reference Machine …aaaah. Or, for example, Melancholy of Mechagirl. It’s a nice break from the more descriptive style of writing that makes up the bulk of Haikasoru’s earlier books, but man, sure is not what I expect.

        Would like to get a different take on it. As an imprint, I like where Haikasoru is going, it’s orthogonal from the usual anime/manga readership so it’s both fresh but hard to find other readers to talk about.

  2. I know right, where has the year gotten to??

    It’s really interesting to have someone with your perspective taking part – I’m not sure how many participants are anime and manga fans, but as far as I’m aware no-one else is posting about it. I know there are some amazing series out there though but I haven’t watched any anime in a while so maybe I can get some recommendations from you =)

    Can’t wait to read your posts =D

  3. I LOVE all the rotating anime images in your banner! My husband is a huge anime fan, and I watch a little. Are you familiar with vN by Madeline Ashby? she comes to science fiction writing from an anime (mostly AI and mechas) viewpoint too, I think you might like her books. I notice you are doing a publisher spotlight for Haikasoru, they publish a lot of Ken Liu’s stuff (he is amazing!!!) and more of his short stories can be read for free over at the Lightspeed Magazine website, they also recently published a collection of Catherynne Valente’s short stories, and I love her to pieces.

    • Hi! Thanks for the great comment. I wasn’t familiar with Madeline Ashby, but my boyfriend knows about her from her previous writing on anime so I did look up her novels just now. Are you writing about her for Sci-Fi month? Thx for letting me know about Ken Liu’s work — I’m not familiar with a lot of contemporary sci-fi authors so any suggestions are very welcome!

      • I’ve reviewed both of Madeline Ashby’s books and was lucky enough to interview her, so I think if I contacted her to do a post for this, she might think I was stalking her. Oh Wow, I can load you down with contemporary scifi books that are worth the read!

        some favorites of mine that came out fairly recently (i reviewed all of these on my blog, if you’re interested in learning more about them)
        American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
        Faith by John Love
        Embassytown by China Mieville
        Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
        Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
        Kage Baker’s Company series

        that’ll give you a good start!

  4. Looking forward to your posts. 🙂 I know it’s the wrong direction, but have you read any of the Twin Spica or Knights of Sidonia manga? They’re very different from one another, but both are excellent sci fi.

    • Why wrong direction? Twin Spica is about people going to space, how is that not sci-fi!? (I’m actually including that in my sci-fi manga post — spoiler, not spoiler)

      Haven’t heard much about Knights of Sidonia. Is that a Vertical title?

      • I just meant manga when you’d been doing a lot of novel-oriented posts lately. Yeah, Vertical is publishing Sidonia, they’re up to volume 5 so far. The format vertical is using is a little small (it would be better served in a “Viz big” size), and it is way more ANIME than Twin Spica. The author previously did Blame! and Biomega, but Sidonia is much easier to process visually than either of them.

      • I’m still reading and writing (hopefully) about manga, so your two suggestions are spot-on! It’s just easier to write about novels most of the time since anime & manga that I enjoy are ongoing and I personally find it tricky to write about something where there are still so many questions left unanswered. If I do write about it and make presumptions that are so off-base, I sound like the biggest dope when I go back and re-read that post. But I’m not going to stop writing about anime/manga –they’re why I started this blog in the first place.

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