Summary and Info
Since the end of the Second World War—and particularly over the last decade—Japanese science fiction has strongly influenced global popular culture. Unlike American and British science fiction, its most popular examples have been visual—from Gojira (Godzilla) and Astro Boy in the 1950s and 1960s to the anime masterpieces Akira and Ghost in the Shell of the 1980s and 1990s—while little attention has been paid to a vibrant tradition of prose science fiction in Japan. Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams remedies this neglect with a rich exploration of the genre that connects prose science fiction to contemporary anime. Bringing together Western scholars and leading Japanese critics, this groundbreaking work traces the beginnings, evolution, and future direction of science fiction in Japan, its major schools and authors, cultural origins and relationship to its Western counterparts, the role of the genre in the formation of Japan’s national and political identity, and its unique fan culture. Covering a remarkable range of texts—from the 1930s fantastic detective fiction of Yumeno Kyûsaku to the cross-culturally produced and marketed film and video game franchise Final Fantasy—this book firmly establishes Japanese science fiction as a vital and exciting genre. Contributors: Hiroki Azuma; Hiroko Chiba, DePauw U; Naoki Chiba; William O. Gardner, Swarthmore College; Mari Kotani; Livia Monnet, U of Montreal; Miri Nakamura, Stanford U; Susan Napier, Tufts U; Sharalyn Orbaugh, U of British Columbia; Tamaki Saitô; Thomas Schnellbächer, Berlin Free U. Christopher Bolton is assistant professor of Japanese at Williams College. Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. is professor of English at DePauw University. Takayuki Tatsumi is professor of English at Keio University.____Horror and machines in prewar Japan : the mechanical uncanny in Yumeno Kyusaku's Dogura magura / Miri Nakamura -- Has the empire sunk yet? : the Pacific in Japanese science fiction / Thomas Schnellbacher -- Alien spaces and alien bodies in Japanese women's science fiction / Kotani Mari -- SF as Hamlet : science fiction and philosophy / Azuma Hiroki -- Tsutsui Yasutaka and the multimedia performance of authorship / William O. Gardner -- When the machines stop : fantasy, reality, and terminal identity in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments: Lain / Susan J. Napier -- The mecha's blind spot : Patlabor 2 and the phenomenology of anime / Christopher Bolton -- Words of alienation, words of flight : loanwords in science fiction anime / Naoki Chiba and Hiroko Chiba -- Sex and the single cyborg : Japanese popular culture experiments in subjectivity / Sharalyn Orbaugh -- Invasion of the woman snatchers : the problem of a-life and the uncanny in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within / Livia Monnet -- Otaku sexuality / Saito Tamaki.
More About the Author
Christopher Bouton is the founder and CEO of Entagen, a software company in the Boston, Massachusetts area, which develops Big Data integration and analytics solutions.
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