by Amanda Weiss
Welcome to HIVEMIND Volume 1 Issue 2: Japan x Future. Our second issue explores Japanese visions of the future, American visions of Japan, and all of the intersections, homages, and cross-cultural flows between.
As with our last issue, we began with a reading list. Our team of graduate students (assistant editors Natalie Mueller, Sofi Sanders, and Will Slater) read historical overviews of Japanese science fiction, explored academic analyses of Techno-Orientalism, and dove into Japanese science fiction both filmic and literary. We were particularly intrigued by Takayuki Tatsumi’s work on “transpacific cyberpunk,” which provided both an overview of Japan-US cultural flows and the framework from which we approached our selection of stories. Thus inspired, Japan x Future explores science fiction as cultural flow, especially the flow of literary inspiration between Japan and the United States.
(If you are interested in reading along, please check out our reading list below).
In our Fiction section, Masahiko Inoue creatively re-imagines a cherished 1995 meeting with Ray Bradbury; Edogawa Ranpo channels his idol and namesake Edgar Allan Poe; American and US-based authors Eugie Foster, dm armstrong, and James C. Opperman explore popular Japanese SFF tropes in new and imaginative ways. In our Non-Fiction section, we feature a pen pal exchange between the canonical works of Japanese and American cyberpunk, an analysis of the deeper cultural origins of Japanese monster movies, and an interview with Masahiko Inoue conducted by translator Rebecca Seippel.
Speaking of translators—those central agents of cross-cultural flow—this issue features three new translations of Japanese works by Georgia Tech students. We are particularly proud to present Hivemind’s first novella, “The Vocationologist” by Issui Ogawa, which was translated by MS Global Media and Cultures graduate Camden Hine as his final project for the Master’s degree.
I personally want to thank our three assistant editors: Sofi Sanders, Will Slater, and Natalie Mueller. All three did extensive editorial work on stories, translations, and nonfiction pieces, with Sofi and Will each contributing original articles to the Non-Fiction section. Computer Science graduate student Natalie designed and uploaded the majority of Issue 1.2, single-handedly preparing this issue for publication and visualizing all stories and articles. I also want to express my gratitude to illustrator Emerson Barrett and translators Rebecca Seippel, Camden Hine, and Yeu-Ann Huang for contributing their work to this issue. Without this incredible team of graduate and undergraduate students, Japan x Future would not have been possible.
HIVEMIND 1.2 was sponsored by generous grants from the Denning Global Engagement Seed Fund, Ivan Allen College, the School of Modern Languages, and the Atlanta Global Studies Center. Thank you to everyone for your support!
Amanda Weiss, Editor
Bolton, Christopher, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. and Takayuki Tatsumi, eds. “Introduction” in Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime. University of Minnesota Press, 2007.
Gibson, William. “My Own Private Tokyo.” https://www.wired.com/2001/09/gibson/
La Bare, Joshua. “‘The Future:’ Wrapped… in That Mysterious Japanese Way’.” Science Fiction Studies (2000): 22-48.
Liu, Ken. “Mono no aware.” Lightspeed Magazine. https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/mono-no-aware/
Roh, David S., Betsy Huang, and Greta A. Niu. “Technologizing Orientalism.” In Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media. Rutgers University Press, 2015.
Sohn, Stephen Hong. “Introduction: Alien/Asian: Imagining the Racialized Future.” Melus 33.4 (2008): 5-22.
Sterling, Bruce. “Maneki Neko.” Lightspeed Magazine. https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/maneki-neko/
Tatsumi, Takayuki. “Transpacific Cyberpunk: Transgeneric Interactions between Prose, Cinema, and Manga.” Arts. Vol. 7. No. 1, 2018.
Van Troyer, Gene, ed. Speculative Japan series by Kurodahan Press. (great source of Japanese SFF in translation!)
About the Author
Amanda Weiss is Assistant Professor of Japanese at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she teaches courses on Japanese media and society and leads a Vertically Integrated Project in East Asian Media. She is currently completing two book manuscripts: an anthology on New Asian Fantasy with co-editors Ploi Pirapokin and Silvia Park and a monograph on collective memory in East Asian war cinema. Dr. Weiss is a 2018 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and her favorite authors include Kelly Link, Ken Liu, Neil Gaiman, N. K. Jemisin, Carol Emshwiller, and Ted Chiang.