Having declared his novel-writing days over, this compilation of short stories marks a milestone in one of the greatest contemporary Japanese author’s legacy. Back to his earlier stories like “Zarathustra on Mars” we meet Tsutsui as a young author, writing about office workers and their foibles, sex robots, future life on distant planets, squabbling families, the loss of loved ones — in fact every aspect of human frailty. We meet him again in older age, even appearing as himself in the later stories, as in “Having a Laugh”— so much so that, as we reach the end of his journey, we cannot be sure that he is not just writing about himself.
Recognized as one of the key founders of Japanese post-modern science fiction, this collection draws a journey through Tsutsui’s stories, ranging from dark comedy, surrealism and piercing satire to the subjects of death, old age, disease and senility.
Translated by Andrew Driver.