Jordan Taylor

Out of this World
A translator reviews untranslated Japanese science fiction and fantasy books


If you’re a fan of Japanese light novels, you’ll probably already know that there’s a lot of Japanese fantasy and science fiction being translated. Or at least they are if they’re light novels. Most of the other Japanese literature that gets translated is well…more literary, you know what I mean? Things like A Man by Keiichiro Hirano, or Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami that are chock full of realistic (ish) situations and social commentary. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these sorts of books, but I’m a lover of the fantastical, the whimsical, and the flat out weird, and I think those kinds of stories can be just as thought provoking. I also feel translated fantasy and science fiction have a real chance of wowing readers in English too (looking at you, The Three-Body Problem) and that there are a lot of fantastic gems hiding in Japanese outside of light novels.

So what has all this got to do with a blog? Well, getting a book translated and published is a long and arduous process and step number one is finding books I enjoy that I also think will do well in English. And since the process is so long, there’s a risk of me forgetting everything I read before and what I thought of it. I’ll put all my thoughts here so they don’t disappear into the ether, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get incredibly lucky, and some passing publisher will see one of my posts and think, “Hm, that sounds interesting, maybe I should contact Jordan to see if she wants to work on this with us.”

I can dream, can’t I?

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