Monday, March 28, 2011

On the creation of a book

I am learning a lot about what goes into putting together an anthology. It's not just slapping a bunch of stories between some covers and calling it a book. There's has to be balance, an internal structure. And one of the most amazing things is reading the work people have sent and being able to see themes developing. Of course we're still reading, still taking submissions, and the shape is not complete. But I'm starting to see the outline.

With that in mind, I'd love to see some more stories (especially stories, but also art) about:
  • Schoolgirls and salarymen and subcultures and modern Japanese pop culture.
  • Japan outside Japan (we have two beautiful submissions that capture the delicate way Japanese culture touches the rest of the world; I would love one more of these set in LA.)
  • Animals -- foxes and catfish and koi and herons and cats.
  • Food. (If someone has a story built around an actual recipe, that would be amazing.)
  • Folklore and legends -- I would love to see some of vibrant characters from Japanese folktale and mythology brought to life in new stories. 
  • Cherry blossoms and origami. ('Nuff said.) 
Some things I would love to see, that we have not seen much of yet, are:
  • Futuristic Japan--robots, cyberpunks, high-tech. (Go ahead, send us that near-future science fiction!)
  • Manga! I know there are some coming our way--but we haven't seen it yet. We would love at least one story in manga.
I think these stories must be out there, and we would love to see them.

(Please do not send stories about the tsunami and the earthquake; we have received so many eloquent, touching stories about the disaster, but if we included them all, this book would read like a dirge when it is meant to be a celebration--a reminder that Japan is still a beautiful country.)

Thank you, everyone, who has already sent us something. It's because of you that this book is going to be beautiful.