Gene Mapper

Taiyo Fujii, trans. from Japanese by Jim Hubbert. Haikasoru, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4215-8027-2
Fujii’s debut postulates a near-future, post-Internet world in which “augmented reality” has taken the place of in-person interactions. At the same time, overpopulation has caused a collapse in traditional agriculture, and only genetically modified crops can provide enough food. When a blight known as red rust infects a modified rice culture that Mamoru Hayashida helped create, he is given a DNA file that’s much more complex than it should be. He must leave the comforts of his own computer-generated surroundings and travel to Ho Chi Minh City to work with Isamu Yagodo, a salvager who can help him unravel the red rust mystery. Fujii builds a new kind of cyberpunk novel that’s well grounded in the physical world and modern computing. The extrapolations of new technology and the increasing strain on resources both come across as natural continuations of the modern world. Hubbert’s translation is easy to read, though some of the more technical explanations can bog down a little, and Anglophone readers will be pleased to encounter this promising new author. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/18/2015
Release date: 06/16/2015
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