Itō Keikaku

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of Japanese writer Satoshi Itō (1974-2009), literally "Project Itō", usually transliterated as Project Itoh, whose first novel Gyakusatsu Kikan ["Genocidal Organs"] (2007) was the runner-up in a new writers contest organized by the sf publisher Hayakawa. Heavily influenced by Cyberpunk, it posits a Near Future scenario in which Islamic fundamentalists have access to nuclear weapons and the US government subcontracts anti-terror measures to private mercenary firms. Drug-addled child soldiers fight alongside remote-operated Mecha, as India and Pakistan come to the brink of nuclear War, in a story that was subsequently voted the best of the decade in one of the year's local round-ups.

Itō's career was tragically short, including in its three-year span a book-length Tie to the Videogame Metal Gear Solid 4 (2008) (> Metal Gear), one more original novel and a posthumous collation of short stories and blog entries. The Seiun Award-winning Harmony (2009; trans 2010), published when Itō was already hospitalized with terminal cancer, focuses on hunger-strikers protesting at conditions in a future Utopia, subsequently reunited when a global crisis threatens their supposedly perfect society. As with David A Gemmell's Legend (1984), which retells its own author's battle with cancer in Fantasy form, it is tempting to read similar allegories into Itō's vision of a world when medical Nanotechnology has eradicated disease, but the world itself is threatened by a new Disaster. [JonC]

Satoshi Itō

born Tokyo, Japan: 14 October 1974

died Tokyo, Japan: 20 March 2009

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