Mori Hiroshi

Tagged: Author

(1957-    ) Prolific Japanese author and model-maker, who gave up youthful Manga illustration under the name Mori Muku to specialize in rheology (the flow of viscous plastics). He became an associate professor in engineering at Nagoya University before quitting in 2005 to become a full-time author of prose fiction. Mori is largely known as a thriller writer in Japan, usually with scientific themes recalling the detective mysteries of Isaac Asimov, and titles that often pun on intellectual concepts or English words; although published in Japanese, Mori's works usually have dual English-language titles on their covers. His S&M series playfully takes its name from the two protagonists, engineering professor Sōhei Saikawa and his naive assistant Moe Nishinosono, who investigate a series of mysteries with science-oriented solutions. Later instalments of S&M introduce characters who would become the protagonists of their own spinoffs, including the V series from its protagonist Veniko (i.e. Beniko) Sesaimaru, the M series featuring Dr Mizukaki, the G series from the presence of Greek letters in every title, the X series from the presence of an X in every title, and Four Seasons, from a pun in the name of the lead character, Shiki ("Season") Magata.

Mori's detective novels, laden with Computer jargon and scientific terminology, accurately reflect the argot of the academic elite, possibly at the expense of wider appeal to a general audience. Of greater genre interest is his Century series of mysteries, set in the year 2113, in which human society has been transformed by an energy revolution (> Power Sources), and science writer Michiru Saeba investigates odd crimes with the help of Roidy, one of a breed of autonomous Robots known as Walk-Alones. The books were also adapted into Radio dramas, Meikyū hyakunen no suima (2003, NHK-FM) and Joō no hyakunen misshitsu (2005, NHK-FM), and into manga by Yuka Suzuka as Meikyū hyakunen no suima (graph: Tokyo: Gentōsha, 2001) and Joō no hyakunen misshitsu (graph: Tokyo: Gentōsha, 2005). Mori experimented with Pulp forms in his ZOKU series, which takes its name from the acronym used by its antagonists: the Zionist Organization of Karma Underground, whose nefarious operations must be held off by a group of heroic scientists. Directly recalling the hokum of Doc Savage, these adventure tales appear to have inadvertently inherited some of the anti-semitism of the 1930s along with the style (> Race in SF). Among his standalone fiction, An Automaton in Long Sleep (2006) in which a dormant Steampunk robot awakens after 120 years, was commissioned by Coca Cola to mark its 120th anniversary, and subsequently became the first of Mori's books to be adapted into a live-action television series: An Automaton in Long Sleep (2006, TBS).

According to Mori's publishers, the first of his novels to be published, The Perfect Insider (1998), was actually the fourth that he had written, selected ahead of the others in the S&M series merely for its shock value. This out-of-order scheme appears to have influenced his later style on his best-known series, Sky Crawlers, a Near Future scenario in which Cloned pilots fight an endless aerial war, apparently for no reason other than the entertainment of television audiences (> Games and Sports). The first novel to be published in the series, The Sky Crawlers (2001) takes place close to the end of the narrative sequence, introducing characters whose back-stories and past relationships are only fleshed out in retrospect. In an innovative twist on Military SF, the characters are fully aware that they are manufactured and easily replaceable, and hence develop pathological, self-destructive relationships. Seizing on this lack of affect and extreme nihilism as an allegory both for modern youth and creative apathy within the Anime business, director Mamoru {OSHII} turned it into the animated feature film Sky Crawlers (2008).

Mori has also written several books, often on a feline theme, for which he shares credit with his wife, the illustrator Subaru Sasaki. The children's picture book series Hoshi no Ōji-sama ["Prince of the Stars"] seems inspired at least superficially by Le Petit Prince (1943 chap) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and features an infant astronaut exploring a cosmos often found to contain household objects and foodstuffs. Mori's nonfiction work matches his fiction in volume, and includes numerous essay anthologies, poems, and photography collections, particularly on the themes of model-making and materials science. Anti House (2003), comprises letters to and from the architect Kazuhito Atake concerning Ecology and the design of a future-proof home. Mori is also credited as the co-creator of several other comic adaptations of his non-sf books. [JonC]

Hiroshi Mori

born Aichi Prefecture, Japan: 7 December 1957

died

works

series

S&M Series

V series

Four Seasons series

G series

Sky Crawlers series

  • The Sky Crawlers (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2001) [Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]
  • None But Air (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2004) [Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]
  • Down to Heaven (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2005) [Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]
  • Flutter into Life (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2006) [Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]
  • Cradle the Sky (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2007) [Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]
  • Sky Eclipse (Tokyo: Chūō Kōron, 2008) [coll of linked stories: Sky Crawlers: binding unknown/]

M series

Z series

  • ZOKU (Tokyo: Kōbunsha, 2006) [binding unknown/]
  • ZOKURANGER (Tokyo: Kōbunsha, 2009) [binding unknown/]
  • ZOKUDAM (Tokyo: Kōbunsha, 2010) [binding unknown/]

X Series

Century series

Hoshi no Ōji-sama ["Prince of the Stars"] series

  • Star Egg (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2004) [Hoshi no Ōji-sama: hb/]
  • Star Salad (Tokyo: Bungei Shunjū, 2006) [Hoshi no Ōji-sama: hb/]

individual titles

nonfiction

links

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