Meanwhile, back in Japan

But before I go, my Japanese mom sent pictures of the new issue of Hayakawa SF in Japan, which features stories by Barth Anderson, Ekaterina Sedia, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Holly Phillips, Alan Deniro, and myself. Here are pics of the magazine, and also the illustrations for Alan’s story, Tetrarchs (originally published in Strange Horizons), and my story, The Guardian of the Egg (originally published in Salon Fantastique and then reprinted here, too, at The Journal of Mythic Arts).  Art the illustrations way cool?  If you’re in Japan, get a copy and let me know what you think of the issue.  僕は早川SFが大好き!

New Things from Last Year

Three “big” good things from my last year to be thankful for are:

Of course, my new house, of which I’ve posted more than enough pictures, but as rooms get remodeled, I will continue to post more. Here’s the guest bedroom’s new look.


And of course this little light of mine came out in 2007.


And also another book with my name attached to it came out in Japan this past November. “Kant: For Eternal Peace” is a bilingual book that presents the peace theories of philosopher Immanuel Kant to young adults. I did English translations of excerpts of Kant’s philosophy for the book. I’m particularly proud to have been part of making a book that promotes an understanding of the concept of peace in these war-storied recent years.


There were so many good things in the past year for me, but I won’t list them all. I hope 2008 is as good to me, and I hope it is to everyone else as well. Life doesn’t work that way, of course, but I hope for it even so.

Happy New Year.


p1010058.jpgLast week I got this really cool Czech anthology called “Trochu”.  It’s edited by Martin Sust.  Martin published a Czech translation of “The Language of Moths” in it, along with some other really really cool stories by the likes of Hal Duncan, Jeff Ford, Theodora Gossonova, Ellen Klagesova, Tim Pratt, Alan Deniro, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Paul Melko, Paolo Bacigalupi, Bruce Holland Rogers, Kij Johnsonova, Eileen Gunnova, Sorah Monetteova, Ken Wharton, David Marusek, Greg Frost, Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake and Caitlin R. Keirnanova.  I don’t understand Czech, but I think it’s unfair all the women get   ova attached to their last names and men don’t get anything.  But I noticed p1010056.jpgmy name in my bio was spelled Christophera Barzaka.  Some of the men’s names were changed in their bios and some weren’t.  I’m not sure why.  I’m interested to know though, as I am a language geek after learning Japanese, so if you know Czech drop me a comment or an e-mail and explain.  Anyway, it looks really cool too, as you can see.  The interior black and whites are really lovely.

Kant on peace

Lately I’ve doing some translation work for a Japanese publisher that is making a bilingual book on peace for teens, using Immanuel Kant’s philosophy and theory of how peace is established and maintained.  So I’ve been reading Kant in English and Japanese to do this. I’d read a little of Kant previously but not enough, so it’s been an enlightening experience for me, as it seems everything connected to Japan has been for me. 

I wish there were more recent books on peace published (if you know of any, please let me know what their titles are), especially ones that try to explain what it is and how it functions and what societies must do in order to maintain it, and why it’s important.  This all seems like common sense, but apparently these days it has left the realm of common sense and has been placed in the category of “merely speculative” by our current administration.  Reading through Kant, I see we’ve already failed at many of the tenets he observed are necessary in order to keep peace in the world.  Such as the need for no debt to be accrued in relation to a nation’s international or foreign disputes.  I think the U.S. must have passed by that stop sign a long time ago, according to what our congressmen and women have been saying for some time now.  I still can’t believe how out of control this administration is and how it simply gives everyone the finger when the majority of the citizens of the country, which *is* the nation, has told it to stop.  It’s no wonder why people feel so powerless and small these days.