This week, I published my new novella, Kumori and the Lucky Cat, that I briefly mentioned that I was working on. Here is the link where you can buy a copy:
Hopefully I’ll have the e-book ready next month. This story is more in the same vein as my other old novella, The Weary City, because it is also more inspired by 20th century “banned” Russian literature than my long novels. Some of what I do with this piece is a little retro, recreating the actual Soviet culture and ruling style that I learned about for my Russian degree years ago but adding some other elements and going more generally totalitarian. Here is my description of the piece:
In a futuristic society where a predatory superstate has devoured the globe and repartitioned it after the fallout of World War Three, Kumori Ando was one of the lucky citizens to get permission to move to the capital city of New Caldeonia and work at a plum if dreary office job, leaving her parents and brother in the countryside. Living alone in her standard-issue apartment on the less luxurious side of town, she has only a small statue of a cat from the old country her family fled to keep her company, a gift given to her by her elderly Aunt Suna when she was a child. The statue has inexplicable supernatural power, advising her when she is in tough situations, though she doesn’t know much about her family’s history to understand it.
One day Kumori’s life is disrupted when her best friend disappears from work and the cat statue sends her to rescue a man sleeping in a dumpster just outside of her apartment building. His secret throws her life into a tailspin and hurls her headlong into superstate politics and the resistance group known only as the Movement.
Part dystopian noir mystery, part magical girl fantasy, Kumori and the Lucky Cat is inspired by old Russian works like Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog and Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat, with a bit of Japanese kaiju meets George Orwell’s 1984.
I’m still really working that 1984 angle and found myself starting off with basic noir motifs but arguing with Orwell or finishing his thoughts by the end. Of course, I feature the popular Japanese figure of the maneki neko, the Lucky Cat of the title. Adding a talking cat to a dystopian novel should be an indicator to my readers that it’s a little tongue in cheek for sure, but hopefully it’s fun even with the dark themes.
I have a number of events lined up in the next few months that may be of interest to you:
July 2nd and 3rd, 2016 – Anthrocon’s Artist Alley where I’ll be selling my books and artwork. https://www.anthrocon.org/
July 25, 2016 – I will be speaking on the topic “Hello Kitty: The Globalization of Cute” at Monroeville Library at 7PM. http://www.monroevillelibrary.org/
August 12th through the 14th, 2016 – Steel City Con’s Artist Alley where I’ll be selling my books and artwork. http://www.steelcitycon.com/
September 8, 2016 – I will be speaking on the topic “The Ainu: Japan’s Indigenous People” at Monroeville Library at 7PM. http://www.monroevillelibrary.org/
Just a reminder that I do have a Zazzle store linked on my blog where you can get posters or invitations with my Ice Pine Palace blog papercuts, so if you like my banner or side designs, be sure to check that out. I’ll add products once I test and get the right designs.