Japanese actor Ken Utsui (b.1931) died on March 14. Utsui is best known for portraying Starman in a series of films in the 1960s, beginning with Invaders from Space. Prior to that he played the title character in six films in the Super Giant series beginning with Sûpâ jaiantsu.
Manga author Jun Sadogawa (b. as Mutsumi Kawahito, 1979) committed suicide on August 13. His debut work, Muteki Kanban Musume, was published from 2002-2006. He followed that up with a sequel, Muteki Kanban Musume N. In 2012, he finished the thirteen volume Hanzasky and had begun to publish Amane Atatameru at the time of his death.
The winners of the Seiun Awards were announced on July 20 at KOICON, the Japanese National SF Convention, in Hiroshima. The prizes for the translated stories will be presented at LoneStarCon 3.
- Best Japanese Long Story: The Empire of Corpses, by Priject Itoh X Enjoe
- Best Japanese Short Story: “Ima Shuugouteki Muishikio,” by Chohei Kanbayashi
- Best Translated Long Story: The Android’s Dream, by John Scalzi, translated by Masayuki Uchida
- Best Translated Short Story: “Pocketful of Dharma,” by Paolo Bacigalupi, translated by Hiroshi Kaneko
- Best Dramatic Presentation: Bodacious Space Pirates, directed by Tatsuo Sato
- Best Comic: Inherit the Stars, by Yukinobu Hoshino
- Best Artist: Kenji Tsuruta
- Best Nonfiction: Offprint of The Present and Future of CGM: The World Opened Up, by Hatsune Miku, Nico Nico Douga, and PIAPRO” from the May 2012 issue of IPSJ Magazine
- “Free” Section: iPS cells, CiRA Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University
A group of fans have announced that they will bid to host the Worldcon in 2017 in Montreal, Canada. Japan has already announced a bid for that year. The last Japanese Worldcon was Nippon in 2007. The last Montreal Worldcon was Anticipation in 2009.
The nominations for the Seiun Awards have been announced. The translation categories are presented below. The Seiun Awards are the Japanese fan-voted awards and winners will be announced at Varicon, the Japanese National Convention. The translation awards will be presented at Chicon 7, this year’s Worldcon.
TRANSLATED LONG STORY
- The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi, translated by Kazue Tanaka & Hiroshi Kaneko
- The City & the City, by China Tom Mieville, translated by Masamichi Higurashi
- The Chronoliths, by Robert Charles Wilson, translated by Takeshi Mogi
- Dhalgren, by Samuel Delany, translated by Yuzuru Okubo
- Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, translated by Hiroshi Kaneko
- Millennium People, by J. G. Ballard, translated by Mamoru Masuda
TRANSLATED SHORT STORY
- “The Pelican Bar,” by Karen Joy Fowler, translated by Wataru Ishigame
- “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” by Ted Chiang, translated by Nozomi Ohmori
- “The Gambler,” by Paolo Bacigalupi, translated by Yoshimichi Furusawa
- “The People of Sand and Slag,” by Paolo Bacigalupi, translated by Naoya Nakahara
- “Troika,” by Alastair Reynolds, translated by Naoya Nakahara
- “The Little Goddess,” by Ian McDonald, translated by Hitomi Nakamura
Japanese voice actor Takeshi Aono (b.1936) died on April 9. Aono provided voice work for Space Battleship Yamato, Dragon Ball, Tekken 5 and numerous other anime. In addition to voicing anime roles, Aono also worked dubbing dialogue for English language films imported into Japan, including Predator, the Harry Potter series, and Space Jam.
Japanese anime director Noboru Ishiguro (b.1938) died on March 20 from a lung infection. Ishiguro directed Space Battleship Yamato, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, The Super Dimension Century Orguss, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, among others.
Costume designer Eiko Ishioka (b.1939) died on January 21 from pancreatic cancer. Ishioka won an Academy Award for her work on Bram Stoker’s Dracula and also designed costumes for The Cell, The Fall, Immortals, and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror. She recently helped design costumes for teh Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Ishioka also won a Grammy Award for the cover design of the Miles Davis album, Tutu.
The winners of the Japanese Seiun Awards, voted on by attendees of Donbura Con L, the 50th Japanese Science Fiction Convention, we announced on September 3.
- Japanese Novel: Kyonen wa Ii Toshi ni Narudarou (Last Year Was Probably a Good Year), by Yamamoto Hiroshi
- Japanese Short Story: “Arisuma-oo no Aishita Mamono” (“King Arisuma’s Beloved Demon”), by Ogawa Issui
- Foreign Novel: Eifelheim, by Michael Flynn
- Foreign Short Story: “Carry the Moon in My Pocket,” by James Lovegrove
- Media: District 9
- Comics: Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Fullmetal Alchemist), by Arakawa Hiromu
- Art: Naoyuki Katou
- Non-fiction: Sa wa saiensu no sa (Sa is for Science), by Tsukasa Shikano
- Open category: Hayabusa (MUSES-C) space probe