Zoe, In Japanese Form

Japan’s been a very good market for me, both in sales and in attention (I won the Seiun Award this year for best translated novel, for The Last Colony), so it’s nice to see Zoe’s Tale out there as well. And I find the cover illustration kind of interesting; Zoe here is clearly sporting a fair amount of ‘tude, and I don’t suspect those shoes are going to be particularly useful on Roanoke. But compared to some of the other covers for the series in Japan, this one’s pretty on target.

26 Comments on “Zoe, In Japanese Form”

  1. I think those eyes are more insightful, and while the shoes don’t seem practical, there was recently a world record for sprinting/racing in high heels. Doesn’t that make you feel proud to be the creator of such a versatile young lady.

  2. My guess is that the image is from much later in the book, she’s contemplating the showdown off planet. Zoe is a great character.

  3. The title translation is pretty sensible: “zoi no monogatari” (quite literally “Zoe’s tale”) with the subititle “roujin to sora 4” (“old man and space 4”) by “jon sukorujii”.

  4. I like the look on her face.

    The “shoes” get airquotes of doubt from me, but I like the rest a lot.

  5. For a moment I thought it was an Xbox game. It’s about the right shape, and the green stripe acoss the top of the backgroud is about the right shade to be an Xbox product.

    Aw, man. Now I want an Old Man’s War game. I wonder if John’s agent has any contacts in the video game world.

  6. the スコルジ intrigues me
    how do you actually pronounce your name John? Sc[A]lzi or Sc[O]lzi?
    (note to self: I need to learn the phonetic alphabet)

  7. She’s not on Roanoke. The only problem the shoes present is logistical, in the sense of how did she get them. I think is easily enough overcome with imagination.

    Still, heavy boots would have fit the outfit just as well, in a funny/different way.

  8. She looks like she was inspired somewhat by Lisa from Robotech. Certainly not a bad thing to be inspired by. That expression is priceless, too!

  9. For the record, you’re selling well in Seoul as well. Your books weren’t on the bookshelves three years ago, but they certainly are now. I see your books come and go from the bookshelves weekend to weekend. Whatthebook? in Itaewon buys back books for like a buck. So you’re on the used book shelves as well. There is always a crowd of nerdy-looking folks rummaging through the used book shelves for good SFF. New SFF paperbacks sell for 9-10,000 Won; used for 4-5,000 Won. I always smile when I see POD (print-on-demand) SFF books in the used book section, some expatriate trying desperately to have his fiction read.

  10. PS From what I’ve observed over the years, expatriates usually sell their books at the end of their teaching contracts, plop down bagfuls of used books at the counter, make a quick fifty bucks before jetting back to their English-speaking countries. Heck, I did it four years ago. My friend just sold his entire bookshelf full of books for $150 USD to some English teacher in the sticks?!! There must have been 200 books, five of which were mine. He apparently forget that I’d lent him two Joe Hill novels as well as Gaiman’s Good Omens and Stephenson’s Anathem (which I still haven’t read).

  11. I feel for the translator, I used to do “fan-sub” for Japanese manga few years ago in Japanese to English, and it was soo hard to translate some situation in english from jp to eng, but, I guess, same goes for doing it from eng to jp too.

  12. I’m fluent in Korean. SFF books don’t translate well at all, especially books with Scalzi-type humor. My ex girlfriend is a translator, used to complain about it all the time.

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