Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m looking for an 80’s sf novel to replace Neuromancer in the literature class I teach most summers at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’ve just read Haruki Murakami‘s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World and liked it almost as much as his Kafka on the Shore, which I plan to teach in an urban fantasy class. Hard-Boiled etc. is actually a science fiction novel with a cyberpunk trope, though a decidedly odd one, published in 1985. Science fiction, IMHO, can use all the odd it can get. Like Gibson and Blade Runner, which I plan to show, it draws heavily upon Raymond Chandler. Set in a Japan seen through the eyes of a character steeped in American culture, it makes an interesting companion to the cyberpunk west steeped in Japanese culture which is the mainstay of American cyberpunk. Anyway, it’s now on the shortlist for the slot.

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