I’m looking to explore Japanese horror and sci-fi literature and would appreciate any recommendations (books or authors). Ideally I’d like books that explore themes similar to those found in Junji Ito’s work (I know he based one of his stories on a book by Edogawa Ranpo, so he’s already on my list of authors to check out). Anything lovecraftian would also be interesting. Basically the Japanese authors I’m aware of at the moment are mostly well known ones like Natsume Sōseki, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa etc. and I’d like to know which names I should be aware of in the horror/sci-fi sphere of Japanese literature.
My level is currently around N2 but I’ll take any suggestions regardless of difficulty.
Can’t help with the horror (it is one of my ‘nope’ genres :-)) but for SF, I had some luck looking through past winners of the Taisho and Seiun awards (kind of the Japanese equivalent of the Hugo and Nebula awards). In particular, I really liked 新世界よりby 貴志祐介 – in fact it’s probably the book I liked best of everything I’ve read in Japanese. Good worldbuilding and a good “what is going on / wrong with this society” mystery feel to the early parts. I wrote a review of it a decade ago on a now sadly-defunct livejournal community. I also quite liked 第六大陸 by 小川一水, which is realistic hard SF about getting to the moon with commercial spaceflight (supposedly the author tweaked about one thing to make it slightly more efficient than we can manage right now but otherwise stays with real world tech), if you prefer your SF with more spaceships. At any rate, picking off an awards list seems to be a good way to narrow down your options and avoid the complete turkeys.
Thank you, I looked up 小川一水 and his works seem interesting, will definitely check them out.