I met Christopher Barzak in Tokyo. Read about our conversation here at Strange Horizons as we talked to Yoshio Kobayashi about the state of US and Japanese genre works.

I read lots of review of his book, and so approached it with the double wariness of “author I’ve met” and “gotten good reviews” keeping me very critical of what I read.

And mostly, the book rocks. I feel like I totally understand why time after time the protagonist makes the wrong choice, and why his social interactions are so trouble-prone. I see my own past in his discomfort with himself and others.

I especially like how he hoards words, as if they truly embodied the meanings they espoused in some magical way.

It wasn’t a comfortable book to read, but it was good. They only thing that slowed me down was some of the dreaminess of it felt disjointed rather than dreamy. Nice work.