Strange Ambience

Ventures in arts and culture that leave an effect.

Project Itoh aka Satoshi Ito, science fiction writer.

Categories: books

Project Itoh aka Satoshi Ito, science fiction writer.

Project Itoh, writer of dark sci-fi

Though Satoshi Ito's stay on this earth was brief due to cancer (October 14, 1974 – March 20, 2009), he did leave behind a legacy of dark sci-fi books, under alias Project Itoh, that resonate to this day. His first book, Genocidal Organ is fascinating. The US government develops a psy-ops team that instigates genocide in target countries, so rather than a costly war invasion, the target citizens do all the killing. However, a psy-ops member goes rogue and a hit squad is sent to intercept. The story is told from the perspective of a hit squad operative. Itoh’s Subsequent book was unremarkable, a tribute to the video game, Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots. I am not an avid gamer, so the the book held less interest. The third and final book, Harmony, is a dystopian sci-fi novel of the world having reached a humane, conflict-free equilibrium. However, this achievement is at the cost of individual will, where individual behaviour traits are medicated away. A kind of rebellion ensues. Harmony was made into an anime, though I have yet to see it. The story is so dark, that I may not be inclined to watch.

Japanese are not exactly renown for science fiction novels, but that may be changing. Publisher Haikasoru, a division of Viz Media, made available English translations of novels and anthologies by Japanese writers. The Japanese seem to excel in what is known as 'hard sci-fi' a genre that emphasizes known science to inform the story plots. Much of sci-fi, at least the North American variety, tends to be closer to fantasy with science fact often ignored. Ask a physicist what a Star Trek phaser battle would really look like in space, nothing like what we see on TV. Science in science fiction? Who would have thought?