Amazon.com’s high concept series The Man in the High Castle, based on the famous novel by Philip K. Dick, became a major hit for the online retailer, and it was renewed for a second season late last year.
I have not yet seen the series, but I find myself in total agreement with Peter Tieryas’s implied critique of the whole concept: that it would be 300% better with giant robots. Seriously, I think this Tieryas guy is on to something. Sure, there isn’t an artistic or creative endeavor in Western Civilization that wouldn’t be improved by adding giant robots (“Are you enjoying that double scoop pistachio ice-cream cone, young lady? Here, try it with giant robots.” See what I mean?), but there’s something about World War II alternate history that just screams, “More giant robots, please!” Come on, you know what I’m talking about.
I received a free copy of Tieryas’ second novel United States of Japan at the Nebula Awards back in April, and I finally settled in with it yesterday. It seems to be exactly what it promises: an action-packed detective story/alternate history successor to The Man in the High Castle. With honkin’ big robots. Financial Times says that “With its giant military robots, sumo wrestlers and body-transforming technology, [it’s] a gleeful love letter to Japanese pop culture,” and Lightspeed calls it “A hell of a ride, with plot twists as history is written and rewritten right in front of you… an ending as powerful as the iron grip of the godlike Emperor.”
United States of Japan was published by Angry Robot on March 1, 2016. It is 398 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by John Liberto. Amazon.com currently has the Kindle version available for just $1.99 — grab it while you can.