After the Hugos is before the next Hugos, so I’m continuing my Non-Fiction Spotlight project, where I interview the authors/editors of SFF-related non-fiction books that come out in 2022 and are eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards. For more about the Non-Fiction Spotlight project, go here. To check out the spotlights I already posted, go here.
For more recommendations for SFF-related non-fiction, also check out this Facebook group set up by the always excellent Farah Mendlesohn, who is a champion (and author) of SFF-related non-fiction.
Today’s non-fiction spotlight is something of a premiere, because this is the first non-fiction spotlight I’ve posted for a book to which I contributed. Though that’s far from the only reason to check it out.
So I’m thrilled to welcome Jim Beard, editor of Rising Sun Reruns: Memories of Japanese TV Shows from Today’s Grown-up Kids, to my blog today.
RISING SUN RERUNS is an ode to all the great imported Japanese TV shows we watched as kids from the 60s up to the 90s. Twenty-five writers have gathered to tell tales of their childhoods spent watching such shows as ULTRAMAN, SPEED RACER, KIMBA THE WHITE LION, JOHNNY SOKKO, BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, ROBOTECH, STARBLAZERS, and MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a writer, editor, and small press publisher of adventure fiction and pop culture non-fiction. I love the classic pulp style of storytelling, and I love sifting through memories to paint pictures of times gone by.
What prompted you to write/edit this book?
RISING SUN RERUNS is the third in a series I call “Memories from Today’s Grown-Up Kids.” I look for things I loved as a kid that I think others might enjoy not only writing about, but also reading about. I loved imported Japanese TV shows when i was growing up, and they seemed like a perfect theme to continue the series.
Why should SFF fans in general and Hugo voters in particular read this book?
In all honesty, not only because they themselves might have spent their own childhoods watching the shows, but because I hope they’ll also see some common threads and connective tissue between those times of their own and the writers who are presenting their personal memories. It can be such a wonderful feeling to read one of these essays and say, “Hey! That’s ME right there! That kid is me!”
Do you have any cool facts or tidbits that you unearthed during your research, but that did not make it into the final book?
Only that I came across even more shows I wish we had included in this volume – the wealth of Japanese series is amazing, and I’m continuously surprised to discover more that made it to our shores that I didn’t know about before.
SFF-related non-fiction is somewhat sidelined by the big genre awards, since the Nebulas have no non-fiction category and the Best Related Work Hugo category has become something of a grab bag of anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere. So why do you think SFF-related non-fiction is important?
Because of the width and breadth of SF and Fantasy in pop culture, and how we all as fans have connection points throughout it. I personally love coming across a non-fiction book on a subject I love, whether well-known or obscure, and while I myself am chugging away on doing my own publications, I can’t wait to see what other editors and publishers are doing. We’ve only scratched the surface of what can be discussed, debated, and delivered in SFF non-fiction.
Are there any other great SFF-related non-fiction works or indeed anything else (books, stories, essays, writers, magazines, films, TV shows, etc…) you’d like to recommend?
Just off the top of my head, a few of my all-time favorites (and ones that inspired me in my publishing) are THE OFFICIAL BATMAN BAT-BOOK by Joel Eisner, MONKEE MAGIC by Melanie Mitchell, KAIJU FOR HIPSTERS by Kevin Derendorf, MONSTER MASH by Mark Voger, and the forur volumes of THE ALL-STAR COMPANION by Roy Thomas. I can also recommend anything by writer/editor Rich Handley, and pretty much anything Twomorrows Pub. puts out.
Where can people buy your book?
Where can people find you?
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thebeardjimbeard
On Twitter: @writerjimbeard
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jimbeard
Thank you, Jim, for stopping by and answering my questions. Do check out Rising Sun Reruns: Memories of Japanese TV Shows from Today’s Grown-up Kids, because it’s a great anthology. And no, I’m not just saying that, because I have an essay in the book.
About Rising Sun Reruns: Memories of Japanese TV Shows from Today’s Grown-up Kids:
TIME FOR TOKUSATSU!
From the 1960s to the 1990s children in the West were gifted with a bounty of amazing TV shows to watch and enjoy—but it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy their voracious appetites for adventure! It took an intriguing immigration of imported shows from the East to fill their afternoons with all the fun and fantasy they craved!
Grab a TV tray and hunker down in the family den with a group of grown-up kids as they reminisce about their favorite exotic Japanese TV shows of yore! In these pages you will find glowing memories of flights of fancy such as Ultraman, Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot, Astro Boy, Battle of the Planets, Space Giants, Speed Racer, Robotech, and many, many more—including a few you may never even heard of!
Writer-editor Jim Beard adds to his Memories from Today’s Grown-Up Kids series of pop culture nostalgia books with RISING SUN RERUNS, a tantalizing trip into the past when discovering a strange show from Japan alongside your other favorite series was not a weird thing at all…it was downright wonderful!
Cover Illustration by Adam Benet Shaw
Logo Design and Formatting by Maggie Ryel
About Jim Beard:
Jim Beard pounds out adventure fiction with classic pulp style and flair.
A native Toledoan, he was introduced to comic books at an early age by his father, who passed on to him a love for the medium and the pulp characters who preceded it. After decades of reading, collecting and dissecting comics, Jim became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since that time he’s written official Spider-Man, X-Files, and Planet of the Apes prose fiction, Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories, and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history.
His prose work also includes GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES, a book of essays on the 1966 Batman TV series; SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of pulp ghost stories featuring an Edwardian occult detective; MONSTER EARTH, a shared-world giant monster anthology; and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first pulp prose novel based on the classic 1960s action figure.
Jim is also the co-publisher at Flinch Books, a small-press pulp house.
Are you publishing a work of SFF-related longform non-fiction in 2022 and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.