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Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator), and Stephen Paul (Translator)

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Yokohama Station SF National: 10/13/22

Yokohama Station SF National

Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator) (2017), and Stephen Paul (Translator) (2022) is a follow up collection of interconnected short stories or vignettes that feature a sentient, self-replicating subway station.

Most of this volume involves people from outside of the station who are trying to infiltrate it for information and sabotage. These are residents on Hokkaido, protected by seawater and distance. But they'd like to push back on the station's neverending attempt at expansion.

My favorite story, though, is told from within the station. It involves a man with Caucasian ancestry who can read and speak English along with Japanese. He has in his office an English dictionary. To avoid spoilers, I will say that his office is destroyed — though how is a big part of the story.

What happens next, though, is fascinating. This volume works through the logic of a self replicating station with the current advances in AI. What happens when something manmade — something that can no longer be made — is replaced with the AI of a self replicating station?

Chart comparing the first and second volumes on the Road Narrative Spectrum.

Like the first volume, Yokohama Station SF National, sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Both volumes feature marginalized travelers with an interstate (or railroad) route. What changes between volumes is the destination. The first volume had uhoria as it's destination, meaning that the exploration was primarily on how did we get here? and what was this place like before the Winter War and self replication? Now the destination is the wildlands, namely outside and various landmarks hidden beneath / outside the station.

Five stars

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