One hundred percent of the royalties from this new collection of original stories will go directly to the 2011 JAPAN RELIEF FUND administered by the Japan America Society of Southern California. The 2011 Japan Relief Fund was created on March 11, 2011 to aid victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami waves. With the funds that have been raised so far, $750,000 has been committed to nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines of relief and recovery work in northeastern Japan.
This collection was born out of the writers' concern for the people in the disaster zone. SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN is an attempt by writers to pool their talents to help people in need, as musicians and actors so often do.
The book contains original stories by Brett Battles, Cara Black, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Dale Furutani, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson. As a group, these authors have won every mystery award there is and sold hundreds of thousand of copies. They're all working at the top of their games in this volume. SHAKEN; STORIES FROM JAPAN is art for heart's sake, and the purchase price will help those who are struggling to repair, or at least soothe, these terrible losses.
Not all the stories are mysteries; the consensus was simply that all writers should submit something that touches on Japan. Linking the stories are haiku by the 17th-century master Basho, translated by Jane Reichhold, and Issa, translated by David Lanoue. Both translators donated their work, as did the cover designer, writer Gar Anthony Haywood, and the e-book producer, Kimberly Hitchens.
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHORS
“Kelli Stanley has her eye on greatness.” –George Pelecanos Wendy Hornsby's “stories are edgy, menacing, and masterful.” –Booklist Dianne Emley's books are “Intense and hard-edged… First-rate.” –Tess Gerritsen "[Naomi Hirahara] is truly one of a kind." –Chicago Sun-Times “[Brett] Battles is a master storyteller.” –Sheldon Siegel I. J. Parker's books are “terrifically imaginative work” –Wall Street Journal Ken Kuhlken's writing is "Elegant . . . haunting, and beautiful." –Don Winslow. Jeffrey Siger's work “Brilliantly explores a fascinating culture” –Leighton Gage “Hank Phillippi Ryan understands plotting and she writes beautifully.” –Robert B. Parker Adrian McKinty is “One of his generation's leading talents" –Publishers Weekly. Jeri Westerson's work is "creative and enthralling..." –John Lescroart “Gary Phillips writes tough and gritty parables.” –Michael Connelly Vicki “Doudera expertly weaves a tale of suspense.” –Tess Gerritsen Rosemary Harris is “Hilarious” (Kirkus Reviews), “A rising star” –Crimespree Magazine Timothy Hallinan's writing is “razor-sharp, convincing, and heartbreaking.” –Gregg Hurwitz C.J. West's work is "Powerful, thought provoking and massively entertaining.” –Crimesquad.com Cara Black's Aimee Leduc novels are an “irresistible series set in Paris.” –New York Times “Debbi Mack has carved her own niche in the mystery pantheon." –Scott Nicholson [Dale]”Furutani manages a fluid mix of cultural history and swashbuckling adventure.
I'm a thriller and mystery novelist with 22 published books in three series, all with major imprints. I divides my time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, primarily Thailand, where I've lived off and on for more than twenty years. As of now, My primary home is in Santa Monica, California.
I currently write two series, The Poke Rafferty Bangkok Thrillers, most recently FOOLS' RIVER, and the Junior Bender Mysteries, set in Los Angeles, Coming up this November is NIGHTTOWN. The main character of those books is a burglar who works as a private eye for crooks.
The first series I ever wrote featured an overeducated private eye named Simeon Grist. in 2017 I wrote PULPED, the first book in the series to be self-published, which was actually a lot of fun. I might do more of it.
I've been nominated for the Edgar, the Macavity, the Shamus, and the Left, and won the Lefty in 2015 (?) for the Junior Bender book HERBIE'S GAME. My work has frequently been included in Best Books of the Year roundups by major publications.
I'd never heard of the Japan America Society of Southern California before picking up a copy of "Shaken: Stories for Japan." As of the anthology's publishing, the Society has been in existence for 102 years.
Before the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis that hit Japan in March 2011, I hadn't heard of many of the places in Japan that would dominate world headlines. That's what a tragedy will do. For all the wrong reasons, it brings together people regardless of borders, cultures or routine.
For all the right reasons, a group of authors decided to put together an anthology of short stories. Each contribution intertwined some component of Japan and its people, be it present or past. All the proceeds go toward the ongoing relief efforts in Japan following those few minutes that changed everything. Amazon even agreed to donate its portion. The win-win-win of this anthology is a sign of humanity in an otherwise inhuman event.
That third win is for the reader. The quality of these stories is remarkable. I'm not saying other charitable anthologies aren't worth your time, but some forget about where these donations ultimately come from: the reader. The authors didn't submit backwash sitting idle on their desktop. No, these are quality stories that could stand on their own. It speaks to their passion for responding to this disaster that they would contribute such salable work.
In addition, each story is partitioned by haiku from "Narrow Road" by Matsuo Basho, one of the most renowned names in the craft. It reminds the reader of the timelessness of Japan, and why a country so eternal will survive to see better days.
It's a bit daunting to review each story individually, but I can say each was a treat to read. This is my first introduction to fiction with a Japan theme. It won't be my last, though, not with this talented roster. I'll be checking out their work.
Aside from Japan, a recurring theme was justice. Some find it, some don't. In the wake of a tragedy that still seems so unjust, that theme speaks loud and clear. Nature is cruel. It knows no justice, because nothing can deny it.
All you can do is plan for it. Which is what I encourage everyone to do with this anthology.
SHAKEN is a book of short stories written by some of the most popular writers in fiction today, especially in the mystery genre. Tim Hallinan approached some of his friends with the idea of a book that could be sold as an ebook with all the money going to help the people of Japan suffering from the earthquake and the tsunami. SHAKEN is the result of that collaboration and it is a book worth everyone’s attention. For the paltry sum of $3.99 on Amazon, less than the cost of most fancy coffees, readers will get a taste of writers whose works are new to them and another look at authors whose work we know in long form and now get to appreciate in the shorter form of story-telling.
The Japan America Society is the organization which will be dispersing the money raised by the sales of the book, guaranteeing that every penny goes where it is pledged.
Not all the stories are mysteries. They are stories that span human experience while reflecting Japanese culture. Some are in the present time, some are not. Some take place in Japan, many do not. All will resonate with the reader in a way that is personal to each.
Some of the writers are new to me but I will be remedying that very soon. Vicki Doudera sets her story in a small town on the coast of Maine. Wendy Hornsby tells the story of The Emperor’s Truck and a determined young girl during World War II. Stefan Hammond writes of a group of young women who have lost their way but maybe have found the way for another. Dianne Emley introduces the reader to a couple of girls, teenagers in the 1970′s, who share a secret that challenges their views of family. Rosemary Harris offers a glimpse of life among the genteel, gracious ladies of Connecticut in 1983. Debbi Mack takes a look at roots and the soil that nourishes them. Gary Phillips takes a slightly different look at the obligations of family.
Then there are all the wonderful stories written by people whose books I have read : Naomi Hirahara, Kelli Stanley, Dale Furutani, Brett Battles, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeri Westerson, C.J. West, and I.J. Parker.
Last but not least are Tim Hallinan, Cara Black, and Jeff Siger who prove again that they cannot write anything that isn’t terrific whether it is a full-length mystery, a short story, or a post on their blog, Murder Is Everywhere.
And because a picture is worth a thousand words, congratulations to Gar Anthony Haywood who designed the stunning cover that is so evocative of the double horrors inflicted on the people of northern Japan.
For those like me, who do not have an e-reader, the means to read e-books on a PC can be downloaded, free, from the world's largest on-line bookstore.
SHAKEN: Stories for Japan a collection of memories of the recent catastrophe shared by survivors is very moving. I.J. Parker has done a real service by writing down these stories shared by the people who were there. They will serve as a testimony to both tragedy and courage.
What an impressive collection of short stories with a Japan theme! The Japan Society of Southern California put together this ebook of short stories whose proceeds were to go to disaster relief.
The authors are first rate - several award winners (and future award winners) among them. The stories vary in theme from racism in the San Francisco earthquake to post tsunami, um, enterprise. Some are funny, some bring a lump to your throat. Some are crime stories, some are not.
Consider spending 3.99 and buying this book. How can you lose with authors like Tim Hallinan, Naomi Hirahara, Dale Furatani, I. J. Parker etc. (My favorite may have been Wendy Hornsby's tale of post-Manzanar finagling. But honestly, they are all good.)
This is a collection of short stories by a wide range of authors, using a wide range of styles, for the purpose of raising money to help the victims of the earthquake that devastated much of northern Japan. Some of the stories didn't do much for me, some were WONDERFUL. Worth the read, and you get to help some people at the same time!