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United States of Japan

(United States of Japan)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,134 ratings  ·  609 reviews
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons – a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the w ...more
ebook, 345 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Angry Robot
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Peter Tieryas Great question! I loved Man in the High Castle growing up and appreciated the idea of an alternate universe where the Axis forces won, so that was the…moreGreat question! I loved Man in the High Castle growing up and appreciated the idea of an alternate universe where the Axis forces won, so that was the inspiration for United States of Japan. While they're related in the spirit of the themes, everything else is different, particularly as it focuses on the Japanese Empire and military. That includes the back story, characters, and settings (for example, San Francisco is abandoned from all the radiation of a Japanese nuclear attack in USJ whereas SF is the capital of High Castle) So in that sense, you don't need to read High Castle to read USJ- though I highly recommend it as a book. Thank you! =)(less)
Art Lyon It has only some basic ideas in common with MitHC.
The mechas are featured prominently in at least one key scene, and there's a good amount of insight…more
It has only some basic ideas in common with MitHC.
The mechas are featured prominently in at least one key scene, and there's a good amount of insight into how they work, their history, differenrt designs, etc. they certainly aren't the focus of the story, but I think mecha fans would get a kick out of it.(less)

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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  3,134 ratings  ·  609 reviews

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Peter Tieryas
Jul 15, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
7-24-17 United States of Japan won Japan's top science fiction award, the Seiun! I couldn't believe it when I heard the news. Congrats to all my fellow winners, including the awesome Ken Liu! Thank you so much to all the amazing readers in Japan as well as my awesome publisher, Hayakawa, for being so supportive. I'm excited to be working on two more books with them!

4-10-17 United States of Japan was nominated for Japan's top science fiction award, the Seiun! So so honored!!!

12-19-16 I'm so thri
Dan Schwent
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
In a world where the Axis won World War II and Japan controls the western United States, a censor named Ben Ishimura and a secret police agent named Akiko Tsukino are trying to find the source of a video game called USA, which allows players to play in a world where America never fell...

I initially passed on this when I saw it on Netgalley but Peter Tieryas seems like a pretty cool guy on Goodreads and on Twitter so I gave it a shot when it went on sale for $1.99.

United States of Japan is a spir
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’ll admit, as cool as its cover looked, Peter Tieryas’ United States of Japan did not initially grab my interest. Mind you, it’s not that I’m averse to the prospect of a 150-foot-tall Mecha wreaking havoc in my science fiction, but at the time I just wasn’t sure if I was in the mood for that sort of bombast and action. Thing is though, it turned out I was completely wrong, both on the nature of this book and on my early s
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Philip K. Dick, this Sapporo is for you.

Taking thematic and spiritual guidance from Dick’s 1962 Hugo award winning novel The Man in the High Castle, author Peter Tieryas describes an America that lost the war and is now split in two (as is most of the world) between Germany and Japan.

The setting and narrative elements made me think of Joe Haldeman and Lucius Shepard; this is a fun, fast moving, action packed and entertaining alternate history. It can also be extremely violent and bloody, sometim
Ken Liu
I blurbed this book: "A searing vision of the persistence of hope in the face of brutality, THE UNITED STATES OF JAPAN is utterly brilliant."

It's so rare to read a book that treats a great historic horror with respect and compassion while also telling an enthralling story that is full of invention and joy. Truly wonderful.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I actually had a pretty good time with this novel, expecting more of a carry-over from The Man in the High Castle, in the same vein as The Time Ships carrying forward The Time Machine, but instead we've got a fast forward to modern day with modern day trappings in an America dominated by Japan, with a virtual game taking the place of the The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, an awesome (but short) stint in a huge mecha-robot, and a completely torn-apart California.

It doesn't quite have the same weight as
Peter Tieryas
Nov 08, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Spanish version of USJ coming out from Nova Sci Fi! Super honored! =)
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I remember when I first heard about the United States of Japan on the grapevine. I had logged onto social media, and saw one of my friends going apeshit about some concept artwork for a project that was in the works. After a moment searching and clicking on links I was presented with giant mechs adorned with the Rising Sun. The United States of Japan. The spiritual successor to The Man in the High Castle (one of my favourite stories.. period). I was sold from that moment on. I tracked the update ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In an alternate history where the axis powers won WW2 and the Japanese Emperor is given dominion over the Western US, Beniko Ishimura is a military censor pulled into an investigation of the death of a woman whose father is accused of designing a seditious video game called "The United States of America."
Plainly acknowledging (but not overindulging) its debt to The Man in the High Castle, The United States of Japan is an unflinching and very compelling look at social engineering under an authori
May 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm just going to start this review with the line that set me off (happening very early at page 24): "The skyline was a fissured gradient of conflicted red, forlorn gray, and dissipated azure." Peter Tieryas is trying to set the scene for a war torn community, wrote a sentence, and then thought to himself, "You know what would make this description better? Adjectives!!" The rest of the book is like this. I took plenty of notes. Here is a small handful.

"...their spirits crushed by the specter of

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Review first published here : https://thecurioussffreader.wordpress...

United States of Japan was one of my most anticipated book of the year and I am glad to say that it did not disappoint.

This book is marketed as a “spiritual sequel” to The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, I have not read Dick’s novel so I can’t really compare both novels but, after reading USJ, I realing want to check it out.

The story is based on a
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I've never read The Man in the High Castle so I'm unable to compare the two books but this really worked for me. It's an interesting idea to write a novel about, and I think the author handled it very well.

I particularly enjoyed getting glimpses into the different time periods, especially the Epilogue.

It misses 5 stars for me because I was never really sold on the characters or 100% in their corner until the end. I liked Ben, especially during the game competition, but Akiko I could take or le
Marc Aplin
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*SOLID 4.5 - rounded up to 5, because... Goodreads scoring!*

Almost as soon as World War II had finished, the Japanese Government issued numerous apologies for the crimes the country had committed during their 14 years of conflicts (they began warring with China in 1931). These apologies primarily related to the treatment and death rates of prisoners of war and civilians under Japanese occupation. Still, many don’t feel that the extent of what Japan did or could have done, should they not have be
Richard  Thomas
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A powerful book, unsettling at times, surreal, and hypnotic. There's a bit of Philip K. Dick in here, and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, especially the war sub-plot, but Peter Tieryas is his own voice, a talented author, somebody to keep an eye on for sure. I loved his last book, BALD NEW WORLD, and I loved this one, too.
Eliza Rapsodia
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amantes de la ciencia ficción
Recommended to Eliza by: Geek Furioso
Shelves: need-to-buy, sci-fi


I had high expectations with this novel. Even although some aspects are very positive, other aspects aren't that great. ¿What would the world be like if Japan had won the war? The novel shifts between the present (1988) and the past, when the war was over. United States was defeated and the Japanese domination have been portrayed very well and I think it has been a good approach to bring about the change of situation.

The United States has been controlled by Japan as expected
Apr 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was a pretty fun book. It was interesting to see the way that it incorporated elements of The Man in the High Castle while making it a distinctive story of its own. It almost created an echo or deja vu type feel, yet not quite that. The good thing is that it was very respectful to that story.

It didn't have the same level of mind-crunching, thought-provoking weirdness, though. Instead, it was updated to a more high tech, modern, commercialized, fun-oriented story. I particularly liked the wa
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
A painful exploration of the US under Japanese rule in an alternate world where the Allies lost WW2.

I'm not entirely sure why I stuck with this one. The characters are broken by the tyranny they live with and work under, and they're as brutal as the world that they live in. The resistance, the "George Washingtons" are equally horrible. There's lots of particularly disgusting imagery in this as well with brutal torture and mutilation being commonplace.

There are lots of interesting points in the w
Chris Berko
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. So much more than the cool cover. It was totally not what i expected but it ended up exceeding those expectations by about a billion percent. Some serious wow moments in here.
Lynn Williams
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 of 5 stars
United States of Japan is one of those books that took me by surprise. To be honest I went into this with a little bit of concern because it has a military/sci fi look and description which made me worry slightly about whether it might be out of my comfort zone. As it happens that wasn’t the case at all. This book is a fast paced read that undoubtedly got it’s hooks into me from page 1.

The story starts in America in the year 1948 where we are
Frank Errington
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review copy

United States of Japan is Peter Tieryas's third book, it began as "a story revolving around the tragic events on the Asian side of WWII." The book is inspired by Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, his time at Electronic Arts, and his experiences traveling in Asia.

For the most part, I've never been much of a fan of alternate history stories, but John Liberto's cover art caught my attention and I did enjoy the Amazon Prime series The Man in the High Castle, so I decided to tak
Joe Frazier
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
United States of Japan takes a similar premise as Philip K Dick's The Man in the High Castle in an even more dystopian direction, that premise being that America lost the war, Nazi Germany has the Eastern portion, Japan has the Western portion and Nazi's and the Japanese Empire distrustful frenemies. All of the action takes place on the west coast with the Nazi's being a mere mention. If you like your visions of the future dark and dystopian, there's plenty of that here. There is also plenty of ...more
Usually the Angry Robot books hadn`t sparked much interest in me so I haven`t finished much of them until now.

But this one had what I wanted to be hook from the very beginning so... it`s finished!

If you`re a fan of alternative history this is a must.

It was a complet delight to read about a totally new Japanised America. The mighty nation has lost the war and now the Emperor rules over all americans. And the japanese have brought all their technology so the novel has a really strong cyberpunk fee
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: llegits-2016
An uchrony about Japan winning World War II with giant robots? Shut up and take my money.
A great novel, altough I consider it more an utopia than an uchrony. A very interesting historical and social recreation, and full of original features. Fully recommended.

Review in english:
Reseña en español:
Adah Udechukwu
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
United States of Japan has an awesome plot. The novel flows beautifully and it has non-stop action.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, bingo16
I liked this "what if" of WWII. It focuses much more on the victory scenario for the Japanese than the Nazis. And for being written so recently it had access to much more information and technology available.

In here Pearl Harbor never happened and thus the US didn't had reason to join the war. The Japanese here also coordinated their movements with the Germans and invaded Eastern Soviet Union which allowed the Germans to capture Moscow and then pinch the Soviets.
While it's uncertain if such a m
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four and half stars, to be fair

English review on my blog:

Reseña en castellano en el blog:
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
It’s fair to say that history was my least favorite subject and my knowledge of it is pretty sketchy because I am terrible at dates, names, and facts. Or at least facts that aren’t useless facts, because those I revel in.
Want to know how they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar…I got your back. Want to know when the second world war ended? Well… the middle of the forties is as close as I can get you.
So, when I saw the Alt. History square on my bingo card, I groaned. Loudly. But, then I ran acros
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

My expectations and hope for United States of Japan were very high. The work exceeded my expectations. The book begins in California, in 1948, now part of The United States of Japan. In this alternate history plot, the United States does not enter the war in 1941 but waits several years. In this time Germany and Japan become more and more powerful. The Japanese have the time to attack the west coast of the United States with nuclear weapons. After the United States surrenders tne Eastern part is
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, 2016
"United States of Japan" looks at what would happen if Japan won World War II. Some of the book takes place in the years right after Japan won the war and other most of the rest of the book takes place decades after. The book doesn't take place in Japan but in the United States, which is now a part of the Japanese empire. U.S. is a completely different place after the war. This is an exciting scifi book that will make you think "what if."

The plot line had a good dose of mystery running through i
Shawn Misener
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best SF novels I've read the past couple of years. Alternate history cyberpunk anime, exquisitely paced and plotted. Characters that are fleshed out through believable and entertaining dialogue. Ben, the protagonist, is a guy I ended up caring about... seemingly simple yet disarming in his complex inner world. You root for the guy as the author slowly peels back more and more layers of his being.

A visual feast of a book full of SF goodies. Giant mechas that patrol cities. Video games
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Peter Tieryas is the author of Mecha Samurai Empire (Penguin Random House/Ace Roc) and United States of Japan (Hayakawa, Nova), which won Japan's most prestigious science fiction award, The Seiun. His books have gotten praise from Buzzfeed, io9 Gizmodo, Kotaku, Kirkus Reviews, Financial Times,, Publisher's Weekly, Popular Mechanics, Verge, Wired, Esquire, and Yahoo!. His writing has been p ...more

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