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The Sacred Era

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The magnum opus of a Japanese master of speculative fiction, and a book that established Yoshio Aramaki as a leading representative of the genre, The Sacred Era is part post-apocalyptic world, part faux-religious tract, and part dream narrative. In a distant future ruled by a new Papal Court serving the Holy Empire of Igitur, a young student known only as K arrives at the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published November 1980)
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3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Rachel Cordasco
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-translation, sff
Why can't I give this book 25 stars?!??
Bogi Takács
Review coming next week IY"H (need to insert some formatting into it but it's mostly done)
Sean Parson
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Some cool philosophic ideas and some interesting ideas but not much of a story arc and really horrific gender politics. All women in this book are just props for sexual anxiety.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
sloppy world-building with tossed together sci fi tropes--including women as clueless sinful traps but of course also a key plot motivator 🙄 disappointingly dull with the kind of religion analysis you'd expect of newly atheist internet trolls
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
** I received an advance reading copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **
More of a 2.5 star than a 3 but I'll be generous!

I'm still not entirely sure what it is I just finished reading. The book is dystopian and fantastical and so dreamlike that it is hard to hold on to the story at times. A very surreal post-apocalyptic novel following a young man as he explores the secrets of his world, his religion, his culture and the universe. While I did for the most part enjoy this book
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I would call this a self-centric sci-fi story. Despite not being referred to by name throughout the book, the story revolves around its protagonist. Other characters are more like figments of his imagination and not real people. Its saving grace is that this lack of characterization is relevant to the plot.

While it had its profound moments from time to time, I'm not familiar with Catholicism enough to catch all the themes and references. However, it did have some neat insights from time to time.
Julien L
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is weird/bonkers/bananas etc.

In the same vein as Kawamata Chiaki's Death Sentences (it's from the same publisher, U of Minnesota press), it follows a relatively straightforward story that quickly moves into the weird and metaphysical. It ends kind of abruptly and the plot basically takes a detour for larger philosophical and theological queries, which made the reading experience weird. This is not a book you read for the narrative, because the narrative is just a larger vehicle for spe
Jeremy Garber
My first exposure to a fascinating Japanese sci-fi author. Aramaki deftly weaves philosophical (and theological) reflection into an engrossing tale of institutional coverups, space travel powered by souls, and the pleasures of the flesh versus the secret of knowledge. K, the main character, is the youngest postulant ever to be accepted to the Imperial Academy. His study begins at the end of the Empire's Millennium of Progress, as water supplies dwindle and food production slows. His area of stud ...more
Susan Haseltine
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I guess new wave isn't my thing. The weirdly filtered western theology is somewhat interesting but the offhanded misogyny is repellent. Women are beautiful, graceful, lustful, but never anything that isn't determined by being female. Even when they are mechanical.
Zack Heaton
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really profound at times. The whole book has a really neat dreamlike quality unlike anything else I've read, other than Leaves of Narcissus.

If you find theology or philosophy interesting, you will enjoy this. Personally I loved it. I must say that what other reviewers have said about female characters is true. However, i found the bulk of the material so interesting and, again, at times profound, that I can't give it less than 5 stars.
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