Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: Erika

Speculative fiction

I’ve decided. My no-so-little-anymore (at over 15,500 words) samurai story is not historical but a fantasy. It also has a title: Kuraokami. Kuraokami (闇龗) is a legendary Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of rain and snow (oh, I need to tell you one of these days about the Shinto book I got myself).

I’ve noticed that in the last eight months or so I’ve been turning a bit towards speculative fiction. I’ve written a short fantasy (Wren), a full-blown Japanese Urban Fantasy (Hyakki Yagyō) and a sci-fi (Erika). I’m even sure that if I try hard enough T could count as fantasy. Now Kuraokami adds to the list.

Until I tackled Wren back in July, I had not written fantasy for years, but I’ve enjoyed it for long. The DragonLance Originals (Chronicles and Legends) were one hell of a drug, devoured more than read during my teenage summers. A bunch of them I used to have in both Spanish and English, though I eventually donated the Spanish ones to a local library. As you can see in the picture, I can almost claim to have a vintage edition, back from when TSR still existed.

Most of my early years’ writing material is – some thankfully, some regretfully – lost due to a misplaced box during a moving across the country, but I used to write much more fantasy than I write now. I guess it is a bit of a cycle for me, coming back to it. I’m cool with it, if my story needs the extra fantasy touch, then it shall have it.

The character who is in fact responsible for everything that happens in Kuraokami is Hisoka, a daimyo’s (Japanese lord) second son. Hisoka is married to the daughter of his father’s general, and is basically… a whuss. He is in love with Hachirou, one of the castle samurai, but he won’t make a move on him at all. As a matter of fact, he completely refuses to let Hachirou even touch him.

Hachirou’s only real friend is Souji, a healer, without any magic power who just trusts his books and his herbs. After becoming the castle “doctor”, Souji ends up exposed to some of the fortress’ darkest secrets, including that the daimyo is sleeping with one of his daughters, Jun, who has a secret herself. Soon, Hachirou starts having dreams about a mysterious woman who talks to him in a cloud of cold and snow.

Hachirou needs to choose now between the path he has sworn to follow, and staying with the man he loves, or leaving behind everything he has born to in order to protect an innocent life and his own soul.

… or something. I mean, I’m still working on it, and boy it needs work. But hey, I am writing it and I’m feeling good about it, and only for that, Kuraokami is worth it ^^



In the experimental line I started with T, I’ve been working on Erika. As a child of the 80s I seem to believe everything in the future must fly – blame Michel J. Fox’s skateboard – so when I tackled trying a sci-fi, that was one of the few things I had clear: stuff had to fly, or at the very least hover.

I discovered that in my mind the future is also neon green. Not all of it, of course, but there is a serious atmosphere of neon green around. Other colours are welcome too, as long as there is neon tints. I don’t know why XD”

In my future there is a glaciation again. There are four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and riots. The usual climate in Tokyo is at least a foot of snow – as a matter of fact this is an actual future climate prediction, but not as popular as the heat going up and oceans rising and all that.

I thought up a not-really post apocalyptic future but not something at peace either. Two generations have been born since World War III when Europe bombed Tokyo. The bomb, built with super-secret technology, had unexpected effects on the children of those who survived it, but were still exposed to it.

What was named Erika Syndrome (ES) courses in male babies with muscular degeneration triggered in puberty, constant back pain, recurring headaches and migraines and breathing problems. The sufferers however, develop certain ‘psychic’ powers. Shinya, the character affected in the story, can project holograms of himself and read minds. Others can read feelings, use telekinesis or have special memory. Most of them can do the hologram projection though.

The police like people like Shinya, since their abilities to read minds quicken the resolution of crimes. Even though Shinya is confined in a bed, he works in hologram form with Homicide Detective Kawagishi, who is an old-style cop, partner bonding and all that.

Then they find a case where they bite more than they can chew…

All in all, I am not sure whether it worked as a sci-fi, but was entertaining to write and helped me give a bit more thought about the ES, which I had had in mind for a while ^^