Feb 9

2023 Locus Recommended Reading List

The 2023 Locus Recommended Reading List includes Martha Wells and Iori Kusano!


System Collapse, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)


Witch King, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)


Hybrid Heart, Iori Kusano (Neon Hemlock)

Mar 29

Library Journal on Hybrid Heart

Hybrid Heart by Iori Kusano

“Kusano, an Asian American living in Tokyo, makes their debut with this novella set in a near-future Japan, where people have software apps installed in their bodies that allow them to interact online in their minds, and human pop stars compete for fame against digital vocaloid singers. Rei is a human “idol,” an entertainer with a corporate manufactured image created for purely commercial purposes. She loves to sing and aspired to this life, but then her singing partner Ririko abandoned their idol life for love. Now Rei is even more strictly managed by Kosaka, who controls every aspect of her life from her songs and performances to what she eats and where she goes. Rei tries to navigate handling Kosaka and garnering more fame while still missing Ririko and obsessing over singer LYRICO, who hides behind an avatar. When Kosaka takes on a new, younger singer, Rei begins to see her life for what it is more clearly and has to decide what she wants for herself.

VERDICT Give this to fans of manga and anime for an insightful, speculative glimpse into Japanese pop culture.” — Library Journal

Mar 14

Publishers Weekly on Hybrid Heart

Hybrid Heart by Iori Kusano

“Kusano brings the vibrant world of J-Pop into stunning clarity in their near-future debut novella. Rei must navigate the semidystopian world of Japanese pop idols as a solo act after her best friend and former duo member, Ririko, gets caught with a secret boyfriend despite a contractual obligation not to fall in love. In the wake of this scandal, Rei’s success hinges on her role as the singing voice of a character on a popular anime, and her overbearing manager frequently reminds her how tenuous her career is. Meanwhile, she can’t help being drawn to the music of her main competitor, a lifelike computer-generated idol called Lyrico. With a hotshot young recruit to Rei’s talent agency nipping at her heels, Rei must work out her feelings for Lyrico and determine if the new trainee will be friend or foe. Rei makes for a fascinating protagonist held captive in a glittering world. The author holds readers in a similarly tight grip, immersing them in imagined future Japanese pop culture. Kusano shows real promise.” — Publishers Weekly

Feb 3

2022 Locus Recommended Reading List

The 2022 Locus Recommended Reading List includes Elizabeth Bear, Iori Kusano, and Tamsyn Muir!


The Origin of Storms, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
Nona the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)


“Have Mercy, My Love While We Wait for the Thaw”, Iori Kusano (Apex 7/22)