A slightly unorthodox take on the thesis of living your art comes in the shape of Japan’s Hoshi Award, a top science fiction prize, which is to be opened to aliens and AIs as well as humans. The Award was launched in 2013 in honor of Shinichi Hoshi (1926-97), “recognized as one of Japan’s most influential science fiction writers of all time,” who “published more than 1,000 of his signature ‘short-short’ stories, sometimes dubbed “the ‘Haiku of Science Fiction’.”

Potential winners might not in fact be far away. Computer-generated literature and generative art have been around for over a decade, and it’s not clear how strict the Award’s criteria will be for literary quality. A story generator, Brutus 1, has been in existence since the late 1990s, with the “narrative prose generation” software StoryBook following just a few years later.

Marina Hoshi Whyte, Hoshi’s daughter, was quoted by The Guardian as saying ““I wanted the award/competition itself to be science fiction.” Animals are also eligible for the Award – if they can write.

And so, presumably, can kaiju. So could Japan’s most famous non-human creature, Godzilla, be a candidate? I’d certainly like to see him have a knock-down fight with Haruki Murakami for the Nobel Prize …



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