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on Nov. 02, 2013 :
Kamikaze Tomorrowland is a very good little SF-Fantasy story. It is a well-structured tale that involves a movement through time (though not exactly hardcore SF "time travel") and resolves the time-traveler's dilemma of contradiction in a very pleasing way.
I don't want to make this review a spoiler and the story is very short, so I won't go much into plot. It does begin in World War II with a Kamikaze pilot on his last mission. Akio Sarazawa is flying his Zero fighter over the ocean looking for the US fleet. He considers his past and certain future as he goes. He is especially concerned with what death will be like for him. The answer to that is greatly unexpected, and launches events that convey the point of the story.
Mr. Hogue relates Akio's experiences in a voice that is believable for the actions and settings. He gives just enough technical information on WWII combat flying to work for a story of this length, showing he did his background study. And he's enough of a SF fan to know how to construct such a story that is appealing to other SF fans.
Mr. Hogue uses images well (joystick, rosary, buddhist talisman, Kimigayo) as well as themes that give the story some depth--the futility of war, the futility of dying for a political cause (or at least, for a political/religious personality). His economy of words is also admirable. The story is some 5800 words but they are enough to convey that Akio's main prompt to become a Kamikaze was peer pressure combined with convincing propaganda. There's enough flashback to see his early, favorable connection to the United States and how that was marred by the napalm raids that killed his parents. Still, we get the feeling that his fight and self-sacrifice were not based so much on hate, as on a manipulated patriotism (i.e., love of emperor). It is an underscore of war's futility.
Had this been all the good in Kamikaze Tomorrowland, I would have rated it 4 stars. But it was the extra dimension of the story that earned it a fifth star from me.
John Hogue is a scholar of prophecy and a prognosticator in his own right. He is an authority on the life and writings of Nostradamus that you usually see commenting in programs about that French seer (though sometimes highly edited). He is a prolific writer on this subject and produces e-books on predictions for the coming year, every year. Kamikaze Tomorrowland is his attempt to extend his prophetic work into fiction. He describes the result as a new genre in science fiction he calls, "ScryFy." In his own words:
I define Scry-Fy as a form of prophecy-science fiction and fantasy. It is neither fiction nor non-fiction. Scry-Fy is transfix-tion. ‘Scrying’ is a basic form of divination using objects that, in the hand of the initiate, can reflect the dark shadows of potential future destiny.
I've read enough of Mr. Hogue's writings and heard him in interviews to have an understanding of how he views prophecy. I believe I see that view in Kamikaze Tomorrowland. In a nutshell, it seems to be that energies build in the numinous and physical worlds that lead to events that can be descried before they happen by the "initiate" tapping into those energies. Very often, what is seen are the potentialities for events (and consequences) more so than "this will happen at this time." The scrying process can produce insight as to courses to follow to avert or diminish an adverse future.
Kamikaze Tomorrowland avers this idea in its plot, and in summation in Akio Sarazawa's words:
...I found myself at the crossroads of life and death. I was shown what might have been if...
Read Kamikaze Tomorrowland to get the full impact of Akio's words in light of this view of prophecy, and to understand why great teachers teach with parables.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)