Alex Shishin


Alex Shishin has published fiction, non-fiction and photography in Japan, North America and Europe. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Shishin is a permanent resident of Japan.

His recent and significant fiction publications include the following. "Booger Eater" in LITnIMAGE (2010). "Booger Eater Mon Amour" in Eclectica (2010), “In the Valley of Love and Delight” in Eclectica (2007). “Counterparts” in Prairie Schooner (2006). “Bulldozer” in Fiction Warehouse (2004; winner of an award from storySouth for one of the top online short stories of 2004). "Fish" in Intertext (2003). "The Eggplant Legacy" in Prairie Schooner (2003).

Shishin's short story "Mr. Eggplant Goes Home," first published in Prairie Schooner (1996) received an O. Henry Award Honorable Mention in 1997 and was anthologized in Student Body: Stories About Students and Professors (University of Wisconsin Press, 2001). His short story "Shades," originally published in Sunday Afternoon (Kobe, 1992) was anthologized in The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan (Stone Bridge Press, 1997) and reprinted by invitation in The East in 1998.

“The Bridge of Dreams” (a novella published with "Predators" by Smashwords) first appeared in The JAIAS Journal (2009). Parts of Shishn's Smashwords novel Nippon 2357 (under the novel's earlier name) were published by Struggle Magazine in the late 1990's.

Non-fiction by Shishin has appeared in many diverse journals, which include The Japan Times, The Mainichi Daily News, The Asahi Evening News, The Japan Quarterly, The East and Kyoto Journal. (Kyoto Journal has also published a number of his fiction pieces.) His early literary essays were collected in The Shy Voice in American Literature and Other Selected Critical Works, 1984-1997 (Seiji Shobo, Tokyo, 1997). Shishin has published scholarly articles extensively in Japan and has been anthologized in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Shishin’s book Rossiya: Voices from the Brezhnev Era (a Russian-American memoir of a train odyssey through the Soviet Union and Poland) was published by iUniverse in 2006. It is available as a print-on-demand book from, Barnes and Noble the iUniverse online bookstore and a host of other distributors. The e-book edition is available exclusively from the iUniverse online bookstore.

In March 2008 Shishin published a collection of photographs entitled Ordinary Strangeness with Viovio in conjunction with his joint exhibition at the Twenty-first Century Museum of Art, Kanazawa, Japan. It is available from the publisher online.

Alex Shishin is co-author with Stephan F. Politzer of Four Parallel Lives of Eight Notable Individuals (Smashwords, 2011).

Alex Shishin holds degrees in English from the University of California, Berkeley (BA) the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MFA) and the Union Institute and University (PhD).

ISBN numbers of Smashwords books:

"The Bridge of Dreams" and "Predator": Two Short Novels ISBN 978-1-4523-8979-0
This ebook is being updated to match the texts of "Ebisu Bridge" and "Among Predators" while retaining the original titles. Thank you for your continued support. Alex Shishin

Nippon 2357: A Utopian Ecological Tale
ISBN 978-1-4523-6226-7

The Cyber Dust Stories: Lost Internet Short Stories and Essays Centering on Japan
ISBN: 978-1-4523-8800-7

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
Sometime in elementary school. I did not consider fiction until I was in high school.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A long story. I knew many good writers who were miserable because corporate publishing was ignoring them. This is why I stuck to small press publications for years, which also had their frustrating sides. Most frustrating was trying to find how I could publish my utopian novel without compromising it. I was about to self-publish it through a local printer in Kobe when I discovered Smashwords. Problems of publishing and distribution were instantly solved.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Alex Shishin online

Where to buy in print


Among Predators: A Tale of Paris
Price: Free! Words: 15,960. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Residing in Paris, Greek-American journalist Rick and African-French Martiniquean Yolanda, author and ex-model, have their life changed by their wealthy and acne-ravaged Japanese homestay guest. Masami idolizes Yolanda and likens herself to an abandoned cat. Soon Rick and Yolanda start to suspect she shoplifting. The mystery of Masami deepens with the appearance of a dubious “poet” boyfriend.
Ebisu Bridge: A Tale of Modern Japan
Price: Free! Words: 10,580. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Homeless and disabled, Motoshima Saburo, 58, sells The Big Issue on Osaka’s Ebisu Bridge. He falls into a moral battle with Ken, aging toy boy and “dating club” tout, for the soul of “The Waif,” a pill-popping 17-year-old runaway, whom Ken has used for a haywire robbery. Saburo assumes the role of father and lover, though he cannot be either to the confused girl who tells no one her name.
Fidelity: Episodes from Three Lives in Japan
Price: Free! Words: 8,850. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Set in the Osaka-Kobe area, the interconnected erotic stories of Fidelity: Three Interconnected Lives in Japan concern the unpredictable and labyrinthine symbiotic relationship between American expatriates Hank Hashimoto and Aurora Tanabe and the eccentric Erina Wada, nicknamed “Booger Eater” by Aurora.
The Cyber Dust Stories: Lost Internet Short Stories and Essays Centering on Japan
Price: Free! Words: 25,140. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2010. Categories: Essay » Political
Japan-centered essays and short fiction, including “Bulldozer,” “Slapstick on the Precipice: The Rise of Koizumi Junichiro,” “Is There DU in Japan’s Future?” (co-authored), plus other important cyber-lost works.
Nippon 2357: A Utopian Ecological Tale
Price: Free! Words: 79,420. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Thomas Redburn, American expatriate living in Japan, falls down drunk one night and wakes up onboard a time machine flying to 24th century Japan. His benign abductors take him to a nearly perfect world. Yet, separated by centuries from his wife and children, his grief multiplies as he faces universal happiness. A classic utopian novel with a Japanese twist.
The Bridge of Dreams and Predators: Two Short Novels
Price: Free! Words: 26,020. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
In The Bridge of Dreams, set in Osaka, the homeless and disabled Motoshima Saburo, 58, fights a moral battle with Ken, a young “dating club” scout, who has used The Waif, a pill-popping 17-year-old runaway, for a haywire robbery. In Predators, set in Paris, Rick and Yolanda discover their wealthy and acne-ravaged home stay guest, Masami Ogawa, is a thief. And worse.

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