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Rocket Girls [Paperback]

Housuke Norjiri
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2010
Yukari Morita is a high school girl on a quest to find her missing father. While searching for him on the Solomon Islands, she receives the offer of a lifetime-she'll get the help she needs to find her father, and all she need do in return is become the world's youngest, lightest astronaut. Yukari and her teen friends, all petite, are the perfect crew and cargo for the Solomon Space Association's launches, or will be once they complete their rigorous and sometimes dangerous training.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media; Reprint edition (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421536420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421536422
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Housuke Nojiri was born in Mie, Japan in 1961. After working in instrumentation control, CAD programming and video game design, he published his first work, The Blind Spot of Veis, based on the video game Creguian, in 1992. He gained popularity with his subsequent works, the Creguian series and the Rocket Girls series. In 2002, he published Usurper of the Sun, ushering in a new era of space science fiction in Japan. After first appearing as a series of short stories, Usurper won the Seiun Award for best Japanese science fiction novel of 2002. His other works include Pendulum of Pinieru and Fuwa-Fuwa no Izumi.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Space 25 Oct 2010
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who has read Hosuke Nojiri's 2002 novel, the award-winning Usurper of the Sun also published by Viz Haika Soru, will recognise some familiarity in the characterisation of a young teenage girl with an absent father becoming involved in an important space mission, but otherwise, the earlier Rocket Girls written back in 1995, could hardly be more different in tone from the serious detailed consideration and technical hard science-fiction of the author's nonetheless thrilling first encounter scenario.

Rocket Girls, as the title and the anime-influenced cover perhaps suggest, plays knowingly on the fun pulp elements of sending fit young teenage high-school girls in skin-tight outfits into space, the whole story playing out with all the improbability and speed of a manga book - which is by no means entirely a bad thing. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her father on the first night of his honeymoon turn out to be strange enough, but Yukari Morita's journey to search for him in the Solomon Islands, and eventually finding him in the jungle as the chieftain of an island tribe, stretch credibility even further. All of the this is however taken completely in its stride by all the parties involved, and it should be by the indulgent reader as well.

There is however a larger Japanese presence on the island (and it's sure to be established that it's not exactly a coincidence that her father is there also) - a Space research and development agency operates there, attempting to put an astronaut up into space.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Space 25 Oct 2010
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone who has read Hosuke Nojiri's 2002 novel, the award-winning Usurper of the Sun also published by Viz Haika Soru, will recognise some familiarity in the characterisation of a young teenage girl with an absent father becoming involved in an important space mission, but otherwise, the earlier Rocket Girls written back in 1995, could hardly be more different in tone from the serious detailed consideration and technical hard science-fiction of the author's nonetheless thrilling first encounter scenario.

Rocket Girls, as the title and the anime-influenced cover perhaps suggest, plays knowingly on the fun pulp elements of sending fit young teenage high-school girls in skin-tight outfits into space, the whole story playing out with all the improbability and speed of a manga book - which is by no means entirely a bad thing. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her father on the first night of his honeymoon turn out to be strange enough, but Yukari Morita's journey to search for him in the Solomon Islands, and eventually finding him in the jungle as the chieftain of an island tribe, stretch credibility even further. All of the this is however taken completely in its stride by all the parties involved, and it should be by the indulgent reader as well.

There is however a larger Japanese presence on the island (and it's sure to be established that it's not exactly a coincidence that her father is there also) - a Space research and development agency operates there, attempting to put an astronaut up into space. In danger of losing their funding due to failures of the new technology to secure a successful test launch, the possibility of using a teenage girl as a lightweight astronaut could make all the difference, and Yukari, along Matsuri, a half-sister she has just discovered, the young rocket girls are soon put through her paces in an intensive training course.

Rocket Girls resembles Usurper of the Sun in another more relevant manner and that is in how it takes a realistic speculative looks towards man's future in space, and the psychological and social impact of further exploration and advancement in this realm. In Rocket Girls, that's looking ahead towards small private companies taking over from where the US and Russian space programmes left off and considering the possibilities of new smaller and more lightweight technology making such ventures commercially feasible.

This, it has to be said, is treated rather more realistically than the rather bizarre anime-like family relationships and the rather flat dialogue elsewhere, which are undoubtedly not Hosuke Nojiri's strengths. For all that, Rocket Girls proves to be a surprisingly fun and entertaining read, flipped through as delightfully and as rapidly as a manga book. Taken on those terms, visualising those scenes as a traditional clear-line drawn manga or a colourful anime - the stories indeed now produced as an anime series in Japan - the tone of the book makes a lot more sense and promises to provide more entertainment in subsequent instalments.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down 28 Sep 2011
By Moonhawk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fast read with some interesting ideas. Much different from the same author's "Usurper of the Sun" which was very much a 'hard' sci fi novel. This one has some interesting ideas and plausible excuses for it's rather ludicrous idea. But what a fun idea! If you are an anime fan, this one is an easy sale. It's smart and funny, without being too ridiculous, for a non anime fan it is in a more juvenile vein, and might not be your cup of tea. Me, I was delighted, I read the entire thing in one night, couldn't put it down, I was having so much fun. I will likely read it again. 5 stars might be a stretch, but I think I enjoyed it that much.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy predecessor to the show 5 Oct 2010
By A. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll be the first to admit the cover art could've been better chosen, but getting past that there's a really nice story inside.

The differences between the novel and show are mostly cosmetic for the first two thirds or so of the book, though the overall tone is more serious. To me it read more like a classic scifi novel from the Heinlein or Clarke days, with a lot less of the fluff that the anime sometimes had. Naturally, it covers some plot points that the anime glossed over, the media reactions and Yukari and her parent's relationship coming to mind most of all.

The last third or so of the book is where the differences start to show, but not in a bad way. I can understand that the anime had to cut parts of it for time, but its a shame they did all the same.

Overall, a nice read. And at ~200 pages quick and easy enough to get through in an evening.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun quirky read 8 July 2014
By OrionKaelin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable to say the least. A fun read in an interesting setting with an odd combination of characters.
Oh, I should mention this was an impulse buy with no other research than having read the description of the book. Only later I found that there was an anime based on it, Most of my light novel purchase are made because i'd seen the show first. Not so this time.
4.0 out of 5 stars The right stuff 18 Mar 2013
By EdM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rocket Girls is a delightful read and would make a good movie.The concept of a young girl who becomes an astronaut due to being in the right place at the right time does take a bit of suspensions of belief but the author manages to take advantage of the believability of the technology and then allows the reader to enjoy the story as it is. The afterword shows that in the near future this type of story could be realized. The author manages to convey the premise of Japan taking the initiative in space exploration. Apollo 13-the right stuff, rocket girls and Jaxa in the near future. A good read for those that enjoy science related stories.
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