Apparently, about six months ago some circle did the OCR and proofreading for the first four Rune Soldier novels. I had done the first two chapters of book one myself, to get them into a readable state, but it was slow going, so I never got around to finishing. Now I can run them through my scripts and read them at a reasonable speed.
(and in case anyone’s wondering what happened to my progress on the AsoIku novels, I just got busy with the pre-holiday work, the trip to Japan, helping some new friends study for the JLPT, etc, and haven’t picked them back up again yet. I’m near the end of book 11, and I definitely want to reach the revelations about Aoi’s family, which are perhaps the most significant things coming up soon. I’m hoping that the side stories that were included with the Blu-ray discs are eventually collected into a book, but otherwise, it looks like book14 is the end of the series, with an awful lot left unexplained)
In an unrelated note, my mom gave me a copy of the English edition of 1Q84, and I read it over the weekend. Short take: a plus-sized Charles de Lint novel, with Tokyo replacing Newford. I think de Lint would have done it better, and in about half as many pages, but I still enjoyed it. There were a few places where Jay Rubin’s emphasis on precise translation produced phrases no American novelist would choose, but there was already so much about the book that screamed “originally in Japanese” that it didn’t bother me.