Readerz.Net / Tō Enjō
Toh EnJoe (Japanese: 円城 塔, Hepburn: Enjō Tō, pen name) (born September 15, 1972) is a Japanese author. His works are usually literary fiction, speculative fiction or science fiction.
Born in 1972 in Sapporo. He graduated from the physics department of Tohoku University, then went on to the graduate school at University of Tokyo and received Ph.D. for a mathematical physical study on the natural languages. He worked as a post-doc researcher at several research institutes for seven years, then abandoned the academic career in 2007 and found a programmer job at a software firm (resigns in 2008 to become a full-time writer).
In 2006, he submitted Self-Reference ENGINE to a science-fiction novel contest Komatsu Sakyō Award. Although it did not win the award (none did in this year), it was published from Hayakawa Shobō in 2007. At almost same time, his short story "Obu za bēsbōru" ("Of The Baseball") won the contest of literary magazine Bungakukai, which became his debut in literary fiction.
His literary fictions are often dense with allusions. Labyrinthine annotations were added to "Uyūshitan" when it was published in book form in 2009, where there were none when published initially in literary magazine. Often, his science fiction works take motif from mathematics. The narrator of "Boy's Surface" (2007) is a morphism, and the title is a reference to a geometrical notion. In "Moonshine" (2009), natural numbers are sentient through a savant's mind's eye in a field of the monster group.
Project Itoh's Genocidal Organ was also a finalist of Komatsu Sakyō Award contest and published from Hayakawa Shobō in 2007, along with Enjoe's Self-Reference ENGINE. Since then they often appeared together at science fiction conventions and interviews, and collaborated in a few works, until Itoh's death of cancer in 2009. At the press conference after the announcement of Enjoe's Akutagawa Prize in January 2012, he revealed the plan to complete Itoh's unfinished novel Shisha no teikoku. It was published in August 2012, and received the Special Award of Nihon SF Taisho.
An interviewer in the literary journal Asymptote wrote, "Toh EnJoe's stories are known for their scientific lucidity and literary impenetrability. His language and his writing style, however, belie his background as a physicist: topics woven into his stories include science, but also linguistics, literary theory, and philosophical approaches to the imagination. His complicated narrative structures are the subject of heated discussions and have even evoked harsh reviews calling his work 'indigestible', 'sleep-inducing,' and 'reader-unfriendly'."