A Novel of the Future
This is yet another of Mr. Abe's ominous configurations (Woman in the Dunes etc.) this time staking out its uncertain ideological imperatives in a grave new world submerged under water. In the beginning, however, Professor Katsumi who has a computer capable of making predictions, has no idea of the work undertaken in a still more dehumanized laboratory. But a double murder, an analysis of one of the bodies & some anonymous phone calls (this is all quite exciting) alert him to a traffic in human fetuses corroborated by his wife's enforced curettage. Witnessing the works in progress - growing rooms for human submarine colonies which will make human survival possible - he is also threatened with his own extinction betrayed by his own machine and he's made to consider various ethical conjectures and priorities: should one deny one's self - should the present be expendable in the interest of the future? While not everybody's book, Abe's conceptual startler has a chilly precision which makes the unthinkable only too threateningly possible.
Kobo Abe, pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe (1924–1993) was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor. Abe has been often compared to Franz Kafka and Alberto Moravia for his surreal, often nightmarish explorations of individuals in contemporary society and his modernist sensibilities.
Among the honors bestowed on him were the Akutagawa Prize in 1951 for The Crime of S. Karuma, the Yomiuri Prize in 1962 for Woman in the Dunes, and the Tanizaki Prize in 1967 for the play Friends. Kenzaburo Oe stated that Abe deserved the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he himself had won (Abe was nominated multiple times).
Kobo Abe. Wikipedia.