Peter Tieryas

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Peter Tieryas
Peter Tieryas, 2014
Peter Tieryas, 2014
Pen namePeter Tieryas Liu
OccupationWriter, VFX Artist
GenreLiterary fiction, science fiction

Peter Tieryas is an American writer. He is the author of Bald New World (2014)[1] and the Mecha Samurai Empire series which consists of United States of Japan (2016),[2][3] Mecha Samurai Empire (2018),[4] and Cyber Shogun Revolution (2020). He attended the University of California Berkeley. Tieryas is a Lead Character Technical Director at Sony Pictures Imageworks and has worked at LucasArts as both a technical artist and technical writer.[5] Many of his stories involve the American Dream, conflicted identity in dystopian futures, and strange romance amidst culture clash.[6]


His work has appeared in literary journals including the Indiana Review, Evergreen Review, Existere, Gargoyle Magazine, Hobart (magazine), Kotaku,[7] Kyoto Journal, New Letters, Subaru,,[8] and ZYZZYVA.[9] His filmography includes Alice in Wonderland, Men in Black 3, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, I Am Legend, Hotel Transylvania,[10] and Guardians of the Galaxy. He has worked on games including Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Escape from Monkey Island, Gladius, and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.[11]

Watering Heaven (2012) and Bald New World (2014)[edit]

Watering Heaven was longlisted for the Frank O'Connor Int'l Award.[12][13] Bald New World was longlisted for the Folio Prize in 2015 [14][15] and listed by BuzzFeed as one of 15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2014. Buzzfeed contributor Richard Thomas described it as: "If you took the world building of Philip K. Dick, and added in the gritty reality and humor of Haruki Murakami, with a touch of Aldous Huxley (of course), you would get Bald New World."[16] Publishers Weekly named Bald New World as one of the Best Science Fiction Books of Summer 2014 in a starred review: "Gorgeous language choices combine with Nick’s philosophical journey of personal discovery to create a deceptively deep story."[17] Yahoo, in describing Tieryas's work, stated: "Highlighted by Kollaboration in March as one of three Asian American authors on the rise, Tieryas's debut novel "Bald New World" deals with a global epidemic of follicular proportions... When Baldification hits the planet, the pair find themselves caught up in an sci-fi tinged international conspiracy, turning their penchant for adventure into a series of daring discoveries.[18] David S. Atkinson at HTMLGiant said: "Dystopia has been done a lot, but no one has done it quite like Peter Tieryas. I’d like to enthusiastically welcome Bald New World to the must-read dystopian canon. Old Aldous would be proud."[19] However, in a mixed review, Electric Literature pointed out: "As a first novel, there are some growing pains—particularly the shifts in the pacing, and a certain episodic feel to parts of the narrative. Around the middle there’s a shift that might alienate certain readers, where the book suddenly becomes a high-octane romp. The two halves do feel very separate from each other, but the transition is natural (or, to try to avoid spoilers, jarring in the best possible way)."[20]

Peter Tieryas is also the co-founder and co-editor of Entropy Magazine.[21] He frequently collaborates with his wife, artist Angela Xu.[22]

Mecha Samurai Empire Series (2016-2020)[edit]

United States of Japan at Helsinki World Con 2017

The Mecha Samurai Empire series is composed of three books, United States of Japan, Mecha Samurai Empire, and Cyber Shogun Revolution.[23]

United States of Japan (2016) began as "a story revolving around the tragic events on the Asian side of WWII." The book is inspired by The Man in the High Castle, his time at Electronic Arts, and his experiences traveling in Asia.[24]

Popular Mechanics included United States of Japan as one of 16 Sci-Fi Things To Look Forward to in 2016, stating: "It's more the cyberpunk dystopia William Gibson promised us than the actual 1980s we know, with giant mechs enforcing the law and police trying to squash an underground gaming success that lets players imagine what might've happened if the allied powers won World War II. It sounds like a perfect patchwork of multiple sci-fi and anime subgenres rolled into one novel."[25] Publishers Weekly named USJ as one of the top 10 anticipated Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror books.[26] Kirkus Reviews listed it as one of "The Speculative Fiction Books You Can't Miss in March."[27] The Verge named the novel as one of the Best Books Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016.[28]

Financial Times stated, "The novel deftly portrays the horrors of oppression but also, with its giant military robots, sumo wrestlers and body-transforming technology, is a gleeful love letter to Japanese pop culture."[29] Barnes & Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog said, "United States of Japan mixes alt-history with pulp-history, the plausible with the fantastical, in a vision of the 1980s with the glossy sheen and rain-slick neon of vintage cyberpunk."[30] Anthony Jones of SF Book Reviews stated: "United States of Japan is a tremendous book; it's got a wonderfully dark and rich atmosphere, great action, intelligent and twisted story and above all, not only does it pay homage to one of the finest authors of the 20th century but also continues one of his most celebrated and yet most difficult works — simply wonderful."[31] io9 reviewer Andrew Liptak wrote, "Tieryas has created a unique alternate world and populated it with fantastic characters and fixtures."[32] In a mixed review, N. Ho Sang of SF Signal writes: "United States of Japan is a smart, gut-wrenching alternative reality that blurs lines between hope with a focus on emotional truths of human nature," but "there are small moments where transitions in environment, scenes and character developments may present themselves as sudden shifts, and feel slightly jarring."[33]

Cyber Shogun Revolution art gallery in the Yurindo Bookstore in Akihabara, Japan.

United States of Japan has been translated and published in Japan, Spain,[34] Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, and Mexico. It became a Nikkei Best Seller [35] and the Japanese publication went to 7th printing in the first month,[36] receiving acclaim from Asahi Shimbun,[37] Yomiuri Shimbun,[38] and Gizmodo Japan.[39] S-F Magazine's Yearly Poll of Japan's Top Science Fiction selected United States of Japan as #2 of the best Best International Science Fiction.[40] It won the 2017 Seiun Award [41] and won 2nd Place For the Japan Booksellers' Award.[42]

Mecha Samurai Empire, published by Ace Roc Books in 2018, is a standalone book in the USJ universe focusing on the mecha wars between the Nazis and the United States of Japan.[43] Amazon Book Reviews listed Mecha as one of the top Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of September 2018, stating, "Readers of alternate history will enjoy the details of the Japanese culture enfolded into the US and the ongoing tensions with the Nazis, while the plot itself packs a punch."[44] Financial Times included Mecha Samurai Empire as one of the best science fiction books of 2018, describing it as "action-packed and rousing."[45] Syfy Wire said the book was "an adrenalized fusion of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle and Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim as rampaging robots prowl a very different America."[46]

Hideo Kojima praised the book, stating it intermixes "the experience of cinema, literature, anime, comics, and gaming" and "is the new generation of Science Fiction we’ve been waiting for!” [47]

It won the 2019 Seiun Award.[48][49]

The third book, Cyber Shogun Revolution, is also a standalone book featuring two new characters who fight against the mysterious terrorist, Bloody Mary.[50] Den of Geek described it as " jam packed with giant robot action, and while it’s the ethical questions that stick with me, there’s a tremendous amount of fun in reading about mecha going after each other with plasma swords and chain saws."[51] An art gallery featuring art from the entire series was showcased at the Story Cafe in the Yurindo Bookstore at Akihabara, Japan.

Literary influences[edit]

Tieryas has cited Cordwainer Smith,[52] Philip K. Dick, Pearl Buck, Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Margaret Weis, Alan Moore, Kameron Hurley, Ken Liu, Maxine Hong Kingston, George Orwell, Sylvia Plath, John Steinbeck, Cao Xueqin, and the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes as literary influences.[53][54]


  1. ^ "Home". John Hunt Publishing.
  2. ^ Rocket, Stubby the (15 July 2015). "Angry Robot Books Acquires Peter Tieryas' United States of Japan".
  3. ^ "United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas". Penguin Random House.
  4. ^ "Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas". Penguin Random House.
  5. ^ Tieryas, Peter. "An Escape From Monkey Island Retrospective from a former LucasArts Developer". Tieryas.
  6. ^ "Bookslut - Bald New World by Peter Tieryas Liu".
  7. ^ Tieryas, N. Ho Sang and Peter. "15 More Obscure RPGs We Wish Had Sequels". Kotaku.
  8. ^ Tieryas, Peter (27 March 2015). "How Navigating the Louvre with a Nintendo 3DS Made Me Rethink the Future of Gaming, Art, and Virtual Reality".
  9. ^ "HTMLGIANT / Fun Camp by Gabe Durham".
  10. ^ "Movies" – via
  11. ^ "Peter Tieryas". IMDb.
  12. ^ "FOC Award". Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  13. ^ Han, Jimin (2016-02-27). "Interview with Peter Tieryas Liu, Author of 'The United States of Japan'". Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Flood, Alison (15 December 2014). "Folio prize reveals 80 titles in contention for 2015 award" – via
  15. ^ "Folio Prize publishes 80-name longlist".
  16. ^ Thomas, Richard. "15 Highly Anticipated Books From (Mostly) Small Presses". BuzzFeed.
  17. ^ "Best Summer Books, 2014 Publishers Weekly".
  18. ^ "'Bald New World' writer talks Murakami comparisons".
  19. ^ "HTMLGIANT / Bald New World by Peter Tieryas Liu".
  20. ^ "REVIEW: Bald New World by Peter Tieryas Liu". Electric Literature. 16 June 2014.
  21. ^ Foundation, Poetry (18 April 2019). "Fire Struck on the Hylic Plane: Entropy Magazine Debuts with Will Alexander on Antonin Artaud by Harriet Staff". Poetry Foundation.
  22. ^ Reeser, Cynthia (June 1, 2014). "An Interview with Featured Artist Angela Xu". Tampa Review. Archived from the original on April 28, 2017.
  23. ^ Inc, mediagene; 岡本玄介 (2020-09-10). "早川書房のSF小説『メカ・サムライ・エンパイア』続編『サイバー・ショーグン・レボリューション』が9月17日に発売!". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-10-08. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  24. ^ Liptak, Andrew (27 February 2016). "Explore Alternate Histories With Peter Tieryas' Giant Mechs and Man in the High Castle". io9.
  25. ^ Wenz, John (1 January 2016). "16 Sci-Fi Things To Look Forward To in 2016". Popular Mechanics.
  26. ^ Fox, Rose (December 18, 2015). "Spring 2016 Announcements: SF, Fantasy & Horror: Worlds Turned Upside Down". Publishers Weekly.
  27. ^ "The Speculative Fiction Books You Can't Miss in March". Kirkus Reviews.
  28. ^ Liptak, Andrew (28 December 2016). "The 11 best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2016". The Verge.
  29. ^ "'United States of Japan', by Peter Tieryas". Financial Times. 4 March 2016.
  30. ^ "United States of Japan Is a Sobering Alt-History Spun from the Dark Threads of the Past". 2 March 2016.
  31. ^ "The United States of Japan, a book by Peter Tieryas - Book review".
  32. ^ Liptak, Andrew (16 April 2016). "The United States of Japan Shows What Happens When Ideology Crumbles". io9.
  33. ^ Sang, Narelle Ho (8 March 2016). "[GUEST REVIEW] Narelle Ho Sang Reviews UNITED STATES OF JAPAN by Peter Tieryas Liu".
  34. ^ Alós, Ernest (21 February 2017). "Peter Tieryas: "Es más plausible 'Un mundo feliz' que '1984'"". elperiodico.
  35. ^ 日本経済新聞社・日経BP社. "ベストセラー 文庫ランキング (10月23日~29日)|エンタメ!|NIKKEI STYLE". NIKKEI STYLE.
  36. ^ "SF小説「ユナイテッド・ステイツ・オブ・ジャパン」累計4万部突破 日本統治下のアメリカを描く". アニメ!アニメ!.
  37. ^ "(売れてる本)『ユナイテッド・ステイツ・オブ・ジャパン』(上・下):朝日新聞デジタル". 朝日新聞デジタル.
  38. ^ "Yomiuri Shimbun".
  39. ^ Inc, mediagene; 岡本玄介 (9 August 2016). "巨大ロボを持つ日本がアメリカを支配する小説「ユナイテッド・ステイツ・オブ・ジャパン」の邦訳版が発売決定". {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  40. ^ "SFが読みたい!2017年版". ハヤカワ・オンライン.
  41. ^ "2017年 第48回星雲賞".
  42. ^ Glyer, Mike (16 April 2017). "2017 Seiun Award Nominees".
  43. ^ Liptak, Andrew (February 2018). "Mecha Samurai Empire imagines that America lost WWII — also there are giant robots". The Verge.
  44. ^ Liang, Adrian. "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of September: 6 Top Picks". Amazon Book Reviews.
  45. ^ Lovegrove, James (23 November 2018). "Best science fiction books of 2018". Financial Times.
  46. ^ Spry, Jeff. "Exclusive: Mecha Samurai Empire". Syfy Wire.
  47. ^ "Hideo Kojima Tweet". Twitter.
  48. ^ "2019 Seiun Award Winners". 29 July 2019.
  49. ^ "2019 Seiun Award Winners". Anime News Network.
  50. ^ "The Brutal Lessons Gaming Taught Me About Revolutions, Robots, And War". Kotaku. 8 February 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  51. ^ Joli, Alana (2020-04-23). "Speculative Fiction Series with Fantastic Conclusions". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2020-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  52. ^ Tieryas, Peter (19 September 2018). "How Cordwainer Smith's Work Influenced the Writing of Mecha Samurai Empire".
  53. ^ Kleinman, Loren; ContributorAuthor; Forever, This Way to (22 July 2014). "Peter Tieryas Liu and His Bald New World". HuffPost. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  54. ^ "'Bald New World' writer talks Murakami comparisons".

External links[edit]